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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

The ‘old’….and the ‘new’

Guess what? I bet you can’t guess what I’m going to say next? Or maybe if you’ve been following the blog for awhile on this trip you’ve already guessed!

Surprise! It’s raining again!

But the good news is… did not rain all day!

I woke up with my alarm this morning because I was going golfing! Yes…finally…a round of golf! The last day I golfed was on October 7th at our club in Fort Erie - Bridgewater Country Club - with my good friends Fran and Pam. I took a month off golf! Hard to believe that I had the discipline not to golf for a month, but I think it was a good rest for my body.

As I looked at my phone to turn off my alarm, I saw that I had a missed FaceTime call from my friend Heather Kurtin.

I definitely needed to call Heather back and catch up with her before I went to play golf!

We had a great catch up call and it was nice to talk to someone too! Its lonely being on my own with Richard gone, and it was nice to find out what other friends are doing about going to Florida this year!

I didn’t realize what time it was when I was chatting with Heather and it left me a very short amount of time to get showered and ready for golf! Qualicum Beach is about a 35 minute drive and despite the tee time that is assigned, it seems that we have always teed off early at Q. Beach. I had to remember to bring my battery for my electric cart with me too. Last year we didn’t realize how hilly most of the golf courses were here on the Island and often because of the rain, the electric carts are not allowed out on the golf course. Having to push a manual push cart is not good for me, so this year we brought my electric push cart, which meant I needed a bit more time to get it out of the trunk, assembled and loaded with my golf clubs.

I arrived at Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Course and the first person I saw in the parking lot was our good friend Ken, who we golfed with most of last winter. Richard has kept in touch with Ken and organized the golf for me today with Ken, Curtis and a new guy called Steve. It was nice to be welcomed by an old friend at Q. Beach after not seeing Ken since March this year.

It is very hard to get a tee time at Q. Beach, despite the fact they say ‘Public is Welcome’ on their sign. There are over 300 members this winter and many of them play every day, since it is a 9 hole golf course.

Ken working on his putting on the practise putting green next to the first tee. You can see how elevated the golf course is over the Salish Sea down below. It is a beautiful vista from many of the holes on the golf course!

The first tee at Qualicum Beach. We were ‘on deck’. The temperature was 4C, but warmed up to 10c by the time we were done.

The 4th fairway and green behind me. A very nasty hole with a big tree in the middle of the fairway, that is always in the way off my drive! I didn’t need to wear a coat today. Long underwear though, under golf pants, long underwear on top, a buff, a fleece and a down vest. It was very comfortable walking the golf course, despite the fact there had been so much rain. There was even some ‘roll’ for the golf ball on the golf course.

While I was golfing at Q. Beach, Richard had his Covid test administered in his hotel room in Mexico. He said it was a ‘breeze’. He needs his results by Monday because he is flying back to Canada on Monday and has to load them into his ARRIVECAN app.

After Richard had his Covid test, he decided to go on a Trip Advisor Guided ‘Historic Center walking Food Tour in Mexico City’! I was interested to see what he would be eating on his walking tour.

Wild Boar, Charcuterie, and Ceviche - Octopus, shrimp and fish with avocado, and lime.

Grasshopper with lemon and salt. He actually ate one of these. He said it was gross!

CHICATANA ANTS! OH my goodness. He ate these too! There is no way I would go anywhere near these bugs, much less eat them!

Organic hominy corn, beets, avocado with goat cheese.

I’m not sure what kind of meat this was, but it looks greasy.

Authentic mole sauce. Richard loves mole!

Some kind of dessert with edible flowers.

The food Richard was eating was NOT making me wish I was there doing the walking tour with him. I think my stomach would have been doing flip flops just looking at the food, but I was hungry after golf, so I sat in Kramer the Kona to think about somewhere I haven’t eaten in the area. I really felt like having fish for lunch since it is so fresh and delicious here.

I knew just the spot that we had never tried!

French Creek Marina Pub!

With the marina right next door to the pub, I think the fish will be very, very fresh!

French Creek

French Creek Marina with the fish shop in the background where we go to buy our fresh salmon!

Of course the requirement to show the B.C. vaccine passport and a piece of ID was in effect, which was good. It slows things down at the front door of the restaurant, but I’m in no rush, when they are doing a great job checking for the Vaccine Passport!

The menu looked great with some specials that looked very interesting.

The salmon looks good! I think I’ll have the salmon special…

When I went to order, unfortunately they were out of all of the specials expect for the Sirloin Bites. I wasn’t interested in those so instead of Salmon, I ordered Halibut Fish & Chips.

3 oz, 1 piece Halibut and chips. I’m not sure I could have eaten a 6 oz piece of fish. The 3 oz halibut was filling enough!


Lunch with a glass of lemonade was $20. I thought that was quite a reasonable price. The service was really fast too!

As soon as I left the restaurant and started walking back to Kramer the Kona, it started…… guessed it….to RAIN!!!! Oh my.…I did hear from Ken and Curtis at the golf course today that November is the rainiest month on Vancouver Island, The average rainfall in November is 7 inches. I think we‘ve had more than 7 inches this week!

I wasn’t sure what to do after lunch, now that it was raining, but I wanted to see if I could find a good spot to take some photos. I had read in the Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourist Guide that there was a spot we had not visited last year and since I was almost in Parksville, I decided to head over there.

As I left the restaurant and headed down the Inland Island Highway 19, the rain was really coming down pretty hard again.

Top Bridge Park, Parksville

Entering Top Bridge Park.

All of a sudden the road took a very steep dip as I was entering the park. I didn’t see any other cars, but I knew I was in the right spot.

Oh great! They call this ‘Top Bridge’ because there is a very large suspension 81 meter

bridge over Englishman River. If you remember last year we visited ‘Englishman River Falls’ quite a few times because we loved the falls so much, but I’m never a fan of swinging suspension bridges!

The raging Englishman River. With all the rain we have had there was a ‘Danger sign’ posted about not getting too close to the river.

Water flowing quickly down the Englishman River. It was pouring rain when I was taking these photos.

There are pot holes in the river, which I understand in the summer time makes this a very popular swimming area for locals.

Water running down the river to a shallower, rocky area of the Englishman River.

A map of the area which shows the connected trails to get from the beach area in Parksville (Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park - where they have the rabbits in a protected area), to Top Bridge where I was today. There were quite a few cyclists out today, despite the rain. I think if you live on Vancouver Island full time you don’t let the weather stop you from doing anything. You just have to dress for the weather and go outside and be active!

I wasn’t planning on hiking today without Richard, but seeing these signs for Bears and Cougars wasn’t too reassuring to be on the trails by myself!

I imagine this rock is a good ‘jumping’ rock into the river in the summer time.

After walking around at bit at Top Bridge I decided to head for home. The weather was horrible with the rain pouring down. My legs were killing me from my workout yesterday and from walking the golf course today. I needed to get home to my heating pad and to watch the Leafs vs Boston on TV!

The Leafs win! YEAH!

It was nice to see our old friends Ken & Curtis today on the golf course and to play a course I’m familiar with. It’s also very nice to try new things too! While Richard was off in Mexico trying new foods, I was trying new places to eat and photograph. I am being very purposeful on this trip to the Island to try and find new things to do, as well as find new places to eat, so it is still interesting and exciting. It is nice though to have this ‘old’ familiarity with a place. With Richard away, I’m of course doing all the driving and it makes it very comfortable for me because I know where I’m going, especially in bad weather, driving conditions.

The tarp on Newman continues to keep the rain from getting inside. I think we did a very good job of trying to fix a bad situation, but I will be happy to have a wee bit more daylight inside Newman once the rains stop and Richard comes home to fix the roof with Di-cor. It’s a dreary place when it rains so much and I crave the sunshine coming in Newman. Hopefully soon the rain will stop in the near future and Richard will have a window of opportunity to fix the roof!

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