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  • Jennifer Dowd

An Adventure to the Comox Valley, BC, July 21, 2023 - Day 1 |Arrival

Nestled on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, lies the picturesque Comox Valley, a region renowned for its natural beauty, friendly communities, and an abundance of outdoor activities. Home to a diverse range of landscapes, from mountains and forests to coastlines and farmlands, the Comox Valley offers a harmonious blend of adventure, culture, and tranquility.

On this three-day micro-adventure, I had a busy list of sites to see which included, Lady Smith, Somenos Marsh in Duncan, Sandcastles in Parksville, Paradise Meadows at Mount Washington, Nymph Falls Nature Park on Forbidden Plateau, Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens, Royston Shipwrecks, Comox City, Cumberland City, Courtney City, Petroglyph Provincial Park in Nanaimo and Chemainus. It was a lot but we wanted to see a lot and just spend our trip exploring the island we are from.

Our island drive began in the charming city of Victoria, where we eagerly set out on an exploration of Vancouver Island's hidden gems. Our first stop was a delightful find - the renowned Old Town Bakery in Ladysmith. A friend had highly recommended it, and we couldn't resist the chance to sample their delectable treats.

Stepping into the bakery, we were greeted by the mouthwatering aroma of freshly baked pastries. The display showcased an array of tantalizing options, but the real star of the show was undoubtedly their famous cinnamon buns. We decided to try the almond-flavored one, and it did not disappoint! The bun was perfectly fluffy, and the aromatic blend of cinnamon and almond was simply divine. We couldn't resist savoring it the tranquil waterside, adding a touch of serenity to our morning.

With our taste buds thoroughly satisfied, we continued our journey toward the next destination - Parksville BC. Our excitement soared as we approached the annual Sandcastle Competition, a much-anticipated event known for its extraordinary sand sculptures.

Upon arrival, we were awe-struck by the sheer creativity and artistry on display. Master sculptors from around the world had gathered to create mesmerizing works of art from the soft grains of sand. From intricate castles to mythical creatures, each sculpture was a testament to the sculptors' skill and dedication. We took a few photos to capture the fleeting beauty of these ephemeral masterpieces.

As our island drive continued, the allure of Vancouver Island beckoned us to venture deeper into its charms. Leaving behind the enchanting Sandcastle Competition in Parksville, we eagerly made our way to our next destination - the scenic Comox Valley, with Courtenay BC as our chosen home base for the upcoming three-day adventure.

Nestled within the embrace of the valley's natural splendor, Courtenay proved to be the perfect central hub for our exploration. Located just thirty minutes away from the major attractions in the Comox Valley, it offered both convenience and tranquility. Upon arriving in Courtenay and settling into our accommodations, we wasted no time immersing ourselves in the vibrant town.

The sun bore down with intensity, making it a perfect day for a leisurely stroll. We set off on foot to explore the charming local shops that lined the streets of Courtenay. Each boutique exuded its own unique charm, showcasing an array of arts, crafts, and locally-made treasures. Despite the heat, we couldn't resist admiring the craftsmanship of the local artisans and picking up a few souvenirs to cherish the memories of our trip.

Feeling the heat's embrace, we decided to retreat to the comfort of our hotel for some much-needed rest and respite from the sun's rays. As our first day in the Comox Valley came to a close, we couldn't help but be excited for what lay ahead. With two more days of exploration awaiting us, we knew that this charming valley had even more hidden gems and unforgettable experiences in store. Tomorrow promised the thrill of discovering new landscapes.

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