Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Botanical Beach Adventure

PORT RENFREW & BOTANICAL BEACH PHOTOS

What a fantastic weekend. Connie was on the island visiting her in-laws up in Parksville and managed to swing a 5 day - kid free - husband free - visit.....we have not had such a luxury since about 1990 so it was a pretty big deal - not to mention she was welcoming a bit of a break from her kids who run her ragged on a daily basis.

Connie arrived Thursday and picked me up from work and we went and had a really great dinner at Japanese Village...the ppl we were seated with weren't too weird so that was a first. ha!
Friday we went to Island View Beach for the afternoon (yes I got us lost trying to get there...I always friggin end up in Langford ffs!) and walked and walked...enjoying the sea and wind under the hot sun...got myself a lopsided sunburn - always a treat.

The beach off the Pacheedaht First Nation Campground
We left for Port Renfrew around 10 am Saturday morning - was a pretty decent drive there...takes a few hours but it was nice...that road is a little snaky and has a bunch of one-lane sections so you kind of have to be on the ball. We found our motel easily enough...it was ok but essentially a piece of shit considering it was 150.00 a night...no ice machine (my main JOY of motel/hotel stays)...we opted to do Botanical Beach Sunday morning at the lowest tide to avoid the worst of the sun/heat - so Saturday we had the day to just hang and do whatever...we ate some great food at the Port Renfrew Hotel (best halibut & chips EVER) then went in search of WATER...we were looking for Fairy Lake but despite our best efforts never did find it. There is NO cell service in Port Renfrew so aside from the shitty WiFi at the motel and the restaurant I was pretty much Google-less. OH THE HORROR! After a few wrong turns and some hairy road conditions we managed to stumble upon an amazing spot...a very happy accident...it was a beach off the Pacheedaht First Nation Campground...it was DIVINE! We stayed there for a few hours, both of us love the beach so it was a mutually pleasing time (that sounds dirty but it wasn't I swear!)...we did eventually tear ourselves away and went to check out Botanical Beach's trails and amenities so we were prepared for the next day...had some dinner and then retired to our shitty motel that was too damn hot...I laid there from 11 pm til 2 am wishing for sleep but it was so warm in the room...ughhhh and b/c the rest of the hotel was full with bikers there was no way the door was being left open so...ugh! I don't love sleeping with ppl in the room either...it disturbs my sleep chi hahaha I eventually fell asleep once I got my MP3 player out...I was up at 7 am and raring to get to Botanical Beach...

We got there at 9 am...low tide was 9:30 am so it was perfect. There are volunteers that monitor the parking lot to prevent vehicles getting broken into which is a FANTASTIC service...the guy was very helpful too...letting us know the best way to go is to do the loop by going down the steep trail on the far side so you can come up the less steep one when you are done. Despite my worries we were not eaten by a bear or a cougar though I am thoroughly convinced we were being stalked by both and a variety of other animals out to kill us.


Ackkkk!!!!
I pretty much withheld any liquid from entering my body that morning b/c there was no effing way I was gunna pee in the bush...turns out there was a washroom at the bottom of the steep trail which was handy...I was sure to read all the signs about the danger of rogue waves and the tide trapping you etc...I take that shit pretty seriously - I am no dumb ass...after my Murder Beach near death experience in 2010 getting swept off a rocky beach into the sea is NOT something I am interested in...

Walking out on to the beach is instantly tantalizing....I have a real boner for weird rock formations and natures oddities so this beach just hits the spot for me...Connie was stoked for the tidal pools in a big way so we began the trek towards the sandstone...it is not easy walking, each step must be taken with care...you avoid stepping on slippery rocks obviously, or surfaces with living things on it...often every step you take has to be thought out b/c the next step you take might only have one safe option...its a puzzle...hippity hopping from rock to rock...even for skinny, agile ppl it can be treacherous. I was being extra cautious b/c falling was NOT an option - all the jagged rock, shells, barnacles etc would just be terrible to wipe out on...then comes the climbing bits...I am surprisingly zippy going from rock to rock for someone of my girth - I attribute that to growing up in Powell River and zipping around on the rocks so much as a youngster...but I was extremely conscious of my Achilles issue...as it turns out my Merrell water shoes I was wearing have amazing tread on the bottom and I am confident saved my bacon on a few occasions...they paid for themselves on that walk - I do not recommend running shoes.


There were a few parts where I was trapped and could not just hippity hop over to the next sandstone formation...so I had to go like a baby on my ass praying to hayzooz that a jagged rock did not rip the ass out of my pants...my ass hanging out of my pants I could deal with compared to a wipe out...
I was aware of where the shoreline was at all times...that rogue wave business freaks me out...and as much as I would have LOVED to go closer I was not gunna be the tourist that got killed this summer...I was cringing watching ppl wearing babies in snugglies on the rocks and going so close to the surf....FACKKKK! NERVES! haahaha Anyhow...this worry wart didn't die and neither did anyone else right before my eyes so...onward we went.

We had a fantastic time frolicking around the grotto and inspecting the tidal pools, the amazing rock oddities and and sea life. When we reached the other end and found the trail back up neither of us wanted to leave so we hung out and just enjoyed the day for as long as we could....but as per usual...the bladder rules and up we went...we took our time - the hike back up is less steep thank bloody hell and had lots of interesting twists and turns and areas to check out...as we were leaving all the tourists showed up so it was nice we missed the crowd.


Finally got to the top and this fatty was fuggin wasted and sweaty let me tell ya...but feeling awesome. Such an incredible place to visit. We made a donation to the volunteers who ensured our stuff was intact when we returned and re-hydrated - and eventually made our way out of town...was sad to leave the seaside...the HEAT of the day became very apparent as we left Sooke and went inland...gawd...what a hot shitty day to go back to the boiling city...

Connie went back up island this afternoon after we went to Chinatown for a bit of shopping and sushi for lunch. Will see her again briefly Friday when her and Jason and the kids come spend the night. 

It was the coolest thing I have done as an adult and doing it with Connie was even cooler...definitely would love to do it again and explore the other side of the beach.

My kidlet leaves tomorrow for Shambhala - with some 25 yr olds ID so she can get in - to camp with Alex and dance her face off for 5 days...you know what that means right? That means the rest of my vacation I am actually ALONE in the house... MUAHAHHAHAH HAHAHAHAH HA HHAH AH HAH HA HAH HAH AH HHAHAAAAA

7 comments:

Adele said...

A well deserved and long overdue get-together for the both of you! Sounds like it was a great mix of relaxation and adventure!!!

jakethejerkdog said...

I haven't been out that way for ages. Miss worry wart, how many times have you heard on the news of people been sucked out to sea by rogue waves?

I've attempted to start reblogging, we'll see if it continues

Kelly

jakethejerkdog said...

who is this strange adele person?

Adele said...

HAHAHA!!!

~Jen~ said...

I will have you know my friend who got stuck up there working ambulance years ago said it was a very regular occurrence that ppl have to get rescued from that beach and the rogue wave thing is NOT a rare occurrence either since the world if full of idiots...and judging by what I was while there I am surprised more ppl haven't been swept out b/c ppl ignored the warning signs put up about it.

Cathy said...

great photo's, glad to here the trip was awesome, hotel was expensive as shit thought hey?

~Jen~ said...

150.00 and though we split the cost it wasnt even worth half. I would have rather saved $ and slept in the truck lol Though running water and a toilet was handy haha I think I have been ruined by the last few hotels Maggie has stayed at...this motel was bare bones.