Yesterday, I got on a ferry, crossed the Juan de Fuca to a little town called Port Angeles. This is almost exactly, but not quite, the opposite of Los Angeles. There wasn't a single shop who was part of a high street chain. There was only antiques shops, worn down book shops and shops trying to trade off twilight. And bar/grills.
I managed to tour the town center in less than 10 minutes. The highlight 'Cock-a-doodle-donuts', where I regret not taking a picture to add to my collection of American towns I have visited with a shop with the word 'Cock' in the title (see Dunny's Cock Shack in Nooksack).
I then had a quick pint (Hop Henge, Deschutes Brewery, lovely Cascade hopped IPA) and Burger (meh) and jumped back on the Black Ball ferry to Victoria. As the ferry left the harbour, a rainbow appeared, and it's end was the Vancouver Island shores, roundabout the entrance to Victoria Harbour. If I was fanciful, I would have said it was over the Black Ball Ferry terminal's immigration offices.
A 90 minute sail away and we pulled into the harbour, I disembarked back onto Canadian soil and queued up to see a Border Guard. The young lad sent me into the back office. Here he asked for a passport, and dot matrixed print out and visa. A few minutes later, 3 signatures and a handshake later, I get a small stamp in my passport.
I am now a permanent resident of Canada. I walked out of a pair of fire doors, back to the harbour area and that was that. 3 years, couple thousand dollars and it's done. A bit anticlimatic. No banners, no flags. But I did have a big grin for the rest of the day, and celebrated with several pints of Saltspring Island Heather Ale and coming second in the Fort Street Cafe quiz.
In other news, I am the proud owner of a small red diesel Golf. It's like the Big Red Happy Fun Bus (TM) junior edition.