Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A day out on the Sunshine Coast

On Sunday David had a day off work and I had a quiet diary so we decided to take a day out on the Sunshine Coast. Charlie is enrolled at No Pawblems K9 Camp in Gibsons while we return to the UK in July so it was going to be a good opportunity for him to see the place and meet the owners prior to his imprisonment there. Oops, sorry, make that vacation.
The Sunshine Coast is a short 40 minute ferry ride from Horsehoe Bay, basically passing to the North of Bowen Island to the Langdale Ferry terminal as seen on this map.

We visited the 'K9 Camp' and we were impressed by how friendly the owners were, large grassy fields for the dogs to run around in and considering there were 60 dogs 'camping' there, everyone 2 & 4 legged seemed very content and happy. The dogs are grouped into similar categories - puppies & boisterous youngsters, more mature dogs, old & can't do anything and difficult. We have every expectation that Charlie will settle into 'mature' but are happy that there's always a 'difficult' to fall back on if the going gets rough ! Actually Charlie has enjoyed meeting many new dogs on recent walks and we are confident that he'll have much fun with his furry playmates in our absence.
After visiting the kennels we decided to drive a little further up the coast and do some sightseeing and hiking as the weather was good.
Firstly, we drove North through the town of Sechelt and on to Sargeant Bay Provincial Park where we had read of an interesting sounding walk through the forest to a lake.
Here are David & Charlie hanging out by a bridge over a creek on the walk.

Another view of the creek

Finally, after a reasonable walk (almost entirely uphill - they didn't warn us the lake was a 'mountaintop lake') we reached Triangle Lake - which actually turned out to be more of a marshy pond which to add insult to injury was a designated conservation area so there was no access to the lake for drinking & swimming purposes which miffed Charlie given that it was a warm sunny day and he'd just climbed a very big hill in a fur coat.

A better view of the 'lake'

On our way back down we noticed a big tree had become something of shrine.....visitors leaving personal items attached to the trunk ranging from money, to crucifixes to minature plastic Bart Simpsons

Oh, and of course the odd camel

Having struggled all the way up hill with virtually no creeks and a very disappointing 'lake' Charlie was happy to grab every bit of shade he could on the way back down, including a quick rest on a big moss covered rock

After our walk we decided to head towards some waterfalls we had read about. On the way was a look-out over the town of Sechelt. This view shows the North side of the town with Porpoise Bay in view and the open pit mine in the foreground.

Then another view towards the southern end of the town and out to sea.

Despite the hot weather and distinct lack of creeks - if you gotta fetch a stick, you gotta fetch a stick.

Then our second walk lead us back into forest and to Chapman Falls on Chapman Creek. This we discovered was actually one of the 'undiscovered' tourist attractions as it was about 1.5km walk off a dirt gravel road a few miles from Sechelt. There were no signs or indicators and until we got there we were very unsure if we were going to find anything at all. Infact, the falls were'nt bad.

Here's a quick clip from our first vantage point

In order to get to a better viewing point it was required to cross a metal see-through bridge - which Charlie point blankly wouldn't do.

So Charlie had to sit and wait while we ventured a bit further on to a better viewing point

And another clip from here

We didn't spend too long at the falls as Charlie didn't want to go the extra mile and also because we spotted a big pile of freshly laid bear poo on the path.....always an incentive to keep walking.
Now, the Sunshine Coast is a very laid back place. It has more artists per capita than anywhere else in Canada and definately leans towards a gentle pace of life. Which is great, it's one of the attractions of the area. However, this laid back attitude is demonstrated in every walk of life.....including local authorities.
The first time we saw some lawn chairs at a bus stop, we figured it must be a local who used the bus stop a lot and was fed up of waiting for the transit authority to put a bench in.
However, we then realised.......all the bus stops had lawn chairs, two, three maybe four for a busy stop.

It's reassuring though that bus stop vandalism existings worldwide.......the only difference on the Sunshine Coast is that nobody actually steals the lawn chairs !

Then it's back to the ferry terminal. We were in the line-up by 6pm ready for the 6.30pm sailing but being a sunny Sunday evening were informed that the 6.30 was already full. The next scheduled sailing was 8.30pm but BC Ferries actually decided to run an extra sailing to cope with demand so we only had to wait until 7pm.

Now we have lots and lots of views from the ferry on the way back. Views of the Sunshine Coast, Gambier Island, Bowen Island, Howe Sound and Lions Bay.

All in all, a great day out !