Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Great Gabriola Getaway

I don't know why we did it, but we went to Gabriola Island the other day. Starved for adventures, I guess. Gabriola is only a 20-minute ferry ride from downtown Nanaimo, but somehow this is - if I'm remembering correctly - only the third time I've ever been there.

This photo shows the southern(ish) end of Protection Island, its lighthouse, and the northern end of Gabriola. (One of these days, I'll take the ferry - a different ferry - to Protection and take some pictures there. I love that island.)

Perhaps the reason I haven't visited Gabriola more often is that as soon as you arrive on the island, you're faced with a hill that I would find pretty well unclimbable (is that a word?) without a motor vehicle, and I prefer to visit places that are either foot- or bike-friendly. I may have to drive to get there, but once I'm there, I like to be able to park the car and forget it until it's time to go home.

This time, we drove all around the island, visiting several of the parks, harbours and beaches that dot it. We enjoyed the tour, but most of the time, we were in the car.

I did pop into a little shop on a dock, where a young lady was selling incense, cards, candles, and beautiful Tibetan singing bowls. Even though I made it clear that I wasn't buying, she invited me to play with the bowls. If I were ever to collect something, I suspect that Tibetan singing bowls would be my choice. There was one in particular, in this shop, whose tone drew me in so deeply, I could have stood there all day, just playing.

We particularly enjoyed visiting Sandwell Park on Lock Bay. (For an intexed map of Gabriola Island, click here.)

At the bottom of this post, I've embedded a video I made at Sandwell Park. It's not exactly Oscar material, but I think it will give you a pretty good idea of the atmosphere. I'm glad we went. Some other time, we'll go back and pay a visit to the alpaca farm. If I'm feeling wealthier on that trip, maybe I'll go buy that singing bowl, bring it home, and let it sing to me.


Barb said...

Thank you for posting these wonderful photos - you live in such a stunning part of the word. I really enjoyed watching the video and hearing you speak. And that dog was great to watch, reminded me that joy is best found in small things - like a thrown stick!

Sandra Leigh said...

Thanks, Barb. I'm glad I was filming while the puppy was there. (Her lady did show up a few minutes later - with yet another dog - and the game broke up). I agree - a dog chasing a stick is a joy both for the dog and for the humans observing.

John Hayes said...

I enjoyed that video & the photos so much. For obvious reasons your coast reminds me of the Oregon coast, which I really love. I don't think I find landscape as good for the soul as the sea. That hike down looks like it would be a heckuva hike back up tho!

Sandra Leigh said...

It was a bit of a climb, John. We were both panting by the end of it. Unfortunately, that's when a couple of much younger people came trotting along in the opposite direction. Do you know how hard it is to look as if you're not the least bit out of breath when in fact your lungs are tied in knots? I'm so vain.

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