This year, I was able to stretch the Easter holiday into a five-day weekend. Naturally, my travel companion (TC) and I headed back to Salt Spring Island the Thursday before Easter to enjoy some BC nature and awesomeness.
Good Friday was a beautiful sunny day so after a pleasant lunch at the Rock Salt Restaurant & Cafe with my TC and his sweet relations, we took a little trip to Ruckle Provincial Park, at the southeast corner of Salt Spring. My burgoyne burrito at the Rock Salt was everything I expected it to be though I think I prefer the Mexicana grilled naan I had on my last visit. Once again, the Caesar salad was beyond reproach. One note about the Rock Salt for my readers who have a powerful aversion to cilantro: many of the items on the lunch menu include cilantro aioli so read the ingredients on the menu, or ask your server, before ordering.
Ruckle Provincial Park is a lovely place for a little afternoon jaunt and I think it definitely deserves further investigation in the future. My TC’s little cousins and I spent most of our time clambering on the rocks on the seashore, looking at sea stars, barnacles, and welks (I called them snails but was corrected by my TC’s little cousin).
In addition to exposure to seaside life and beautiful views, Ruckle Park provides camping year round (even in the off-season for adventurous campers who don’t mind that several of the park’s amenities would be unavailable). Unfortunately, it is not possible to reserve individual campsites at Ruckle Park so if you’re planning a weekend camping trip on Salt Spring be prepared to duke it out for the first-come, first-served sites.
I was not obligated to duke it out for off-season camping because once again I had the hippest, happenest hosts in the whole world who housed and fed us for four nights. On the evening of good Friday they took us to the village of Ganges for dinner at the Oystercatcher Seafood Bar & Grill. I remembered that my TC had amazing fish and chips the last time we were there so this time I got a plate of my very own. Hooray! Amazing! The raspberry mojitos were amazing too. A downside of the Oystercatcher that I have not only heard about but read online as well is that the service there is quite slow. Which is fine if you want to spend a long evening with good friends and good food and good drinks looking over the water. Less fine if you’re out with hungry kids who don’t find adult conversation stimulating. I enjoyed myself all the same. I even coloured a picture!
Saturday dawned warm and sunny. A perfect day to check out Salt Spring’s Saturday Market, held in Ganges every Saturday from April to October. With such great weather the place was buzzing. Kids with painted faces and balloon animals were everywhere. I spent a goodly amount of time sitting in the sun on a grassy knoll thinking warm sunny thoughts and eating a real blackberry popsicle. Afterwords I did some browsing in the market and was impressed by the sheer amount of goods for sale: jewellery, crockery, textiles, soaps, food…. I wanted to buy about a hundred things but I remembered just in time that I don’t actually need anything new and my wallet stayed put in my purse. Financial crises averted. I enjoyed the atmosphere, and the sun, and looking at neat things, and a blackberry popsicle. I’ll buy myself some crockery some other time. Like when I have a fancy cheese that would necessitate the fancy cheese dish I wanted.
I slept in on Easter Sunday and so I missed watching my TC’s little cousins have their egg hunt. It was a good thing for me that the Easter Bunny left me chocolate right there on the bureau that I didn’t even have to hunt for. It was unfortunately grey and rainy most of the day, but these were perfect conditions for staying inside to rehearse and perform a play written by my TC’s 8-year-old cousin. This particular piece of theatre was about four siblings who rise above their poverty by forming a hit rock band. I got to “play” the drums for our musical finale: an airband to “Judy is a Punk” by the Ramones. Our performance was a resounding success and I was able to keep a copy of the script, signed by the precocious playwright.
On Monday we made one more stop at the Rock Salt for coffee and desserts before boarding our ferry home. It was a delicious send-off (lime cheesecake!) but I was not looking forward to real life (and going back to work) in the city.
I sleep so well and feel so relaxed when I’m in the Gulf Islands that I never want to leave. It makes me think I should just quit my 9 to 5 job, pack my things, catch the next boat to Salt Spring, pitch a tent and make my living by…………um………..
I guess I’ll keep my 9 to 5-er in the big city for now, and really get serious about my plans to win the lottery. In the meantime, I will try to be comforted by the fact that Salt Spring Island really isn’t that far away. Ho hum.
P.S. Check out the view of the Gulf Islands from my hosts’ backyard: