We had a rare Saturday free without and obligations so Justine and I decided to head over to Galiano Island for the day. The ferry is a quick one hour trip, and the way the ferries were timed you could get over, spend more of the day, and then get a ferry back in the early evening. It gae up lots of time to explore.
The ferry was at a very reasonable time, around 9:00 a.m. and we were on the island in no time. We didn't really have an agenda, and thought we'd just drive around and explore. There was an island map on the ferry that gave us some ideas of places to explore. We only had about 6 hours in total, and with the island being ~27 km long, it was going to be a stretch. Not surprisingly, we didn't get to see everything, but we did see a fair bit.
One of the nice things about the island is that there are many places where there is public access down to the water. There are small parking areas, and as it was not exactly prime tourist season, all of them were completely empty. The first one we stopped at lead us along a very pretty little trail, along a small stream down to a great view back towards the mainland.
We drove a little further up the northeast side of the island, exploring different areas. The island is actually quite hilly, and this stretch took us up high, which provided great views back towards Vancouver. We found another parking area with beach access, and did another short hike down to the ocean.
Eventually we made our way back onto the southwest side of the island, than drove as far north as possible. It was a longish drive, with may nice sites along the way. At the north end of the island, the 49th Parallel cuts across, so we made a quick stop,
We made a few stops along the way, exploring a couple of small bays, and the odd pull out or two that provided very nice views over to Salt Spring Island, and further back to Vancouver Island proper. We eventually made our way back almost all the way south to Montague Harbour. This is the other main "village" to the main ferry landing at Sturdies Bay. There's a smallish marina and a pub, so we decided to stop for some lunch. It wasn't warm, but the patio was heated and we had a few fun locals to entertain us.
After our lunch, we headed towards the south end of the island, and one of the parks that overlook Active Pass. Again, we had the place to ourselves, and were able to enjoy the amazing views.
We didn't have a lot of time left, we we decided to continue our way towards Sturdies Bay and the ferry dock. We did make a quick stop at Bellhouse Provincial Park, just south of the ferry terminal to walk around for a little while. We hoped that maybe we would get lucky and see some whales, as they pass by this area with some frequency, but there was no luck on that front. We did have some other visitors that were unexpected.
After exploring the park we headed to the ferry dock and parked the car. We had about an hour, so we walked around the small village, had a drink in one of the shops and relaxed. Eventually it was time to head home.