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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

A picnic in January?!!

Before we went out today Richard spent the morning making phone calls. He usually rules on the phone, but he was having no luck today. The mobile gas fitter is not taking appointments until March, and we didn’t want to wait until March to have the seized regulator replaced on the propane tank. We are only here on the Island until the end of March. Richard tried calling an RV dealer. They don’t have a mobile propane service person either. The RV place suggested a garage station. Richard called the garage station, but they couldn’t help either. So after a frustrating morning calling around, Richard called Viper Fuels and asked for a refund on the ‘t’ connector and hose we purchased for $120. The tank we purchased from Costco we can use with our BBQ, since our old propane tank for our BBQ was unable to be re-certified, as it was over 10 years old. We will manage our propane accordingly and use the ceramic electric heaters and who knows if we will ever replace the propane regulator? It’s not like we are going to be “winter camping” again in the future, so the need for as much propane will diminish.

We drove down to Parksville on the main Hwy 19, a 30 minute drive, and we headed to Brigadoon Golf Course. The golf course has no tee times, although Richard did call them to see if we could get out around noon or so and they said “no problem”. When I went to pay the owner said “You must be Ruth & Richard!”. It was nice to have such a friendly warm greeting to their little golf course. The sun was shining and at +9C we were able to play without our jackets on today!

Brigadoon Golf Course, Parksville. 9th hole.

The course is a par 29 - 2 par 4’s and 7 par 3’s. Needless to say it was a bit muddy, as it had rained over night, but that’s what our golf boots are for. We played lift clean and place and it was a nice little course, and an easy walk.

Brigadoon Golf Course, Parksville. One of us was 4 over today. The other one ended up with two doubles to finish and lost 3 balls.

I mentioned to Richard before we went out that he had jeans on and he said, “A lot of the locals wear jeans to golf this time of year, so I’m wearing jeans!”. Ok. Hope he doesn’t get any ideas for back home to play in jeans!

We got the golf bug today after golfing this little gem and since it is going to be nice tomorrow, I jumped onto the Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Club website and grabbed us an early 8:40am tee time for tomorrow. It is difficult to get tee times here because all of the locals who usually winter in Palm Springs or Arizona this year, are still here playing golf! Oh well. Its still nice to be playing in January regardless of the time of day we are playing.

We finally drove around downtown Parksville today to get a sense of what restaurants they have in the town. We wanted to get a takeout lunch and head to the very large Community Park in Parksville to have a picnic on a bench, by Parksville Bay. We saw this Korean restaurant and I had a hankering for Bibimbop a delicious Korean dish.

Dosirak Korean restaurant on Island Hwy in Parksville.

Bibimbop with Kimchi. I had mine without kimchi. I’ve been to Korea 3 times and having walked downtown Seoul and seen the large ceramic vats of Kimchi in the open air markets, with the flies landing on them, I just couldn’t eat Kimchi if my life depended on it. The thought of eating this fermented cabbage with fish sauce brings me back to Itaewon or Numdadmin markets with the smell of kimchi wafting through the market on a hot day, next to the pigs heads and other delicacies....I just can’t do it.

Bibimbop is served on a bed of rice and usually contains beef, mushrooms, carrots, spinach, bean sprouts, sesame seeds, sweet soya sauce, all topped off with a fried egg. Yum! The first time I ever had this dish was on a midnight flight to Seoul on Korean airlines, flying in business class with 2 other people from the Automotive industry. We had a direct, 14 hour flight to Seoul and I really enjoyed my first taste of Korean food. Check out a recipe if you are the least bit adventurous and enjoy!

Having our picnic in the Community Park in Parksville.

The food was delicious and we will go back for another feed of Bibimbop another day. Again, I’m too full for dinner!

Beach at the Community Park in Parksville. The island in the distance is Lasqueti Island, which can be reached by a ’walk on only’ ferry in the town next to Parksville, called French Creek.

Since the scenery wasn’t too interesting at the Community park, and it was really crowded with lots of people walking the boardwalk, we decided to head to Nanoose Bay again to another park for some better photo opportunities.

We discovered the most beautiful little enclave of homes in Nanoose Bay along Marina Way and at the end of Marina Way, we found Beachcomber Regional Park.

Beachcomber Regional Park is “small but precious”. The park is a one hectare Oceanside park established in 1963 by the Beachcomber Park Association. The land was gifted to the Regional District of Nanaimo by the residents’ group in 1988, thereby becoming a Regional Park. The Park is situated at the end of Nanoose’s Beachcomber peninsula and offers spectacular views west across Craig Bay to Parksville and Mount Arrowsmith and north across the Strait of Georgia/Salish Sea, to the mainland coastal mountains. At low tide large flat rocks are exposed which makes great territory for exploring and tide pool investigating.

We loved this little gem of a park! Once we walked down the steep path to the beach area, we really enjoyed spending our time walking across the rock outcrop to view the magnificent scenery in every direction we turned!

I loved the look of this tree leaning over the calm waters of Northwest Bay. The tree reminded me of the sign we had seen for the town of Nanoose Bay.

Nanoose Bay is named after a First Nations Band related to the Nanaimo Indians. According to local theory, the word “Nanoose” means “pushing forward”.

When we saw this lone tree over the bay, both Richard and I were reminded of the “Lone Cypress” on 17 Mile Drive in Pebble Beach. The lone cypress is the iconic logo for the world famous Pebble Beach Golf Links, and my favourite course in the world that I’ve played so far!

Lone Cypress, 17 Mile Drive, Pebble Beach, California.

We found a young boy fishing after school off the rocks in Beachcomber Regional Park. He was quite passionate about his fishing and told us that he fishes almost every day, catch and release and was hoping to catch a big 14lb fish. His buddy joined him briefly and we saw him walking home with his fishing rod, as we were driving out of the park.

Fishing off the rocks in Beachcomber Regional Park.

A boy and his fishing rod.

Fishing buddies.

Views of the Coastal Mountains on the B.C. Mainland.

Beautiful homes next to the Beachcomber Regional Park at the end of Marina Way. The area off the Park is also a favourite spot for scuba divers.

Are you looking at me? Artsy shot.

Enjoying shooting in this gem of a park in Nanoose Bay.

I had read in the Parksville Qualicum Beach visitors guide that the local photographer @Oomsangie also liked to shoot at a park called Wall Beach. Since Wall Beach was just down the road from Beachcomber Regional Park, we thought we should stop there, before heading home for the day.

View from Wall Beach over to the Coastal Mountains on the B.C. Mainland. The land in the top right of the photos is Beachcomber Regional Park where we had just been shooting. The water here is called Beachcomber Bay, which leads into Northwest Bay.

We drove around some beautiful ocean front homes and came to the end of Madrona Drive, where we saw some guys who had just come in from scuba diving. Unfortunately there was no where to park and all of the land was taken up by private homes, so we couldn’t hike down to the beach to take any photos.

What a full day! A glorious day of sunshine overload and lots of fresh air. The picnic really was lovely and incredible to think we could have a picnic in January, and not be cold sitting on a park bench. I said to Richard today at lunch “If this is winter in B.C., I could handle this!” We know it Is not always as nice as it was today though, but somehow the sunshine makes us forget about the wet and grey days.

And tomorrow we get to golf again! Yeah...we’ve got the alarm set for 6:45am. I will feel like its a work day again! OMG!!!

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