Friday, October 14, 2016

Cumberland, Vancouver Island: A Camino reunion with Janet.

Travel Date: Sunday, May 8th 2016

After leaving mom and sis, I head over to the Vancouver Airport. 

I am excited to board this plane headed to Comox on Vancouver Island. I get to reconnect with one of my best friends, who I met on the Camino de Santiago, in Spain. She was the person I walked the most with on various stretches, and we became really close. 11 days of walking together. I counted!

We have lift off.

I love looking at the various islands as we fly over them.

Shortly after we leave, we land. It wasn't a very long flight.

Finally, reconnected with Janet.

We head over to her home in Cumberland, Vancouver Island.

The drive is quite beautiful.

We arrive at her home. I meet Janet's boyfriend: Michel. He gives me home-made welcoming Kombucha to try out. Oooh something new to experience.

We all sit and talk for while. And then I get a little tired, so its off to bed.

Travel Date: Monday, May 9th 2016: 

All day today, I just RELAX at Janet's beautiful home without a care in the world.

I love her meditative and therapeutic garden. It is quite peaceful. I enjoy just sitting outside, and doing nothing, and catching up with Janet on each of our lives and paths.

Later in the evening, Janet and Michel cook some delicious goodies for dinner.

And we are joined by her daughter Maya, and Maya's boyfriend Brandon.

I feel so relaxed - I even wear my glasses. I could get used to this.

Travel Date: Tuesday, May 10th 2016: 
Courtenay, Vancouver Island: A Heritage Walk and Sweet Nourishment.
Royston, Vancouver Island: Dinner at the Waterfront.

Travel Date: Wednesday, May 11th, 2016:
One of the things I love about my stay in Cumberland, is the view from my bedroom.

Oh those mountains!

Later in the evening I head out solo to try out the local micro-brewery: Cumberland Brewing Co.

I try out one of their IPA. It is such a relaxing time here, and the weather is just amazing!

Time to head back home to hike the local bike trails with Michel and Zen: boys evening out!

Michel leads me to the bike trail Munday's Child. Biking is quite big in Cumberland.

The trail is beautiful and peaceful.

And artistic!

For the bikers.

Look mushrooms.

We pick up another bike trail called Wednesday's Child. There seems to be a pattern evolving.

Back to dirt trails.

With roots everywhere.

The sun is beginning to set.

Time to head back.

Zen being very zen, with the stick in his mouth.

I love those trees.

After we get back, it is time for dinner. 

I meet Remie and Tomei, Janet's youngest sons. They are full of life. Later in the evening, Janet does an effective hypnotherapy session with me. I'm looking forward to seeing more occurrences of 444.

Travel Date: Thursday, May 12th, 2016:

In the morning one of Janet's friends and fellow hypnotherapists: Kenna comes over. They practice on each other. Kenna is also a psychic, and so she offers me a psychic reading. It was quite good, and reflecting back now a couple of months later, it turned out to be highly accurate.

Around lunch time, Janet, I, and the boys: Remie and Tomei head out for a small excursion and picnic lunch to Goose Spit Park in the town of Comox.

Goose Spit Park, Comox, Vancouver Island: A Picnic Lunch with Janet and the boys.

When we get back, Janet and I walk around Cumberland.

We stop by the Cumberland Brewing Company, and grab a better and a snack. We sit and chill in the beautiful weather, and then head back home.

Later that evening, we have our last full dinner. Michel could not be there due to work in Vancouver. So it was just me, Janet, the boys: Remie and Tomei, Maya and her boyfriend Brandon .We could not get a hold of Janet's other son Rory, we pulled a picture of him up on our phone and pretended he was present.

Later that evening, while playing with Remie and Tomei, I pull up Microsoft Paint on my Microsoft Surface tablet. The boys are hooked. For them, it is the coolest thing ever!

Time for bed.

Travel Date: Friday, May 13th, 2016:

In the morning, after breakfast, Janet and I head over to Coal Creek Historic Park for a good hike with Zen. It was just the two of us, minus our backpacks. It felt Camino-ish.

Coal Creek Historic Park, Cumberland, Vancouver Island: A hike in the woods.

After our hike, we drove home, and relaxed with Michel and the boys.

And later in the evening it was time to head back and leave the Island.

Goodbye Vancouver Island. You are so beautiful. I will return.

The trip was a much need one for my soul. Janet is one of my best friends. Time spent on the Camino is an incredible friendship building moment, but you really have to make time to keep in touch with the many people you meet. Facebook is good for "keeping in touch", but it does not replace the one-to-one in person time. I am so grateful to you for hosting me, and for the opportunity to celebrate our friendship.

I loved meeting her family, and Michel. And Rory, you need to be back here the next time I come, and not chasing boys in Victoria. I enjoyed meeting a few of her good friends. And thank you Janet for introducing me to Kenna.

Cumberland is a tiny village, and cute. I was quite surprised to see that they had a micro-brewery. And it was good. People are friendly and the landscape is very beautiful. The next time I come I will spend more time exploring.

Remei and Tomei, you two are just two amazing bundles of joy. I really enjoying getting to know you, playing with you, and walking with you.

Expenses in Cumberland (in US$): $36.94 
5/10 Snacks: $5.70 (Tarbells Deli CAD$ $7.35)
5/11 Beer: $5.61 (Cumberland Brewing CAD $7.19)
5/12 Beer: $25.63 (Cumberland Brewing CAD $32.73)

Coal Creek Historic Park, Cumberland, Vancouver Island: A hike in the woods.

Travel Date: Friday, May 13th, 2016:

We drive an arrive at entrance to Coal Creek Historic Park.

A little history lesson.

We begin the trail with Zen. Just like Camino times, minus our backpacks.

We pass the pond.

More trails.

Small bridges.

And get to the future site of "Japanese Town".

We get off the trail and have to walk on the asphalt for a bit. Very Camino like.

I wonder what is under there?

The surrounding trees and streams.

We pass a rusted car, entrenched in the ground.

We walk up and down small rolling hills of dirt.

And finally make it to Comox Lake.

So peaceful. So beautiful.

The water is clear.

We spend some time here appreciating the beautiful view. And talking about the Camino.

Zen goes for a swim.

And wants to play fetch.

We walk by a nearby structure. I'm not sure what it was used for, but now it is filled with graffiti.

And it is time to head back.

Things to appreciate:
  • Time spent with Janet
  • Camino reminiscing 
  • Free Zen entertainment
  • Beautiful walk in nature
  • The peaceful silence of walking in the woods with barely any other people.

Expenses (in US$): $0.00