Cycling the Galloping Goose trail

June 27, 2010

This morning we said good bye to two energetic guests who have been with us for two nights.  They had a wonderful experience here on Vancouver Island as their adventure went a little like this. 

Two days ago  they boarded the B.C. Ferry at Tswassen bound for Swartz Bay as “cycle- ons”–fully equipped with the saddle bags, rain gear, water, snacks etc.  On arrival at Swartz Bay they embarked on the Penninsula section of the trail called Lochside Trail, followed it into Victoria, thru Esquimalt and on to the Goose which meanders westward thru several municipalities and into the very rural and pastoral Metchosin, then on to Sooke.  They exited the trail at Gillespie road, climbed the hill to Highway 14 and came on to us on Connie Road. 

 Their trip from Swartz Bay to us was a good 41/2 hours including a couple of rest stops.

After a well deserved soak in their private hot tub at Honeysuckle Cottage–and a nap–they were able to walk the 1/4 K to our local pub, Seventeen Mile House for an equally well deserved glass of wine and a nicely prepared dinner. 

On the 2nd day they continued on the Goose, going further west to Leechtown in the hills of Sooke and back. 

The Galloping Goose trail originally was a narrow gauge railway, built at the turn of the 19th century to facilitate the Gold Rush of the time.  Now, it is a wonderful cinder paved (in the rural areas) wide trail for cylers, walkers, runner and the horsey set as well. 

Our guest told us it was a weekend well worth doing–a good bit of exersize, some relaxation, good food and a complete change from the workaday week.

If you would like to know more about the Galloping Goose Trail, just go to the following website:
www.crd.bc.ca/parks

Happy Cycling

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Our neighbourhood feathered friend

June 27, 2010

This morning, while preparing breakfast for our guests Sally looked out of our dining room window to see a beautiful male peacock standing on the deck with beak pressed to the window, looking back at us.  Now, this is an unusual breakfast guest.  A little later, while returning from opening the driveway gate for the day, I had to walk around the house to get in as the peacock was standing right at the back door–waiting to come in??????

Well , I guess some mornings are a little more eventful than others. 

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Gardens to visit while in Victoria

June 18, 2010

Gardens:

Victoria is a city of gardens!

Victoria is known as the city of gardens. In summer, the city itself is festooned with wonderful hanging baskets and decorated with beautiful curb side plantings. There are many private gardens to see as you drive around, and several public gardens of particular note.


Abkhazi Gardens, rescued recently from the encroaching undergrowth is now a wonderful English Country strolling garden. 1964 Fairfield Road, Victoria, B.C. (250) 598-8096 | Toll Free: 1-888-738-0533

Butchart Gardens, a spectacular show garden not to be missed.

Government House, the gardens at the home of our Lieutennant Governor is open to public viewing and hosts several special events throughout the year. 1401 Rockland Avenue, close to downtown Victoria.

Hatley Castle Gardens, set on the grounds of Royal Roads University is an extensive seaside garden featuring the walled Italian Garden and the intriquing Japanese garden walk.

Horticultural Centre of the Pacific. A demonstration garden featuring many native species. There are experienced gardeners on hand at most times to tell you the story.

Finnnerty Gardens, at the University of Victoria is known for its collection of Rhododendrons. Finnerty Road

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Victoria Attractions – short list

June 18, 2010

Empress Hotel, downtown Victoria

While exploring the city of Victoria, be sure to include a visit to the Royal BC Museum, which offers an expansive permanent museum collection, as well as exciting visiting exhibits, and is home to the National Geographic IMAX theatre.

Emily Carr House, the birthplace of Emily Carr, one of Canada’s most famous artists, is located downtown Victoria, just steps from the Royal BC Museum and the Provincial Legislature.
Craigdarroch Castle offers visitors to step back in time, through a tour of the lavish Victorian-era mansion situated near downtown.
The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria shows a variety of works throughout the year from
their permanent collection, including Canada’s own Group of Seven, in addition to works by significant contemporary artists.

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British Columbia Itenerary

June 18, 2010

Trees in East Sooke Park

During your visit to the “Northwest” or up here the “Southwest” your itinerary will possibly take you to more than one of the beautiful regions of Washington State, British Columbia and Alberta. From our own experiences and through relationships we have fostered with other B&Bs and Hotels may we offer some suggestions as to where you might choose to stay in various towns and cities along the way. Each property has it’s own style and features. Please feel free to use the links below to do your own research. There are many fine accommodations available and the following list is geared solely to provide you with a starting point for your accommodation searches. Enjoy your vacation.


BRITISH COLUMBIA

VANCOUVER ISLAND
Qualicum Beach/Parksville (Oceanside):Quatna Manor
Tofino/ Uclulet: Middle Beach Lodge ; Long Beach Lodge
Saanich Penninsula: Gazebeo Bed and Breakfast

GULF ISLANDS
Saltspring Island: Anchor Point

SUNSHINE COAST
The Log House at Halfmoon Bay

VANCOUVER
Vancouver South and Airport: River Run Cottages
Vancouver, Downtown: West End Guest House
Vancouver, North Shore: Thistledown House

WHISTLER
Chalet Luise B&B Inn

OKANAGAN VALLEY, B.C. INTERIOR
Kelowna: Otella’s Wine Country Inn
Summerland: A Touch of English

ALBERTA

Banff National Park: Eleanor’s House

WASHINGTON STATE
Port Angeles:.Hidden Haven B&B
Markham House is a member of several professional Bed & Breakfast Organizations:
While planning your itinerary throughout BC please visit Western Canada Bed and Breakfast Association
If your plans include a stay in Victoria or other surrounding areas, please visit Victoria’s Finest Bed & Breakfasts

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Popular Sooke activities with links

June 18, 2010

Rush Adventure Kayaks and cyclists on Galloping Goose trail

Visit spectacular East Sooke Park, one of the renowned waterfront hikes on the Island, or venture a little further west to French Beach Provincial Park, China Beach Provincial Park, or trek the new Juan de Fuca Marine Trail to the beautiful suspension bridge.

Further west is the unparalleled Botanical Beach Park with its crashing waves and fascinating tidal pools which are visible at tides less than four feet.

Bicycles are available for rent in Sooke as well, excellent for exploring the Galloping Goose Regional Trail. Exhilarate yourself on a whale watching tour with Sooke Coastal Explorations… or take a guided wilderness tour with Wilderness River Adventures, or Beyond the Edge.

Rush Adventures offers excursions for adventure-seekers, including hiking, diving, and sea kayaking.

As of 2007, the new world class soft adventure is here. Adrena Line Zipline Adventure Tours with 8 ziplines (one is 1000ft) and two suspension bridges, in the magnificent hills of North Sooke.

If Golf is your thing……to Olympic View Golf Course, or the new and spectacular Bear Mountain course, both championship courses are very nearby. For a tamer round, our 9 hole DeMamiel Creek course in Sooke might be the answer.

The folks at Eagle-Eye Wilderness in the Village of Sooke will be happy to set you up with a Salmon Fishing Charter and outfit your every need for the outdoors.

Before heading out to fish, you may wish to check the Tide Tables for Sooke or Port Renfrew.<

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Markham House is rated

4½ stars by Canada Select and is known as one of the best places to stay in the Sooke Region. Our small resort B & B offers a tranquil and secluded oasis in the country side of Sooke, BC. You will enjoy our private 10 acres of gardens and natural forest.

We are also rated:
Three Lips Best Places to Kiss
Three Star North West Best Places
Three Star Fodor’s Guide

We accept: Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Debit Cards
We are just 30 minutes west of the capital city of  Victoria, BC with it's arts, culture, museums (Royal B.C. Museum, Craigdarroch Castle, Maritime Museum), shopping and fine restaurants in both Sooke and Victoria, BC. The waterfront of Victoria is alive with marine activities, float planes to Vancouver, two International Ferries (the Coho and the Clipper), marinas, whale watching, and kayaking.

G.P.S. Co-ordinates

48.394227,-123.61649

Map and Directions


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Our Address is:
1775 Connie Road
Sooke, British Columbia
Canada V9Z 1C8

Phone (250) 642-7542
Toll Free: 1-888-256-6888
Email: mail@markhamhouse.com