Took a 3 day weekend with friends to visit a few spots in the Parksville/Qualicum area. Had absolutely perfect warm weather which certainly made for a great visit.
Caught the 10:40 ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo and glad we had a reservation as ferry was quite full. Didn't eat on the ferry as we had lunch plans. On arrival we headed south of Nanaimo to the Crow and Gate Pub
Good lunch in the garden. Tables are large and 4 of us shared with another couple who were already seated. A nice way to start the weekend. Large portions, I had the cheddar ploughman's lunch and couldn't eat it all.
From here we stopped into the Hazelwood Herb Farm. Picked up a few plants to bring home.
Next stop was check in to our home for the next 3 nights. Beach Club Resort. Had a 2 bedroom unit which I've reviewed separately.
Got unpacked and went for a walk on the boardwalk and onto the beach. Dinner at the Beach Club which was ok...not as good as lunch.
Sat morning..breakfast of toast, coffee, marmalade on the outdoor deck of our unit. Left lots of room for lunch and dinner as we headed out to the Qualicum Farmer's market where we stocked up on sticky buns and bread, fresh salad greens, mixed small tomatoes, cheese, apples, sausages , parsnips, blackberries, and a scrumptious lemon tart.
Visited the Qualicum Old Schoolhouse art gallery/art center and spent at least an hour here talking to the various artists working onsite and looking at the art.
Took the goodies from the market back to our accommodation then headed back to the Qualicum airport for lunch at The Final Approach. Have reviewed and really enjoyed this spot.
Next stop was the Big Qualicum fish hatchery...as it's been so dry there were not too many fish in the holding tanks but there were quite a few in the river waiting to go upstream. Spent a nice couple of hours hiking back along the river ...lots of photo ops here.
Home to dinner in tonight.. the bounty from the market, with a cheese and onion pie brought from home, some good wine and a killer game of hearts.
Sunday ..more sunshine and coffee, blackberries and sticky buns on the deck for breakfast. Coombs was our destination this morning. Last time we were here was about 7 years ago and my how it's grown! The market was bustling, the various stores were packed with locals and tourists. Did some shopping (more bread, pastries, bacon, smoked meat and marmite for our Brit neighbor) then went to Cuckoo's for lunch on the terrace. (have reviewed and highly recommend this spot)
After a leisurely lunch decided we had to walk off some of that food so Englishman River Falls Park was our next stop. Spent about 2 hours scrambling over the rocks above the upper falls then did the loop around to the lower falls. Took so much time because we kept stopping for photos. This is still one of my favorite spots for a real west coast rain forest walk. The trees in here always make such an impression. While not as numerous as Cathedral grove there are some pretty inspiring specimens here.
Home again for another dinner in..bread, cheese, tomatoes, salami and smoked meat, plus of course some wine. Desserts from the bakery at Goats on the roof along with fresh peaches from the Okanagan bought at the market. Played canasta this night ..
Monday morning bacon and eggs and toast on the deck with the tide going out and the gulls wheeling overhead. Packed up and had a short walk on the beach before heading to the ferry for the 12:40. Didn't have a reservation so got there at 11:40 and glad we weren't later as the ferry filled up shortly after and there were folks left behind.
Back home just after 3 on Monday after a lot of good food, good scenery and good company.