Thursday, August 15, 2013

Butchart Gardens

Days on Cruise: 4
Distance traveled:  22.8 miles
Travel time:  1 hour, 35 minutes
Late Thursday morning we continued our westward journey over calm seas, deeper into Canadian waters, then turned south inside the Saanich Peninsula on Vancouver Island to Brentwood Bay Marina.
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After some boat chores and a walk to the grocery store for re-provisioning, Bob’s sister Lynn and brother-in-law David, who’ve been vacationing at Tofino on the west side of Vancouver Island this week, arrived at our dock. We all last visited Butchart Gardens almost 40 years ago, so thought it time to check it out again.
It rained during much of the 2+ hours we walked the 35 acres of gardens, but the Japanese, Sunken, Italian, Rose and Bog gardens were so beautiful, and umbrellas were available, that we were unfazed by the weather.
We wonder at the cost and number of employees or volunteers it must take to maintain this place! The land is still privately owned, but printed information says they have almost 1 million visitors annually, each adult paying about $30 for entry.
The gardens are over 100 years old, though many of the plantings are changed out periodically or seasonally, according to the brochure.
Dinner at the pub attached to our marina followed, after which we returned to our boat, and Lynn and David to a hotel in Victoria where they’ll depart by ferry for home early in the morning.
Next destination: Thetis Island, part of the Canadian Gulf Islands.

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