On Sunday, we visited the Nanaimo downtown area during their bathtub race weekend.  We didn’t get to see any races, but certainly enjoyed the marina and walking mall.  Leon stopped to pose in front of the cannons in an area called the Bastion that was meant to protect the city from attack while it was a Hudson’s Bay trading area, set up for coal mining.  It was a hot day, so we stopped for a homemade sandwich in Roadie while parked at Tim Horton’s.  An iced coffee and some internet time later, we moved on up the coast to Parksville.

I chose Rathtrevor Provincial Park as it appeared to be right on the ocean with a large beach.  This is our third time in a provincial park and each one has been a satisfying experience.  This park, however, has to be the best one so far.  The beach is very large due to the huge tides that take the water out almost one kilometre at low tide.  That means the water is very warm (I am not kidding, about 24C) as the tide moves back up to the shore.  We took a walk at low tide then rode our bikes for about 3 kms along the beach front into a very posh seaside residential area.  No houses were for sale, darn it!  We couldn’t afford them anyway.

We came back to our campground around 5:30pm and sat down with a cold one while reading the paper.  This park is so popular that it is hard to get a spot unless you reserved, which we didn’t, so we are actually in the overflow parking for the night.  No matter, we still have access to all the amenities and are probably closer to the beach than the other campers.  And there are only about 6 other vehicles parked here for the night.

After another delicious seafood dinner, we went back to the beach to see the colours of the sunset on the water and the mountains beyond.  Quite spectacular!  We walked to the end of the beach noticing the lovely resort condos.  These would be a great place to rent if you don’t like to camp.  However, we love being in Roadie and this campground and its beach have got to be one of the best in the province (not that I’ve seen them all yet).

By the time we got back to Roadie, it was getting quite dark.  I was just remarking to Leon how we hadn’t seen any deer in the park when a large buck stood feeding right in the pathway to the parking lot.  He went about his business as I tried to get the flash to work so I could get a picture.  I managed a couple of photos but I need to adjust them to remove the red eye in the deer’s eyes.

In case you are interested in one of my fish recipes, here is what I made this evening.  The shrimp skewers were seasoned with a Tuscan flavoured spice with a drizzle of garlic dipping oil.  I can’t remember who gifted me with this wonderful oil and spice mix, which is actually for dipping bread, but I do thank you.  I simply put the skewers on the grill for a short time to cook.

The fish was cod, which I wrapped in foil along with a bit of margarine, salt, pepper and lemon juice.  It steamed nicely and we just added more lemon, salt and pepper for serving.

The rest of the menu was corn and green beans, simply boiled.  Everything was so fresh and tasty, there were no leftovers, believe me.

Steamed pacific cod with grilled shrimp
Steamed pacific cod with grilled shrimp