Vancouver Island, affectionately known as Canada’s Storm Coast, is a renowned romantic escape, where couples can get away and stay in luxurious accommodation overlooking the storm coastline. Whale enthusiasts are able to jump onto a zodiac for some whale watching and real close-up encounters, while bear lovers and nature photographers can see the wildlife in abundance, especially during the annual salmon run around October. I stayed at the Pacific Sands Resort, which is situated on the magnificent beachfront. The view of the rolling ocean, the endless beach and the mist filled sunset is a reminder of what one should look forward to in retirement. Resort rooms are stylishly decorated with en-suites and fireplaces. Some have hot tubs but all are cozy and comfortable.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Standing in a cigar factory in the middle of Ciego De Avila, Cuba being offered a free cigar is difficult to resist. The fact that it’s an illegal trade doesn’t even enter my mind – I’m too busy squinting through the imaginary smoke cloud my freebee has created. The lure of an illegal “gift” surpasses all logical thinking – especially when Cuba’s considered the cigar capital of the world, not to mention that this is an unsolicited offer and one doesn’t want to come across as ungrateful. I’m perplexed by my decision; take the cigar or not. I’m not a smoker but admit there is a lure… the smell of cigars is akin to freshly brewed coffee first thing in the morning. So my hand is surreptitiously extended as I grasp the gift.