It's been months since I was last able to visit SaltSpring, and then I was only able to putter around Fulford Harbour. Nice, but I'd done it before. This time, I was able to hop on the little community bus and catch a ride to Ganges. Some 14 km from Fulford, the trip to town is too far to walk while trundling the Expedition, a 43-pound kayak, bagged up with a PFD, two paddles, a big air pump and a small emergency pump, a water pump & throw bag, and a small dunk bag. I had no trouble getting the gear onto the regular transit buses in Victoria (especially when a fella helped me lift it onto the #70) or onto the ferry at Swartz Bay. But since I was the last person onto the ferry, my kayak on its luggage roller got trapped at the stern behind some tightly-parked cars. When the other foot passengers walked off and got on the community bus, I was stuck until the cars had cleared. The bus was gone by then, but no problem. It was nice to poke around in Fulford for a while.
Waiting for the bus gave me time to go into Rock Salt (lovely little bistro) and eat some of their excellent chocolate mousse. This isn't the only cafe or restaurant in the village, but it's the one I like best. And they'll fill your water bottle without charging you an arm & a leg! And around the corner, past the post office, is the best place to find sundresses and scarves.
After shopping a little and walking around, I read a local magazine till the bus came. The kayak case was almost too big to wrestle onto the bus, but with a little help I got it onto the front seat where it rode in splendour, stared at by all the bus passengers. The bus driver Don was very helpful, and even suggested that I use the boat ramp next to Centennial Park in Ganges' small "downtown" area. The ramp was perfect for my purposes. I hustled onto the water, not wanting to linger on the ramp. Wet tracks showed that this ramp was in use already that morning.
With everything packed, I trundled the roller along to the Visitors Info Centre where the buses all stop. Got out my knitting and did a few more rows on the latest project. Wrestled onto the bus, rolled onto the ferry, and enjoyed a day that had turned sunny & bright when the wind came howling in. Cruise ships don't come any better than this, lounging on the upper deck with people getting windburned brown and seals below surfing in the waves. What a day!