–by G.K. Sydney (most photos and column)
So, we’ve stated before that adventures abound in Sooke. However, it seems that adventures for newcomers abound both in Sooke and beyond too. In fact, they occur in the strangest places if you don’t know what you’re doing or where you’re going. Because of this, my husband Jim and I fell into a situation without even meaning to and eventually, our so-called adventure became the stuff of a bad Netflix comedy. Read on.
When we first arrived in town we noticed, among other things, those huge double-decker buses that glide all over the place. Wow, we thought, are they cool! Great views, air-conditioning, comfy seats, reading lights and best of all, someone to drive on roads that we really don’t know. What more could we ask for? Having said that, we decided one day to go on a bus trip into the city. A little adventure. Yahoo.
Consequently, we got up one morning and made our preparations. Extra clothes? Nah. Extra snacks? Not necessary. Water? A bit. BUS SCHEDULE? Oops, don’t have one, I guess nobody thought of that, oh well. OK, we’re ready, let’s go. Grab the backpack, take out the bearspray, put in the water and go.
Getting ourselves to the nearest bus stop was easy. Identifying the bus we needed was easy too because, ha, there’s only one! This trip is going to be a piece of cake. On we hopped, already having fun. You guys really know how to have a good time in Sooke.
Soon we were well on our way to the center of Victoria. What a gorgeous city. We realized as we got closer to downtown that we knew very little about this place. We had no clue where the bus would go or what we would find, but we did know that Victoria was a tourist town, beautiful and great to explore. We solved the problem of disembarking at a good spot by following a group of preteen girls when they got off. For sure, we figured, they’d be going to a great mall or a cool shopping district or at least, the public library? So off we got and took a minute to look around. Oops, where are those girls? Gone in a crowd in an instant, that’s where. Oh well, here we are, let’s start walking. And off we went.
Blocks and blocks and blocks later, we’d about had our fill of shops and incredibly cute restaurants. Cross the street, wait at a bus stop with a few normal and not-so-normal looking people and we were on our way home.
Ideally, the ride back to Sooke should have been a pleasant hour or so. Get to Langford, get off at the transfer station, catch the Sooke bus and arrive home in time for a nice dinner and a glass of wine. Celebrate yet another fun adventure. No problem.
Feeling fine, we arrived at the transfer station. Waiting, still fun, waiting, hmm, waiting, boy, that bus was taking a long time. What’s going on here? I guess I said that out loud, because a young woman (granddaughter age) apparently decided she’d heard enough moaning and began to explain the bus schedule that was on a pole. All those numbers really didn’t compute too well, but I did glean from her lesson that a Sooke bus was coming (sometime) and that we were actually at the right place to catch it. OK, all good, let’s just relax. But wow, those benches were hard.
Finally, a bus did arrive and it said “Sooke” on the ticker at the front. Hallelujah!! On we got, the bus glided away (after the driver did some mysterious cranking of a handle to which I paid no particular attention) and we were on what we thought was the road to Sooke.
Just when I thought we were settled, Jim suddenly jumped up and exclaimed “Hey! He’s going the wrong way!” We both looked around and amazingly, the bus was making a big turn, heading to our left instead of right, and beginning the trip back downtown.
To make a ridiculous story short, I just have to say that it’s kind of remarkable how silly we looked leaping up, jumping off the bus, frantically trying to cross the highway as fast as we could and ending up at the bus stop across the street. While we were still panting, the next bus came, took us back to the transfer station and dumped us there. Hmm, Is this still fun?
So there we were, sharing a very old granola bar from the bottom of the backpack and trying to figure out what happened. It seemed that the bus driver had changed his sign (aka, mysterious handle cranking) AFTER we were on, completely fooling us touristy types. Oh boy.
So now we were once again sitting on that hard bench, waiting and getting colder and hungrier by the minute. Thank heavens we now knew how to read the bus schedule (thanks to the grandbaby) and it was only going to be an hour or so until the real Sooke bus came. Hungrier, colder, getting dark outside……ok, let’s admit it, this is no longer fun.
Well, the right bus did come and we made it four hours later than expected but a whole lot smarter and wiser. Yes, adventures abound in Sooke, and they do come in all shapes and forms. We look forward to many more, but maybe a bit warmer and smarter? Follow along, Sooke, we’ve got lots more to tell you now that we’re back home again. Ah, home. What a nice word.
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- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: True Confessions of a Self-Proclaimed Acrophobiac
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- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: When you don’t know where you’re going till you get there
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: A Fairy in the Forest
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Small Town, Big Hearts
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” Dr. Seuss
- Introducing a new column to SPN: “Through the Lens of a Newcomer”