We’re on a short vacation over on the Sunshine Coast. Main plains are spending time out in nature and relaxing.
Day One — Thursday
We took the noon ferry over and stopped to get a couple of sandwiches at the [[Black Bean Cafe]] in Gibsons, and then sat on the grass over looking the marina to have lunch.
Quick stop at the IGA for groceries, and then drove on to Roberts Creek. The place we’re staying is on Lower Road, close to Joe Road.
We drove past but were still early for check in so drove around looking at different beach access options.
The heart of Roberts Creek is the General Store, [[Gumboot Cafe]], and a handful of other little shops. We went down to the Roberts Creek Pier, but the parking lot was full up, so we drove west along Beach Avenue. We followed a little Beach Access sign to the end of Marlene Road, where there are a set of steep stairs down to the water at the end of a cul-de-sac.
Rachael going down the stairs
It is a little beach that was blazing hot, with a view straight over to Nanaimo. Time for check in, so we did that and got ourselves settled, and then went for a walk seeing if we could find beach access within walking distance.
We went down a couple of roads nearby and didn’t find anything, and then asked someone who told us how to get to a little hidden trail at the end of Maskell Road, which leads to a bit of a scramble with a rope. We went part of the way down but needed dinner
Dinner was tomato and field cucumber salad, and yellow zucchini sautéed with garlic, onions and pork.
We ended up heading out again and driving to Gibsons, and ended up at the London Drugs. I got two Cooks Illustrated magazines that I’m looking forward to going through.
Day Two — Friday
We took our time getting up and having breakfast and hanging out.
We wanted to get a walk in, so walked along the side of the road / bike lane to Roberts Creek. The smoke from the fires in the US are out in force, so definitely not as pleasant to be outside.
The Gumboot Cafe is pretty famous on the coast. They make their own bread with poppy seeds, their own pizza, and usually a soup or two.
Here’s my falafel sandwich:
Pickled red onions, grated carrots, shredded red cabbage, and a layer of hummus. Slightly warm and crunchy falafels. Tasty!
After lunch we walked down to the Roberts Creek Pier.
It’s not actually a pier any more — it’s a landscaped solid spit with the creek on one side, and the long arc of a windy driftwood filled bay on the other side.
We sat for a bit and then headed back to our AirBnB. I kept track of Beach Access signs along the Lower Road walk back.
This little sign is right by a trail into the woods right off the highway, not next to a side road.
Need to check out Metcalfe Road and Cheryl Ann Park Road. Looks like the beach by Cheryl Ann is called Little Beach and actually appears on the map.
So it turns out that walking to Roberts Creek and back was 10K steps in the smoky haze. Water and a rest needed. I got some notes written and tinkered with my website.
To wrap up the day, we drove up to check out a new property that our friends have, just past Half Moon Bay.
A lovely little spot with the early evening sun and some great perches at the edge of the ocean. Plus a selfie of us two on the chair.
With the haze, it feels more like the west coast of Vancouver Island — ocean stretching out forever.
Dinner was a couple of pieces of corn and a pork cutlet pan fried in olive oil and garlic, and then finished with tomatoes, a heap of fresh basil, and some artichoke hearts and oil.
Day Three — Saturday
Today was a very smoky day — the fires in WA are covering everything in haze. This also made it a lot cooler.
We still decided to explore nearby beach access and took out swimwear.
The sign at 2565 Lower Road leads to a forest trail that has clear markings once you take a few steps in.
At the bottom is Little Beach. Today, gray, hazy, and windy — too cold for swimming.
We walked along the beach exploring. It was low ride so we could walk west / north around the corner.
We knew the Cheryl Anne beach access was around, and it was pretty easy to see the sign and trail up.
There is ivy in many places around the coast. Here is a whole stand of trees covered in it.
We went back to the AirBnB along the road and showered and changed.
Last time we were on the coast we had a nice lunch at [[Straits Cafe]] in the little shopping Center at Wilson Creek. We drove there and got take out.
We drove on and stopped and parked in Davis Bay. Very windy so we did a car picnic.
Did a walk along Davis Bay, bought a few things at the fruit stand there.
The whole walk has huge bushes of rose hips that were looking juicy.
Drove back into Gibsons to go to a store simply named [[The Butcher]]. Very nice selection of fresh meat, sausages, and prepared food.
Dinner was Callaloo cooked with onions, garlic, Roma tomatoes, coconut milk, and a lamb loin chop. I browned the chop with onions, garlic, and olive oil, and then added everything else in and simmered it for about an hour. The callaloo is pretty mild tasting. With limited spices to work with I mainly used a lot of black pepper to add a little bite.
Also made 4 delicious lamb popsicles bought at The Butcher.
Cooked simply in olive oil and butter with a few slices of garlic. Were nice and pink inside still and very tasty.
Day Four — Sunday
After breakfast we drove up to Pender Harbour / Madeira Park and went to FibreWorks Studio and Gallery. The setup is pretty interesting — a collection of different sized permanent yurts on a raised deck area.
The show includes work by our friend Michelle Sirois-Silver.
The shop had some interesting wood turnings made of Timberstrand Laminated Strand Lumber — made of “fast growing trees such as aspen, which are cut into strands, dried, coated with resin, and pressed into solid billets of wood”. The artists are Kaye and Roberta Miller.
Lunch at Euspiria Cafe in Madeira Park. Not really recommended, but my Club Sandwich Deluxe was pretty gigantic and was the best part of the meal.
Dinner was a tomato sauce with bratwurst (skin peeled off and sliced), onions, and red peppers, served over German egg noodles.
We went for an after dinner walk along Davis Bay. The end of the Sechelt Pier just fades into the darkness and smoke.