COVID-19 staycations turn into record tourist season in Lake Cowichan  

COVID-19 staycations turn into record tourist season in Lake Cowichan  
WatchThe sun-drenched days of summer are disappearing fast with less than two weeks before kids return to school, so many on Vancouver Island are seizing what's left of it with staycations.

The cool waters of the Cowichan River have been calling Adele Landry for years since she splashed in them 20 years ago.

“You can’t beat this,” said Landry, a Victoria resident.

“I did it about 20 years ago. My friend Robin mentioned it and I said yeah we’d be interested in doing it again, 20 years later. This time we have kids so it makes a different spin on it,” she said.

On Friday they loaded up their kids for a day away from Victoria and temporarily away from the worries of COVID-19. It was one last staycation before the kids return to school.

“It’s at least a little bit normal outside,” said Victoria resident Robin Metcalfe.

“This is our last big hurrah, our kind of last trip out of town and enjoy some time with friends,” said Landry.

Rachel Murphy of The Tube Shack, which rents out tubes for floating down the Cowichan River, said she has met a lot of people just like Landry this summer.

Longtime Vancouver Island residents who can’t travel for the summer holidays due to the pandemic are rediscovering their own backyards and loving them. It has led to record-breaking tourist season in the tiny lakefront town.

“We pretty much sell out every day for all the tubes we have,” said Murphy.

“A lot of people have been saying that this has been on their bucket list for years and that they’re finally getting to do it.

Sunshine is expected for most of next week in the Cowichan Valley, allowing for a few more days of summer.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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