It took us two leisurely days to pack up and load the truck for the next leg of our trip. We said goodbye to our friends at the apartment, went through a package of forwarded mail, cleaned out the fridge, donated some more books to the library and some unneeded clothing to the Senior Network Thrift Store, and took a few short walks.

Wednesday dawned rainy and remained rainy nearly all day. We dropped the second set of apartment keys through the mail slot, returned the garage pass key and collected our deposit, and headed for the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay, from Vancouver on the British Columbia mainland to Vancouver Island, the home of the Provincial capital Victoria.

It took us ten to fifteen minutes to get out of downtown and over the Lions Gate bridge. There are signs for miles along the road to control the evidently huge summer ferry traffic, but on a wet Wednesday morning in mid-April the traffic was light.

This was a larger ferry than the ones we had taken on our trip to the Sunshine Coast, and it smoothly whisked us and lots of other passengers and boats across the Strait of Georgia.

Almost as soon as we disembarked we began to notice a difference from the Vancouver area; this region is decidedly more English in character than polyglot Vancouver. We still managed to find a fine Japanese restaurant for lunch, and then settled down in a comfortable Best Western with off-season rates.

By this time it was mid-afternoon, and one of us had a twisted ankle, so we buttoned up in the motel and got established: we'll be here in Nanaimo for six days.