Last weekend Justine and I spent our first night on the new property - camping! We wanted to spend the weekend on the island, so we thought we’d try camping, rather than paying for an AirBnB or other rental. It was OK, mostly just because it was just one night. Having no water (or more importantly) toilet facilities makes it tough. We managed the night, but much more than one night isn't realistic at this point.
We caught an 8:45 a.m. ferry on Saturday morning. It was surprisingly busy, and we were one of the last cars on board before we left. One of the nice things about Galiano is that the ferry is short - you barely have time to get settled before you're disembarking.
After getting off the ferry, we made a short stop at the bakery and had a bit of a late "breakfast". From there, we headed to the Saturday Farmers Market, and checked out what was going on. We didn't really need any produce, so we did a quick tour, then headed back out. We decided on slightly different path up to the property, and along the way wanted to check out some of the options for hiking. We found a shore access point, and headed down to the beach.
The beach looks out over active pass, and was really quite nice. We spent a little bit of time exploring, and wandering on the rocks. I love that Galiano is all sandstone - the rock formations are all so interesting! There were quite a lot of kelp in the water of active pass, and we saw lots of sea stars, a few jellies, and even a baby harbour seal up on the shore!
After a bit of exploring on the beach, we continued driving up to the property. We spent the morning introducing ourselves to one of our neighbours, and then doing some clean up around the property. The place has been completely overgrown with thistles, and so there was little ability to walk around much. We took down a couple of dead trees and cut them up, but generally didn't do a whole lot.
The forest fires on the mainland meant that it was very hazy, so we didn't have much of a view. We had some lunch, did a bit more clean up then decided to check out one of the beaches near us. We had heard about "Pebble Beach", as being one of the nicer beaches on the island. We drove over and did the hike in past Cable Bay, over to Pebble Beach. The hike was quite easy - about 20-25 minutes - and quite pleasant, as most of it was along the water.
As we got to Cable Bay, the tide was way out and there was a group of native guys collecting manilla clams in the bay. We walked out and talked with them a bit - it was amazing how many clams they could pull out in a few hours! From there, the walk to Pebble Beach was quite easy.
The beach was quite nice - I think we have our swimming spot! While all pebbles (as advertised), it was nice and there were lots if rocks to sit on. The tide was about half way, and getting into the water was pretty easy. We went for a swim - the water was cold, but not too bad. We had a nice swim, and hung out in the late afternoon sunshine. Before too long it was time to head back and get cleaned up for dinner. We headed back into town, and had dinner at a place we hadn't tried yet. It was pretty good - another one to add to the rotation.
Saturday night was the Celebration of Light in Vancouver. Surprisingly, we could see the fireworks from the island! They were small and very far away, but easily seen. What was crazy was how long the sound delay was! We were getting the explosions a good few minutes after we saw the firworks go off.
The night in the text went well. It cooled off a lot, which was nice. Sunday morning we were up early to watch the ball of fire rise in the sky. The haze and smoke from the mainland made for a pretty spectacular sunrise - even if there wasn't much view.
Justine went back to bed, but I got up and drove into town to play a round of golf - 9 holes. I was the only person on the golf course! The only person, but there were lots of deer to keep me company! I played 9 holes and it was very pleasant. No rush, fun little course.
After the round, I stopped in town and grabbed some breakfast for us. It was cold by the time I got back to the property, but still was quite good. Our new neighbour owns the cafe, so we need to support it.
After having breakfast, we headed up to do the Bodega Ridge trail. Our property backs onto Bodega Ridge Provincial Park, but we had to drive a little ways to get to the trailhead. Maybe one day we'll try and find a path through the park.
The hike starts climbing almost right away as you head up through the forest, before long the tree break, and you start to see some great views out towards Vancouver Island - plus all the smaller islands in between. The hike winds along the top of the ridge for quite a ways, before plunging back down into the forest. We had the choice to come back the same way we went out, or take a slightly different path through the forest. We opted for the latter - the views we're as nice, but it was much cooler in the forest!
One of the things we love about Galiano is the abundance of Arbutus trees. They are the most beautiful trees, with their peeling bark and vibrant colours. We have quite a few on our property, which was one of the attarctions for sure.
After the hike, we were pretty hot and sweaty. We grabbed some beer and snacks and headed back down to Pebble Beach. We did the short hike back out and went for another swim. There was only one other couple there initially - we pretty much had the beach to ourselves! The tide was a little further out, so the swimming wasn't quite as good, but it was still pretty awesome!
But sadly, it was soon time to leave. We headed to the ferry a little early, so we could hang out in Bellhouse Park for a while, hoping to see some whales. There were no whales, but there were a few other interesting critters...