vancouver island :: qualicum beach to cathedral grove.

part IV :: a seaside siesta.

buena vista by the sea — qualicum beach, vancouver island, BC.

seated on the shores of the georgia strait, qualicum beach is only a few hours south of the adventurous northern coast, but a world apart in weather, attitude and feel. celebrated as the “canada’s carmel” this relaxed beach town shares many attributes with sunny and warm socal — the perfect reprieve from the glacial waters and wicked wind and chilly fog up island. we arrived late, and lucked out stopping at buena vista by the sea — an amazing oceanfront guesthouse with private suites and an unbelievable sun deck. we spent hours watching the sun slowly set and the geese lounge in the warm water, and fell in love with the charming owners, claire + robbie. they made us feel right at home, and we wandered through their little town, in and out of shops and restaurants, and loved the old schoolhouse art center where artists’ open studios allow you to roam in and out while they are creating! i had a wonderful conversation with the incredible artist helene mcintosh and was smitten with her paintings of people’s faces — check her out at helenemcintosh.com — she’s a talented artist and insighful woman, i only wish i could have spent more time with her.

just outside of qualicum, the town of coombs boasts the renowned old country market, featuring fresh local produce, international spices, sauces, and treats, a fantastic deli and bakery, and is surrounded by tons of little shops. perhaps the most notable and unique thing about this massive market is their green roof which is home to goats who live above the market and delight guests with their crazy antics. earlier this year babies were born, and it’s getting a little crowded up there! regardless, it was hilarious to see them prancing around, and even more amusing to behold the visitors clammoring around below for a perfect photo of the furry little roof dwellers. yay for goats on the roof!

after coombs, we passed through cathedral grove, a provincial park with easily accessible trails weaving through massive douglas firs that are over 800 years old. it’s the only place on the island to see these big trees, and i love the peaceful feeling of being dwarfed by a super tall forest! it was small scale compared to the redwoods of northern california that i explored last summer, but absolutely impressive and magical in its own right nonetheless.


canadian geese!

coombs famous country market!

the goats refused to turn towards me. stubborn little roof dwellers.

traveling tinas and a big douglas fir.

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vancouver island, 2010:

part I :: vancouver island :: telegraph cove.

part II :: vancouver island :: knight inlet.

part III :: vancouver island :: down island to campbell river.

part IV :: vancouver island :: qualicum beach to cathedral grove.

part V :: vancouver island :: tofino + ucluelet.

part VI :: vancouver island :: bamfield.

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