Salt Spring Island is a short 25 minute ferry ride from Victoria/Sidney
(Swartz Bay). After spending six days on the island, we continue to think of going back and spending more time on this very unique and special place,
This excerpt from an article written by Victoria Henley for The Globe and Mail in 2016 describes it well.
From the moment that the plodding BC Ferry backed out of Tsawwassen Harbour near Vancouver, the experience was vintage Gulf Islands. The views were as spectacular as ever. A vast expanse of ocean surrounded the ship, each inlet decorated with rust-coloured arbutus trees, seagulls circling overhead ...
When we docked, I lined up for the public bus that arrived to take a crowd of greying seniors, yuppie hikers and bearded hipsters the 15-minute drive into downtown Ganges, where the farmers market was in full swing.
In the market, a fresh-faced busker strummed her guitar and sang a mournful folk song, as if no time at all had passed since the 1960s. I wandered the stalls, feasting my eyes on the buffet: homemade ice cream and brownies and cookies and cake. For lunch, I bought Vietnamese rice rolls filled with three varieties of locally grown sprouts. Delicious.
Salt Spring is an island with a long and storied history. It’s Coast Salish territory – there’s a 17-hectare reserve near Fulford Harbour that dates back to 1877 – and was originally called Klaathem (“salt”) by the Cowichan and Cuan (“mountains at each end”) by the Saanich. In 1905, it became known as Salt Spring, for the salt springs in the island’s north end.
Settlers arrived in 1859. Many were African-Americans fleeing racism in California, but there were also Hawaiians who had worked in the whaling industry and fur trade, and Japanese labourers. In the 1930s, the island became a tourist haven. And in the 1960s, a wave of artists and American draft dodgers arrived. Many never left.
Salt Spring is known for prioritizing lifestyle. With its mild climate and relaxed vibe, people pass their days beachcombing, doing yoga, making artisan food products, soaking up the thriving arts and music scenes, and eating very, very well. Victoria Henley Globe and Mail 2016
Salt Spring has two main grocery stores, several hardware stores and a hospital, all of which makes it an ideal get away with the wildness of the west coast, the laid back vibe of the people and the desire for a meaningful and healthful lifestyle.
Don is a former educator and having worked for a Canadian airline, he enjoys travel that is mildly