Seeing out the year in style

Although I’m 40 already in most parts of the world, being in Vancouver allows me to cling to a few more hours in my fourth decade before I capitulate and accept my obscelescence. Although the journey here today already aged me a few years.

Pro tip for travellers: when you ask Google Maps to calculate the journey time to the ferry at Horseshoe Bay, it includes the thirty minutes after check-in where you wait to be loaded onto the ship. That means for your entire trip, you’re driving like a maniac, desperate to make it to the ferry terminal before your boat departs, only to find you get there half an hour ahead of schedule. And you’ve braved driving rain, a hold screaming for relatives in Chile, an order of gingerbread loaf at Starbucks that was tragically unfulfilled, the whole nine yards.

However, after that the ferry ride was blissful. I’ve been on few ferries in my life: Halifax harbour, the Star Ferry in Hong Kong and a small raft across Windermere, but whenever you mention "ferry" I think "cross-Channel ferry" and the endless rocking, vomit spewing, crap arcade game playing, misery inducing hell of the Folkestone-Calais ferry. An hour and a half on the Vancouver-Vancouver Island ferry filled me with trepidation, as the English Channel is a mere tributary vs the Pacific Ocean.

Except the ferry to Nanaimo is smooth and sedate, to the point you hardly notice it’s moving, and there’s a gift shop on board that sells things that aren’t just utter shit, and there’s a White Spot, which make the greatest burger I’ve eaten in Hong Kong, Singapore or Canada. (Oh, and even the view from the ferry terminal is spectacularly beautiful.) So I was pretty happy with that.

At the other end, we disembarked with the greatest of ease and were at the resort within half an hour, and I was making a hash of teaching La Serpiente how to make a log fire a short while later. What better way to mark the closing of a decade?

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