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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Honeymoonin' (Nanaimo, BC)

Disclaimer: Some photos taken by James (many of the most awesome, in fact)
Day 3:
We woke up, had some OJ out on the balcony and enjoyed the company of a seagull who came to visit us.
"Got any treats for me?"

 Then after a bit, headed out for lunch in downtown Victoria at a small place called Mo:Le. It was a cute little restaurant with art covered walls which spawned about as artsy a conversation between James and I as you'll get. James ordered some fish tacos and I had some havarti mac n cheese. All was delish. On the way back toward the bridge, we went through China Town and Fan Tan Alley. This is the largest China Town in BC.

Fan Tan Alley entry

 We walked back across the bridge, checked out of the hotel and packed up to go up the coast a bit to Nanaimo, harbor city. The drive up was lovely and sunny and only took about 1.5 hours. We stopped off at a scenic viewing spot for a few quick pics.
Road to Nanaimo

Scenic stop off point
We arrived to Nanaimo and checked in to our hotel. The view was not as stunning as our Victoria view, but still had a nice bit of the harbor and boats within sight. After unpacking, we headed out for an easy hike at Buttertubs Marsh. It was a nice stroll around some different wetlands and forest. We saw a few birds and of course James took a bunch of pictures.
Buttertubs Marsh


Red-winged blackbird

Hungry little guy

That tired us out, so we went back to the hotel and got ready for dinner. We walked down to the docks by the harbor to a tiny, floating, outdoor restaurant called Penny's Palapa. It was fun eating on the water and the food was tasty. James had red snapper and I had a veggie plate with beans, corns, rice and greens.

Enjoying dinner on the floating restaurant, Penny's Palapa

 After dinner, we walked along the water's edge admiring the view. We were then drawn into a sweets parlor for some gelato. James had spumante and I had white chocolate raspberry. We walked onto the docks to watch people pull in their crabbing baskets in. There was also a curious harbor seal that swam right up to see what was going on and a bald eagle made a quick appearance.
Curious harbor seal, awwww :)

Once the sun went down, it became a bit chilly, so we headed up to our hotel and called it an early night since we knew we'd need a lot of energy for the next day on our kayak trip.

Day 4:

We were up and rearing to go. It was our wildlife kayak trip day. We made the short drive to Ladysmith and  pulled into Transfer Beach. The Sealegs kayaking outfitters was easy to find. Our tour guide, David, helped us get fitted in our 'yak and showed us some paddling techniques, then it was off we went in our tandem kayak (our guide told us these double kayaks were also known as divorce boats).
Ready to paddle around

Trying to be synchronized 

Once out on the water a bit, paddling and using the pedals to steer became easier. David showed us a yellow baby Sunflower starfish.
Baby sunflower starfish....these apparently get HUGE, like trashcan lid sized

 Then we continued on to some islands. We passed a heron standing calmly in the shallow waters. He was so still, maybe waiting for an unsuspecting fish to swim past. The tide was very low at the time, so we had to carefully navigate around rocks in the shallow waters. It was good though, for finding more types of starfish. Our guide found an Ocher starfish (not yellow, but purple, contrary to it's name, though I guess there are yellow ones, it's just more rare) and then a Leather starfish. It was cool to hold them and feel the different rigidness of the different species. The more floppy ones are faster movers and the more rigid ones slower.

Starfish galore!

We were also lucky enough to spot some bald eagles and a harbor seal along the way. Paddling was very relaxing and being out on the quiet waters felt so serene and peaceful. I almost hated for the trip to be over, but was a little tired after paddling around for about 2.5 hours.

We left a bit wet and fatigued, but super impressed by all the sights and sounds we'd experienced. Back at the hotel, we grabbed some showers and a nap before heading out for dinner at the Lighthouse Bistro down by the harbor. It was a nice al fresco dining experience.
Out for dinner at Lighthouse Bistro

Enjoying outdoor dining 

 James had fish and chips and I had a veggie burger and fries,errr...chips. We walked back down towards the dock to catch a sunset and view of the super moon. Of course we were once again pulled in to get some gelato. This time James tried banana chocolate and I had Nanaimo bar, which is a delicious mix of custard and chocolate. When we finally made it to the dock, we saw a bald eagle sitting on a floating pier not far off. James got some awesome shots of it.
Beautiful bald eagle flying away

We also watched more people crabbing. One man seemed to be having some difficulty casting his small reject crabs back into the water and was a bit comical to watch as he shook them and yelled for the "bonehead crabs" to "let go".
Rejected tiny crabs

"I'm free!"

 The beautiful super moon loomed low over boats and buildings for a bit before rising into the pretty purple haze sky. Sleep came easily that night.
Posed with the super moon

Super moon

1 comment:

  1. That kayaking trip looks super fun. Nice that someone got shots of both of you on the boat.