bed dorm put me on a downer - Victoria seemed like a lovely city, and my first impressions proved to be correct.
It had been a few months since I'd stayed in a hostel, and I'd never
been in one with such huge dorms, and I barely slept that first night. Maybe I was still jetlagged, but then again, maybe it was the fact that there was a bar outside/an abundance of snorers/the odd plastic bag rattler or three, etc! I soon got into the swing though, and slept like a log in the proceeding nights.
I got talking to a lad from New Zealand on my first night, and we ended up going to a bar the following afternoon to watch the Euro final. The place was rammed with Germans, whereas there were about four Spaniards, so I was quite pleased when they won, not least because they'd been by far the better team throughout the tournament. The lunchtime drinking had tired me out though, so I decided to collapse on the gardens in front of the museum, and soak up the sun.
I had a walk to the impressive Craigdarroch Castle one evening, although I did think it was overpriced. Still, you got a reasonable view of the mountains from the top floor, so I was happy enough. There was also a nice park close to downtown, Beacon Hill park to be precise, so that killed an afternoon - all this heat was making me lazy, and less than a week into my trip, I'd already finished my book (yet another cricketing autobiography, this time the stubborn ex-England coach Duncan Fletcher's).
I spent my last night at the hostel talking to an Australian girl about her six month travel plans for Canada (lucky her!), and watching a Nicholas Cage movie on TV that was punctuated with dozens of commercial breaks, with each one bringing a collective moan from the bemused audience. I couldn't believe how many advertisements they had, even having a break before rolling the credits at the end! Still, that was just a minor quibble, and I was now firmly in backpacker mode and looking forward to the rest of my trip...
I arrived in Victoria after a three hour boat journey, and I was in a fantastic mood because the sun was beating down, and I'd just got my first glimpse of the mountains on the mainland - it really whetted the appetite for what lay in store further along the line. Not even the fact that I was staying in a