Newcastle Island

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A quick ferry ride from Maffeo Sutton Park will take you over to Newcastle Island.

What a gem the island is. Right off the boat there is a beach to your right and up the path a restaurant and ice cream shop also a large hall that often hosts weddings. There are also hiking paths, mostly one up the middle and one that goes around the whole island. The trail can be completed easily in an afternoon and that includes a stop for a swim at one of the several beaches on the island. If you go up the middle you run into other paths and at most forks in the path there is a map showing you where you are and how to get to where you want to go next.

The ferry is a quick ride and provides beautiful views on the way:

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The main trail’s are all well marked and easy to follow, even I didn’t get lost and I can lose my way anywhere:

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The trees and paths make for a nice break from the hot sun:

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Making your way to the centre of the island you will find a very pretty lake:

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Hiking to the far side you will find a beautiful view and a lovely little bench waiting for you:

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I already have plans to go back with beaches and views like this, I believe it’s one of my new favourite places:

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Lanterns At The Lagoon

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The thirteenth annual Lanterns For Peace Ceremony took place on August 6th at Swa-a-Lana Lagoon in Nanaimo, actually events such as this take place all over the world. The event marks the anniversary of Hiroshima, the first use of the atomic bomb that reduced the city of Hiroshima to ashes in 1945.

The ceremony lasts about an hour, there were a few short speeches, singing, dancing and the event ends when lanterns are put into the lagoon for a moment of reflection and silence. For something so simple it’s wonderful how beautiful the lanterns are on the water.

It was a lovely gathering with a strong turn out, I even got to meet the Mayor who seemed very nice while helping to get the lanterns down to the water but didn’t want to get his shoes wet. Can’t blame him they were nice shoes.

Supermoon

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It was another beautiful super moon last night and it was beautiful.

It was the second one of the summer and sitting on my back porch I had a front row seat. Staring at the super moon it made me think of how great the summer has been here in Nanaimo. Leaving Calgary I wasn’t sure how it would go but Nanaimo has made me feel very welcome and there are still so many spots to explore!

With a beautiful super moon and sky like that how can one not feel optimistic about what’s next?

Not sure if this is where I’ll stay but for now I’m happy here.

Pipers Lagoon Hiking

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After swimming at Pipers Lagoon I want for a walk.

Walking towards the end of the beach there is an area that has trails that lead to all sorts of beautiful views. It really is a wonderful place. The trails are all short and easy to follow. There is also a calmer bay on the one side that when the tide is in is a perfect place to swim in calm waters. While the tide is out you can walk across the whole bay or even see a deer:

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Otherwise stick to the paths and discover lots of scenic lookout locations:

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Pipers Lagoon Swimming

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As I said on Monday my plans for the weekend were changed but not all was lost! First I went to the Cedar Farmers Market and then in the afternoon we went to Pipers Lagoon.

It is so beautiful and on a hot day it was just what I wanted. We started by settling on the beach and then going for a swim. I’d been swimming a lot in the local pool, well swimming is a bit of a stretch what I do is more of a mean doggy paddle, anyway I’d forgotten how fun the ocean is to swim in. How much more buoyant you are in salt water. It was also the perfect temperature for the hot day. Cool going in but once in it was lovely.

There were quite a few people there but not enough to make it crowded.

I went with my landlady and her sister and we bobbed around, floated on our backs and chatted away in the water. It was a lovely time.

Once out of the water the fun wasn’t over, there is a walk to do as well!
Those pictures will be my next post but for now here are a few more of the beach and one of some GREEN seaweed. I don’t know why but seaweed fascinates me, probably from growing up in landlocked Alberta it’s still a novelty.

Cool shower on the way to the beach:

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Stretch of beach:

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Rocks at the end of the beach (I thought they looked nice):

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The previously mentioned seaweed!

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Change Of Plans ……

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Above is what I picked up from the Cedar’s Farmers Market, minus the coffee and potato donuts I consumed at the market. The donuts were REALLY good.

I wasn’t suppose to be in Cedar, I was suppose to be on my way to Salt Spring Island but those plans were cancelled because my friend hurt his back. At first I was disappointed, ¬†also hoping my friend is okay and will recuperate quickly. Disappointment though is hard to contain, the planned day had sounded SO GREAT! It involved breakfast, motorcycle riding, a ferry ride, wandering around Victoria ….. amazing right?

But it wasn’t meant to be and so I didn’t know what I was going to do with myself and that’s when my landlady called. Did I want to go to the market in Cedar?

Did I???? YES! So change of plans and change of company, perhaps not as exciting but still a wonderful morning. Also nice to meet her sister and her son came along as well. Being in a new place it’s nice to meet new people and get to know others you’ve already met even more. After a lovely morning wandering around the market I headed home to make a lovely salad for lunch, I couldn’t stop eating those BEAUTIFUL cherry tomatoes. They were so good, sometimes I forget how good something can be until I have a fresh grown locally one.

It’s something I love about Nanaimo, there are so many markets. Fresh local produce is so easy to find and the local grocery store stocks locally grown as well. I would have bought more at the market but I had just been shopping the day before. Timing is everything.

So for buying from the market timing would have been better one day sooner but for turning a disappointing day around it was perfect!

As I was dropped off back home my landlady announced that they were thinking of going swimming at Pipers Lagoon later in the afternoon and invited me along. The day was getting better and better. One door closes another one opens it was a wonderful day.
(Pictures from Pipers Lagoon will be in the next post)

Lucy The Seal And Walking Along The Harbour

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When I go for a walk by the sea wall I always stop on the fishing dock to see if Lucy is there. I’ve heard that is her name, she hangs out there all the time waiting for scraps from the many delighted fans she has.

After the snakes in a tree and frogs scaring the beejezus out of me Lucy makes a nice change. Also the walk along the sea wall is beautiful. It’s an easy path to walk that goes by places to get ice-cream or coffee, winds through Maffeo Sutton Park and continues past the Marina.

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There are also so many beautiful flowers to admire along the way:

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See geese relaxing:

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It’s a good way to start or end a day. It also tends to be a little cooler by the water on those hot days. Also you can watch the planes taking off and landing:

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Also watch boats drift by, the ferry making it’s way over to Gabriola or whatever these guys are doing (the two pictures together make me laugh because I’m so mature….):

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Prince Charming Is That You?

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It was a rainy day and on the walk in Buttertub Marsh we saw a frog. I had seen one earlier but it had jumped out in front of me and scared the beejezus out of me.

I in turn squealed and jumped startling everybody I was with.

Cute little guy, he just stood still, watching us walk by. He patiently posing for the picture and waited for us to leave him alone. I wonder if one of us had kissed him if he would have turned into Prince Charming? I’m not yet ready to take that chance.

One of the ladies in the group had recently joined Plenty of Fish, the dating site. Now we get stories of what she’s finding online. So far kissing the frog sounds like a better bet but one of the other ladies did meet her husband online. I have seen too many true crime shows to date online. In my little head that just never turns out well.

There were also a ton of slugs out on the trail, I always think they are dog poop (even though dogs aren’t allowed on the trail) until I look a little closer. I would take a picture but I’m always to busy going “Ewwww….” to remember. Long gooey, slimy looking things ranging in colour from brown to olive green and some surprisingly large.

So today I learnt that the rain, while it keeps some of the other critters away, brings out the frogs and slugs.