My next weekend adventure was to Ammonite Falls. Nestled away in the boonies out-skirting Nanaimo is a very popular deep forest trail. Joined but local dog walkers and keen hikers we followed one of the few trails leading to the falls.
The dirt path takes you down steep rocky hills and back up the other side with only tree roots for grip. It’s semi challenging, but the 6.6km walk should only take about an hour there and back if you’re willing and able!
We hadn’t been out for a hike since our galavanting in the city as I’d been working on photo editing and some theory work, so I had an extra spring in my step; it felt really good to be out and about.
Despite crossing paths with dog walkers and hikers alike, the trail is incredibly peaceful. In fact, you are caught up in an almost silent part of the world. The only sounds come in the form of birdsong and creaky firs.
I heard the falls before I saw them. Actually, we didn’t see much of the falls as the way down is precarious to say the least. At some point, the path falls away and you climb down the rock face. We carefully made our way down the first bank but when you reach levelled out ground you’re greeted with an even steeper second round. There were signs advising us not to venture down to the falls so we obeyed and just peaked the tumbling waters through the trees.
When it comes to pulling yourself up the escarpment… well, that’s just what you have to do. Straddling a rope tied to a root at the top, I quite literally rock climbed. It was super fun, I got super dirty and I would DEFINITELY do it again.
The walk back was hilly and my calves felt really tight. But about half way back we caught up with a lovely couple and their three dogs. We discussed travelling, England and how the pair ended up in Nanaimo. I was deeply touched by their story and will forever treasure these intimate moments with strangers. When you open your ears and your heart to the world, you learn and you grow.
I am so full of gratitude and grace, I may burst 🙏
The week that followed was full of the little rituals that have now become my day to day routines. Daily trips to the local bakery followed by a wander around the nature reserve (where I practice that day’s photography task) and then home for yoga… this is my daily practice and I love it.
Of course we did embark on some stupidly long hikes too. Walking to Departure bay via Long Lake and Cottle Lake via Linley. By the time the Cottle Lake adventure began the ground was completely covered in snow… stunning but cold and a bit tricky to navigate in runners. Some pictures below for you 😊
Sunday rolled around very quickly and before we knew it the whole Dutchak crew and their odd ball edition started unpacking cases at The Riviera on Robson hotel. Our 3 day city break in Vancouver began with a lot of snow, so a very slippery walk down to a small indoor marketplace had Spencer and I starving.
We settled in a very charming Mediterranean cafe for chicken wraps and baklava. It was absolutely delicious.
When back at the hotel we all just had a chill out. We’d been travelling for hours and wanted to rest our feet before braving the ice and snow again later that evening.
The dinner destination was Kobe, where I enjoyed tradition Japanese fried rice and vegetables, tiger prawns and some kind of soup (in reverse order). It’s described as a ‘Lively Japanese joint specializing in classic hibachi surf ‘n’ turf food, prepared by performing chefs’. That actually hits the nail on the head perfectly. We had a fantastic and very amusing early birthday meal. Birthday? Yes, birthday! Spencer and I have birthdays in early March and Sandra wanted to celebrate them before I go home, which is how we ended up in that very pricey establishment. I feel very lucky to have been, so thanks a million, Sandra 💖
The following day was chockablock and I cannot wait to tell you all about it.
Lots of love,