Took me ages to get out of Victoria. Every 50 meters you stand at a red traffic light and there is quite some traffic so it goes super slow. About half an hour before I reached Ladysmith I discovered a Farmer´s Market on the side of the Highway and went there to get some fresh fruit and veggies. Really good stuff, local and cheaper than in the supermarket. Happy that I have seen that.
In Ladysmith I went to the Information Center and got some trail maps and information about the city. Since summer had finally arrived and it was a beautiful day I went down to the beach, had a little snack and watched the last canoe races that were part of the Aboriginal Day Festival that was just about to finish.
The Stz´uminus people were the first to live here. Ladysmith is located literally on the 49th Parallell and in the year 2000 it was named one of the 10 prettiest places to live in Canada. It´s really a very nice little town with heritage buildings, lots of small shops, art galleries, a great bakery, the beach, lakes, several nice hikes around and very chilled and relaxed. The streets are very steep, almost feels a little bit like in San Fransico and most of the gardens are just beautiful. Parking is free everywhere, not only on the street but also on the many public parking lots. The only annoying thing here is that really everything closes at 4 or the latest at 5 pm. It´s supposed to be better in July though. I was in for a few relaxing days to finally get rid of this stupid cold so I spend the rest of the afternoon at the beach, going in the water with my feet, reading the second book of this trip and writing my diary. Went to my new AirBnB host after, cooked some dinner and chatted with him. Went for a digesting walk once around the town (it´s pretty small, only took an hour) and when I came back I retired to my room enjoying to have a projector to watch some episodes of GOT while writing my blog.
The next day I slept in and had a lazy morning then I set off for a small hike. I did the Holland Creek Trail with an extra 2 km to a lookout plus the way from and to my accommodation. Was about 10 km in total. It´s a nice trail through the woods with a waterfall. I also ran into two deers.
I warmed up the leftovers of dinner for lunch and had a little nap after, before heading to the beach again. I intended to rent a SUP, but they close so early that I didn´t get a board anymore at 4.15 pm. So I just chilled at the beach for a bit, reading again and then went to visit the Marina and the Fisherman´s Wharf.
Cooking, dinner, movies, a good night´s sleep and another lazy morning followed this. I went for a quick walk through town to finally try the nice bakery my host had recommended, go to an ATM and a pharmacy again then it was time to get ready for my two hour kayak tour with Sealegs Kayaking adventures. We didn´t see too much wildlife, but the tour was great! Nice group, nice guide, great weather, beautiful landscape and finally some workout for the upper body and not only the legs.
After the tour I spend another few hours at the beach, eating the things from the bakery, reading and having a quick dip in the sea. On my way back to my accommodation I returned my empty water bottles and fueled the car. Pretty much the same evening ritual as the last 2 days plus packing up my stuff. The next morning I got up a little earlier than the last days and went to Sealegs again to rent a SUP for an hour. I saw a few star fish, loads of crab, herons and many other birds. Was a really nice trip and a good arm workout too. Quickly got into the kid´s spray park to wash the saltwater off and chilled a bit at the beach while reading until my clothes were dry again.
Then I took off to Nanaimo.