It took a good drive up a gravel road to get to the Soule Creek Lodge, and by the time we finished lunch it started to pour, so I can’t say the first impression was great.
Because of the rain, we couldn’t see much of anything. So the promised “ocean view” was also absent. I thought the interior of the cabin was pretty sweet though.
A cozy commons area / kitchen equipped with 2 leather couches, books, and some board games.
We got 2 bunk beds, a pull-out sofa, and a double bed in the room, at a base price of $100 for 2 ppl, plus $20 for an extra person.
I think the bathroom is the nicest part of the room.
But mom remained un-impressed, until we went around town for a bit. Port Renfrew at this time of the year is very quiet. Only two of their 4 restaurants were open. On top of being cold and wet and off-season, Port Renfrew also felt too much like a community that visitors have to spend a long time to become a part of, as if the town felt invaded by outsiders. In short, Port Renfrew gave me the impression of a timid, defensive First Nations reserve.
Their visitor center was more of a community center / townhall, with a pools table at the end of the hall and a computer room occupied with 3, 4 little girls chatting on msn. The lady running the place was also somewhat impatient and unfriendly; maybe we interrupted something she was doing.
Sometimes I wonder, what do the First Nations people think of us Chinese immigrants? I mean, we weren’t here when the Europeans exploited them 200 years ago, and we were also the ethnic minority when the first wave of Chinese immigrants arrived. But we can also be seen as settlers invading their land, and it could even be argued that we had it easy, coming here after the battles were fought and the lands were cleared.
We drove around the town nonetheless, but in the gloomy weather, all we saw were old, ill-cared-for buildings with what looked like garbage in the frontyard.
In town, there was a Port Renfrew Hotel on an ocean front. The pub looked quite nice, with a full set of stereo system, but unfortunately it was closed.
We came back for a nice and relaxing evening in the lodge. After driving around in the town, mom finally agreed that our cabin was where it’s at. People here were also tourists, and they were much more friendly. I came up to the commons area in my crocs, and sitting on the couch was an old lady wearing brown crocs.
“I like your crocs,” I said. She didn’t realize what I was swearing, so she only thanked me.
Another old lady reminded her: “Especially when he is wearing the same thing!”
*old lady chuckles*
“You know, my daughter wore the same thing at her wedding…” the second old lady added.
And did I mention there were board games in the house? How could I resist in fighting a fierce battle with my family at this quiet, peaceful country?
Just look at that smile. You know she’s up to no good…
Game result: I spent my strongest troop and took over China from my dad (果然是大陸… 這麼難打！), but he still won the game at 13 countries. Mom came in 2nd at 12, and me 3rd at 11. Charlie spent all of his time fighting armies with foot soldiers, but he still managed to secure his Africa. I guess that’s a historically fitting Risk game.
(to be continued…)