The Sunshine Coast To Victoria

Mike and I have had our fill of hot springs and start heading for Vancouver Island, via the scenic route of course. We play 27 holes of disc golf at a rugged course in Whistler and after all that Mike wins by one shot – I must be rusty simple smile

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Driving the Jeep

We leave Mike’s motorbike in Horseshoe Bay and catch the ferry to Langdale, where we meet Bill’s brother David and his wife Barbara. David and Barbara drove to and around South America for their honeymoon and we spend many hours looking at mind-blowing photos and hearing stories of civil war, flat tires and good times.

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Mike, David, Barbara & Dan enjoying the view

David tells one story of being the first people to drive a road in the Amazon after the rainy season, a few hundred kilometers winds up taking six days of crazy full-on adventure I can only dream about.
I lie awake for hours at night, too excited to sleep.

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Mike & Dan camping together

We drive north along The Sunshine coast, passing gorgeous seaside towns every twenty kilometers or so. It winds up being a day of ferry crossings, first to Powell River then another to Comox, where we find one of my better guerrilla campsites. What a view.

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The view from one of our "campsites"

In the morning we play a quick nine holes of disc golf at Mt. Washington, then drive down to Nanimo for another eighteen. We catch up with Judy (from the Chilkoot Trail) and Kirby, who fill our heads with stories and pictures of The West Coast Trail, our next adventure. We play another eighteen holes in the morning and I finally beat mike on the playoff hole.

It doesn’t take us long to meet up with a good friend Joel when we arrive in Victoria, and we are shortly enjoying a beer and takeout noodles in the afternoon sun. Budget be dammed. I’d forgotten how similar Victoria is to Melbourne and it takes us no time at all to enjoy the sights and sounds.

In the morning we jump aboard a Seafun Safaris boat, bound for some whale watching. I’ve never been before and it is quite the experience. Boats are not allowed to use their engines within 100 meters of whales so the basic idea is to get into a position where you think the whales are coming, cut the engines and wait.

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All geared up to go whale watching

We wait only a few minuets when a female Orca surfaces just 15 meters from the boat, noisily exhaling in a plume of water. Our captain Jeff tells us she is “Grandma” the oldest and leader of this pod, at 98 years old. Soon afterwards a male, with a massive dorsal fin surfaces also very close to the boat – this one is “Ruffles” so named because the shape of his dorsal fin resembles a Ruffles potato chip. As we float around we see Orca from this pod in all shapes and sizes – big, small, nursing young and some just cruising around completely ignoring us.

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Killer whale called "Ruffles"

Jeff has been whale watching for 10+ years and it shows – his knowledge and expertise are very impressive and we have a fantastic morning outing to see killer whales in their natural environment.


6 Responses

  1. Jessie says:

    Dude! Just caught up with your journeys! Found you after doing a search for the Magic Bus on Google Maps, and like everyone else so far, I am totally envious and jealous of your opportunities! I was sitting here reading yesterday, wondering if you were a disc golfer (I am, an amateur for sure) and lo and behold, I read on this morning, and sure enough you are! Dig that for sure.

    I have a friend in Anchorage and told her about the book, and the Bus, and stated that if I ever make it that way, that is a must. I applaud your trip and freedom and hope that someday I can blow with the winds of time as freely as you! Dig your spirit man, keep on keepin on!

    • Dan says:

      Hey Jessie – great to hear from you, thanks so much for leaving a comment. Don’t be envious of me though because this is something you can do as well. I really love to inspire people to get out there and have a go at stuff and live their dreams.
      If you can dream something, you can achieve it.
      I really believe that.

  2. Keith says:

    Hey Dan, hope all’s well! I’m from the United States but currently studying abroad in Western Australia, a bit opposite of your travels. I watched “Into The Wild” for the first time yesterday, and it completely captivated me, as soon as I can find the book I’m going to read it in the few hours that follow. While the actual act of looking up the Magic Bus got me on to your blog, the spirit revived in me from watching the movie kept me enthralled with your journey.

    I just wanted to congratulate you for taking that deep breath, saying “I want to do something worth something” and making it a reality. In the end, the only things that can never be taken away from you are your education (not just schooling) and experiences, which are often intertwined. I’m planning on embarking on a similar journey after I graduate. I’ll be checking back in on your adventure, thank you for reaffirming my hope that a trip like this is possible in today’s world.

    Cheers and best of luck!

    • Dan says:

      Keith – getting up off the couch and out of the 9-5 life is the best thing I have ever done. I’d love to hear about your trip when it takes shape

  3. Great article. Id like to see more articles from you.

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