Adventures in BC: Sunshine Coast

I LOVE BC!

I get very disappointed sometimes when I am around people who were born in BC and have become, somehow, immune to its charms and beauty. ARE YOU PEOPLE ALL CRAZY??? Look at the mountains! Look at those giant boulders and pieces of tree lying willy nilly all over the place! Look at those ferns! And for the love of all that is good and holy, TAKE A LOOK AT THAT MOTHER-LOVIN’ OCEAN!

Since graduating from my BFA in 2009 and getting a job (i.e. since having money) I have been slowly but surely exploring this beautiful province (as much as I can without regular access to a car, at any rate). Last weekend my parents (who were visiting from Saskatchewan) and I made a trip up to Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast to visit some family friends for the night.

Molly's Reach is very important for Beachcomber fans. Photo: Daina Zilans

Though the Sunshine Coast is technically part of the BC mainland, the best way to get there from Vancouver is to take the Langdale ferry from Horseshoe Bay. The ferry terminal is actually relatively easy to get to from downtown if you hop on the 257 Horseshoe Bay Express bus (get the schedule on the Translink BC website). The ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale only takes 40 min and it’s a beautiful trip past Bowen Island and through the other little islands dotting the coast.

The old TV show “Beachcombers” (Wikipedia that show!) was filmed in Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast and though I don’t recall ever watching the show I did spend most of my visit combing the beach for pretty rocks and soaking up the gorgeous scenery.

But enough of my stupid words. Let’s look at some pictures!

The coast we visited appears to be made up mostly of granite (the lighter rock above) with streaks of basalt (the grey rock). Or so our gracious host told me. The rest of the shoreline is covered in the smaller rounded rocks you see in the photos. When the waves crash against the shore, the pebbles scour out the bigger rocks and create the interesting smooth coastline I spent all morning clambering over.

In the afternoon we went to Roberts Creek to see their shore and also the site of the community mandala. Apparently, every year an artist designs the shape of the mandala and it is painted in white. Then visitors and members of the community get to come on down and help paint the mandala that will remain in Roberts Creek all year.

I thought it was a nifty idea and a wonderful way to build community or, if you’re a visitor, a respectful way to leave your mark in an area you’ve enjoyed.

A quiet corner in the Gumboot

After visiting the mandala site we ate at the Gumboot Restaurant in Roberts Creek. My Thai salad was good (with a great peanut sauce), not excellent, but I appreciated their commitment to sourcing their ingredients locally (mostly from their very own garden!) and I also liked their homey atmosphere and colourful art. They actually had tables set up in the garden outside (not just on the patio, in the actual grass) which was another nice touch.

After lunch we went back to the shore near my hosts’ house for a little bit of swimming. I enjoyed baking on the rocks on the beach and taking dips in the (fairly cold) sea. I will mention that due to the pebbly nature of the shore, those nerdy water shoes you used to have when you were a kid are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and definitely protected my poor little feet from rock-induced harm.

Putting on my water shoes. Photo: Daina Zilans

This garter snake likes the beach too, don't you little buddy? Photo: Daina Zilans

I can’t think of any good way to segue into a conclusion to this post so I’ll just say thank you to our hosts: thank you for the excellent BBQ shrimp and the homemade whiskey and for showing us the sites in this beautiful bit of BC that you call home. I hope you don’t mind but I have a feeling I’ll be wanting to take advantage of your hospitality again sometime in the future.

If you have any tips or suggestions about parts of BC I should visit please leave a comment. I’m no millionaire so tips about affordable places to stay are always appreciated. 🙂

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