I have some old friends living on Salt Spring Island, which before going there I knew was somewhere near Vancouver. Therefore being in the ‘neighbourhood’ I just had to say hello, so I drop them an email to say I’m coming to visit. Then I look at the Lonely Planet, hmmmm it’s actually part of the Gulf Islands and there is a huge stretch of water between Vancouver and Saltspring Island.
Aaaaaahhhhh, how the heck am I going to get there?
After lots of googling, I came up with a perfect plan; and it would have been the perfect plan had I not listened to the guy at the seaplane booking counter who told me to book online because it was cheaper. You know what is coming, when I go to their website, they were fully booked and so were all the other companies flying there. My perfect plan went down the toilet and all to save a whopping $4. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!
In the end, the journey to Salt Spring Island was very convoluted, which involved me lugging my huge suitcases to Vancouver airport and leaving them in storage, before catching a ferry from Tsawwassen. But, it was well worth it in the end. The ferry ride through the Gulf Islands was stunning, passing island after island, all overgrown with huge Canadian fir trees.
It was wonderful catching up with my friends, unfortunately it was only a flying visit and so I didn’t really get to see much of beautiful Salt Spring Island and rain put a bit of a dampener on exploring.
On the Sunday I waved good bye to my friends and caught a floatplane back to Vancouver. The aerial views from the plane were spectacular and the sun finally made a special appearance.
I probably spent more time travelling to Salt Spring Island than actually on the island, but the journey there and back was so pretty it made it all worthwhile. There were certainly a lot of lessons learnt on this mini trip.
Number 1: Research where you are going;
Number 2: If you are buying a flight for the next day, don’t faff about trying to save $4;
Number 3: One night is definitely not enough time to visit this beautiful place.
Info: To see the South Gulf Islands in a few different dimensions, I would recommend ferrying one way and catching a seaplane back. Check out BC Ferries for ferry times to Salt Spring Island and other Gulf Islands. There are multi sea planes companies flying to and from Salt Spring Island. Due to availability I could only fly into Vancouver Airport, I think if I had managed to get the flight back to Vancouver Downtown it would have been the icing on the cake landing in Coal Harbour.
Salt Spring Island is famous for its Saturday craft market, but as “Sod Law” would have it, I missed it by week since it is starting back up next Saturday after the winter months. I would recommend coinciding your visits with the market.