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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Visiting the Fabulous B.C. Sunshine Coast


A quick respite from the usual collection of wedding and Bar/Bat Mitzvah photos, family portraits and the like with a video recap of our recent ten day journey to the fabulous Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.

Most folks we know here in Southern California have never heard of the Sunshine Coast--they're only familiar with the usual Vancouver/Victoria twofer, or the coastal wonders of Vancouver Island. We stumbled onto it, via our Vancouver friend David Hathaway, who told us how the Sunshine Coast was less crowded, but just as beautiful, if not more, than the more traveled island. 


David had us start our trip in Gibsons, which is a 45 minute ferry from Horseshoe Bay, in West Vancouver. Great place! We stayed in a wonderful B&B, the Caprice, run by two retired music teachers, Lois and Jeanette. Our rooms had an ocean view, the jacuzzi was right nearby, and there was a bald eagle living in a tree out back. We hated to leave. 



From Gibsons, it was up the road to the eccentric Ruby Lake Resort, a 99 acre facility on a beautiful lake with a fine Italian restaurant, ducks and beavers, and a "bird sanctuary" with live chickens and roosters. (Yes, they crow at 6 a.m. and wake you up--but that's OK.)

The most amazing thing about Ruby Lake--and the reason it got it's name--is due to the incredible ruby red sunsets--which in summer, come in around 10 p.m. We shot these with Sony's new NEX-5 camera and the 16mm 2.8 lens. 
Next stop, the Powell River area, up the coast, which required another ferry ride at Earl's Cove. We drove 30 minutes up the way to the town of Lund, where we stayed at the historic Lund Hotel, which sits on the water at the very end of route 101. Lund doesn't have much. Just a yummy bakery, pottery shop, hostel, general store and boating services. The jacuzzi to the side of the hotel is in a little room with a window--that just happens to look out at the water. Check out the view here!



There's also a marina at the side of the hotel, complete with a water taxi which takes folks to the nearby "Lost" like Savary Island. The isle only has 70 permanent residents, growing to about 3000 in the summer. The island is known for its white sand beaches, few cars, bike trails on dirt roads through all five miles of the island and warm water. For entertainment, there's two restaurants, a bike rental shop and general store. For lodging, there's a hostel and a Bed and Breakfast. Weekly rentals start at about $1,000 during the summer, and we saw homes for sale with a wide range: $250,000 up to $900,000.   



Here's a video tour: 


After Savary, we left the Coast and ferried to Vancouver Island, where we drove five hours (very picturesque) to Tofino, a much visited coastal town on the less populated west side of the island. The good part about Tofino: whale and bird watching, water sports and beaches that go on forever. The negative: really crowded in the summer, much more so than the Sunshine Coast.
The best place in town to visit, at least for us--Chesterman Beach, next to the Wickaninnish Inn, which the miles of miles of amazing beach--even for us Southern Californians.
In Tofino, we stayed at Just Birding, a "Bird and Breakfast," not in front of the water, but in the woods, and only accessible down an unpaved road. The owner, George Bradd, built an amazing woodsy three unit inn himself, by hand, from local timber, and decorated it from his travels to South America with colorful woven rugs and log furniture. Besides being an innkeeper, he also gives daily bird tours, and if you're not into spending the time (they last from four to eight hours) he offers free info on local birds, and will gladly answer any question you might have about our feathered friends, of which there are many rare varieties in the area, including bald eagles. (We saw one perched on a tree at Chesterman Beach.)      
We left Tofino for the east side of the island, coastal Qualicum Beach, a town we first visited back in the 1980s. The coast hasn't changed! A highlight: a 10 p.m. sunset walk watching the tide wash over the sand--and then waking in the morning to see the dock that had been covered with water has now given way to more than a half mile of beach, hundreds of sand dollars and lost crabs trying to find their way home. 
From Qualicom, we headed down to Victoria to take our ferry home, stayed overnight in Port Townsend, Washington, and got a late start that resulted in us missing our flight home. But that's another story--eh? 
























3 comments:

雁卉 said...

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婷珊 said...

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Frances said...

There are websites which don't only provide lists of Horseshoe Bay homes for sale, they also offer the assistance of real estate experts for your needs.