Cas headed to Denman and Hornby!
Aug 23, 2010
Did you figure I forgot about our web journal? Well, it seems that I did. Today is the first week in September and I am finally adding our mid August trip photos to Denman and Hornby islands! Hope you enjoy…..
Peter was outside on Aug 17 taking photos of a Westfalia that arrived in the campground. This VW’s owners are visiting from Quebec and they were having a wonderful trip across Canada and in their Westy!
On August 22 and 23 we headed for the first time to Denman and Hornby islands. These two islands are accessed by BC Ferries just a few minutes south of Courtenay. Both islands have a short supply of water and the majority of the campgrounds have pit toilets and pay showers. We are asked to conserve water all the time. Most islanders are very eco-friendly and they have taken recycling to it’s highest level. Even the campground has umpteen containers to recycle every type of item and campers are expected to clean and sort before placing in the cans – a very good idea and it seems to be working! These are great places to visit artisans, country markets, cycle, hike, bike, swim, kayak and many other ‘back to nature’ types of activities.
The first island we reach is Denman. We arrive on the west side and drive along one of the few roadways towards the east side to catch the next ferry. There are signs posted reminding all drivers that the roads are winding and narrow and we must share them with pedestrians, cyclists, horseback riders, and deer! While waiting to catch the next ferry to Hornby, we get advice from a local who tells us the best places to eat and where we ‘must’ visit. We were glad for her info and found some interesting areas we would have missed otherwise.
On the way we noticed numerous Arbutus trees and had to finally stop and get a photo of one huge Arbutus. A bit further along we stopped at the Cardboard House – a small building nestled in the woods that provided a bakery, pizzeria, cappuccino bar, clothing and craft shop, lovely gardens, picnic tables, and many people arriving on bicycles! We stopped to eat our lunch and wander the grounds. There is a very laid back and peaceful feel to this island.
Continuing along on Hornby we headed past our campground to see Ford’s Cove on the southern part of the island. We were absolutely amazed! The sandstone reminded us a bit of Drumheller with the fabulous formations. These sandstone sculptures are formed by the water and we were lucky to arrive during low tide. Some looked like mini hoodoos, others like moon rocks and others still like meteorites. It was just an unexpected sight and we were very glad we took the time to visit. Walking along the shore we noticed other areas that were eroded by the ocean waves – some of them with the grass and trees up above and hardly anything left below (where we were walking). The contrast from green algae on the ground, normal rocky shore, the strange looking sandstone sculptures, and the sculptured shoreline makes for an interesting place to visit…..Ford’s Cove……A must see!
At the turn off to our campground we notice the only gas station on the island and a huge Co-Op that sells most everything you can think of – sort of like the old ‘general stores’ that sold everything from food to hardware! We arrive at Tribune Bay campground in Tribune Bay Provincial Park. This sheltered bay boasts some of the warmest ocean waters and finest white sand beaches in BC. The bay was beautiful and we really enjoyed the warm waters. However, as for the white sandy beaches – yes the beach had white sand. But the place was crowded and the logs covered much of the area. It seemed like people dragged the logs up onto the beach and some of them were used to make lean-tos – we counted at least 5 in a small area. Unfortunately this was not what we expected.
The campground was great. We found a nice large site and set up Cas, our Westy for the night. This was our first camping trip with Cas and we hoped our SUV tent would fit on the back like it used to on the Suburban. After crossing our fingers we set it up and it was great! The access to the tent was not possible through the VW until we put the bed down. Until then we needed to walk outside and around to the door to go inside the tent. We joked that this 10x10 foot tent was one of the largest change room / bathrooms ever. Yes, we brought our Dometic portable toilet – we did not want to walk in the dark in the middle of the night and encounter a bear or ??? We hope to make a few changes and possibly use the tent on the side door. Now THAT will be great – but we will see.
We had a pretty good sleep. The only complaint is that the bed is a bit too hard for our liking. We will need to improvise on that. Everything else was great. We cooked supper, ate breakfast. The ice box kept our food very cold – all in all we enjoyed our Westy camping trip.
The next morning after chatting with our neighbours, who were also visiting from Courtenay (small world), we headed back to Denman Island. We decided to take the only other road on the island and headed toward Fillongley Provincial Park on the northeast side of Denman – just to see what was there. We found another beach that at low tide went out forever! We walked out to the waters’ edge and then took a photo of Cas sitting ‘way’ back there in the campground. This beach was totally unspoiled and the home for thousands of sand dollars and shells as far as the eyes could see! From here we were also able to view Texada Island and the snow capped Coast Mountain Range. The mile long foreshore was filled with Douglas and Grand Fir as well as Red Cedar. We stayed to eat lunch in one of the ten campsites in the park. Once again we were blessed with warm sunny weather as we feasted on our sandwiches and fruit.
Our first trip to Denman, Hornby and camping with our Cas, our Westy, was most definitely a success! Hope you enjoyed your mid August weekend as well. Till later, Peter & Connie