Up Island!

Today we'll be heading up island. This will be an all day trek.

There are a number of interesting little towns along the way. First we climb through Malahat with it's dusting of snow. Beautiful views here of the waterways!

This little town is reknown for it's variety of murals and tons of local art stores. It's a wonderful place to spend a couple hours and browse pottery and whatnot.

Another lovely town to visit is this one. I think they've been voted the prettiest city in BC a few times!

This town in the third oldest city in BC and is pretty good sized. Each year they have a huge news years eve concert, usually featuring Lover Boy (their local band makes good). "Turn me loose.... Turn me loose!!!" Sorry, flashback! They also are reknowned for the world famous Nanaimo bars. I found this recipe, but I don't know how authentic it is... This one has some variations. Now they are starting to look the same!

Moving on! This little town is one of my favorites! They have a huge public beach access, and the snow comes right down onto the sand! Amazing! The last time we were there, we saw a pod [editor's note: Herd? Group? rogue band of?] sea lions swimming back and forth in the opening to a huge bay. They were loud. Pretty sure they were hunting, but they would skim the top of the water and they were spectacular to watch. You wouldn't think they could move that fast.

This is where we turned around last time. It is a long drive back to town and we'll want an ale and a cider (respectively) and doesn't some of this sound good?:

Roasted Turkey Pot Pie
A rich creamy stew with turkey, fresh vegetables and herbs served in a hot skillet with our flaky pastry, cranberry chutney and apple walnut soda bread.

I should probably go for a swim after dinner to work off the chutney, but likely we'll go for a carriage ride.

What a lovely day!