***Today was the day, We were going to float down Lake Cowichan, sprawled out in our tube, sipping a milkshake and pretending like I’m living the life while I float down the river … was my expectations too high?
The day started well enough … so it turns out one of the roommates snores but I was more worried for his well-being than for the noise (though I was tempted to throw a pillow at his direction). I finally got to sleep at 4 am.
So our host left us some eggs and a carton of orange juice … so in our state of semi-unconsciousness, we decided to cook them. We didn’t buy anything for breakfast at the grocery store last night, so we made due with what we had, which were blueberries, some waffle cookies (snack size), and some pears. Therefore, we beat and scrambled the eggs … one of the eggs fell to the ground so we had to share 3 between four people .. the breakfast was so unspectacular that I couldn’t bear to pick up my camera. But that didn’t mean much, we were going tubing!
We drove to the rental place, which is just located under the restaurant: Jake on the Lake. We didn’t bring a change of clothes for some reason .. we would regret this later. We already booked the tubes online and paid $16+ but we still had to pay another $10 deposit and sign the waivers (what….?). For $16, we got a tube and a shuttle back to the place, however, if you ask, you can also get oars and life jackets! (We got the life jackets but not the oars .. because we were going to float down the river …?) We even had the idea of using a rope to tie ourselves together and interact with each other as we float.
Before we got into the water, we went across the street and got side tracked by a sign that said “Deep-Fried Ice Cream”. Now this isn’t anything new, but to find something like this in Lake Cowichan was pretty interesting. We decided to get floats and milkshakes to secure it into the tube upon realizing there is a cup holder (our dream is alive and well!).
We came back with the drinks and grabbed out floating device and life jackets (For some) and head out towards the deck. Mistake one, I told a friend to just go in from the edge of the dock and she fell into the waters. However, we finally got onto the tubes the proper way and we were all.. floating. I had my purse, my sarong, my bottle of water and the milkshake in the cup holder … carry me wind!
Three of the tubes were tied together while the guy decided to chill on his own. We giggled and took pictures and kicked each other’s float trying to move forward but as we were tied to each other, the force and rope completely neglected our efforts.
We didn’t realize how windy the day was and how it totally whipped us in the wrong direction! Our guy friend who wanted to drift on his own, did drift, to the opposite end and into this ‘dead zone’. The last image we had of him while going down the river was a blonde hair guy facing a wooden pier and not moving. He said he received help from some locals and he was able to get out …
We realize the three of us cannot move together, so the girl in the middle asked if she can go about it alone. Therefore, we released her and she soon joined the guy in the corner … I tied myself to the strongest swimmer and we were on our way!
The water became calm and the wind subsided so we were finally moving but I soon realized I had to release the ropes further and further until I was at the end .. so I told her to let go… the result was I had to exercise!!
My other friend was a very strong swimmer, so she used her hands as oars and backward paddled her way down, leaving us all in the dust. I was alternating on my sides doing strokes and I was moving quite fast at that rate. After an hour, we finally got some downward streams! The water was shallow however, but we can pull ourselves along with the stones. Sometimes, it is so shallow my tube couldn’t get through and I had to use all my limbs to pull, push and yank my way out. At one point, the rope I had with me got stuck between the rocks and I had to pull myself against the current to phish it back out.
There were some nice moments though … like eventually, our paddling with your hands and you get use to it. The pains from the hips and glutes meant I was really working out!
We got back to the rental place in this shuttle .. the shuttle driver was a bit mean but it is ok … it was just a quick 15 minutes ride.
Afterwards, we walked back to our rental, packed and cleaned up and then went back to the car at the rental. We were running really late, as we reserved the 5:20 ferry. We grabbed an A&W and I had to go back to the Deep Fried Ice Cream store to grab the deep fried ice cream before jetting off!
My friend drove super fast but we missed the deadline by 9 minutes (the reservation is only good 30 minutes before departure … so we had to wait for the 7:20 ferry.
Somehow we managed to get through 2 hours of wait time and another 1 hour of ferry riding.. and we were home free!