Head Over Heels for Salt Spring Island

Comments 17 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Outside the rain is coming in sideway off the harbour, but it only ads to the ambiance. Fresh cut flowers on the table, and fireplace ablaze, I’m sipping my mocha and typing out a blog post with my legs draped over the sides of this armchair that I wish would just swallow me whole.

Last night after the chicken topped with lobster and few glasses of a local red wine, we retired to the jacuzzi tub and popped in the Saltspring Soapworks bath bomb. The rest of the evening is pretty hazy after that.

45 minutes outside of downtown Vancouver we hopped on an hour-long ferry and arrived at this amazing gem of and island called Salt Spring. I haven’t been over here since a family camping trip when I was wee so I forgot how easy it is to get to.

Photo Credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

This morning we drove down to Burgoyne Bay in search of the “beach access” we saw on a map. After a rolling 30 minute hike through towering arbutus trees, around gargantuan moss-covered boulders that peered down at the rocky shores of the Salish Sea below, we came to a clearing.

Following a trail of daffodils we then spent the better part of the morning perched on a collection of rocks above the shore watching a pacific white-sided dolphin cruise the bay, and frolicking otters who made appearances now and then. Natural areas and habitats are protected and numerous signs will make you well-aware of the reasons why you cannot trudge down on that beach at low tide – who knows whose nesting area you would be destroying.

Photo Credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

This afternoon at Vesuvius Bay, we were treated to some of the best halibut and chips I’ve ever had the pleasure of devouring (at the Seaside Restaurant). These folks know good food – locally grown, organic, and freshly caught. Also, you probably can’t throw a hemp seed without hitting an artist around these parts. Pottery, woodworking, cheese crafters, bakeries and even glass blowing studios are peppered throughout the island.

Photo Credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Sheep grazing on the shoulder, the roads are narrow, muddy, and only a percentage are paved. Backpackers thumb for rides, there are no trolley buses crusing around, and there’s a serious lack of signage for out of towners – but that’s part of the charm.

The rain has stopped and looking outside the spotted window I see nothing but evergreens and blue skies. I just called housekeeping and they brought us another bath bomb for tonight. I had my choice between the goat milk and chamomile or mai tai – I went with mai tai. This was just probably the biggest decision I had to make today, do we ever have to leave?

17 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. tyfnSunday, March 23rd, 2008 — 5:09pm PDT

    Ok, next time a friend visits from outside BC, I must take them to Salt Spring Island. You’ve sold me.

  2. DavidSunday, March 23rd, 2008 — 6:58pm PDT

    I’ve heard great things about Salt Spring Island. Sounds like we need to see it for ourselves.

  3. LucSunday, March 23rd, 2008 — 10:15pm PDT

    As long as you have wireless Internet, you don’t have to leave. Are there any bloggers on the island, or you could be the first?

  4. BradleyMonday, March 24th, 2008 — 6:16am PDT

    salt spring is beautiful but retired hippees and grow ops make up alot of the population sadly 🙁

  5. phaedraMonday, March 24th, 2008 — 7:44am PDT

    I love SSI. I used to live there back in 2000. I miss it’s beauty, solitude, and powerful, cleansing energy. Did you guys get a chance to catch the open market in Ganges as I believe this past Sat was opening day.

  6. maikopunkMonday, March 24th, 2008 — 10:18am PDT

    Salt Spring does indeed rock. Whenever you need a hit of nature, soap, cheese and wine, with a side of seafood, it’s the place to go. You’re making me want to go back for a visit, before the summer tourist crowds hit the place.

  7. Matt SimpsonMonday, March 24th, 2008 — 4:58pm PDT

    Glad you had a good time! Although, I must admit I feel a small pang of sadness as the more tourists visit my hometown the less like my hometown it becomes :-S

    @Bradley: Um. Stereotypes don’t help anyone.

  8. ChrisMonday, March 24th, 2008 — 5:20pm PDT

    As funny as it may sound, I’ve been to Saturna Island a number of times, yet have never found my way to the vastly more populated Saltspring Island ever. Heck, I’ve hung out at Village Bay ferry terminal on Mayne Island a number of times, yet that’s it. It sounds like I really should expand my southern gulf island horizon’s, huh?

  9. TawcanMonday, March 24th, 2008 — 11:39pm PDT

    Sounds like a great time on the island. I love Salt Spring Island. Haven’t tried kayaking around there though, maybe I’ll try it someday.

  10. fotoeinsTuesday, March 25th, 2008 — 7:36am PDT

    So glad you both left the City to skip across the water to SS Island. The fish & chips made me drool. Sounds like you both could use an extended vacation/honeymoon … preferably outside the country, if not the continent. 🙂

  11. HeleneWednesday, March 26th, 2008 — 2:10pm PDT

    Yes, Salt Spring has bloggers and lotsa folks who live there in order to work from home as they live in paradise. When you’re ready to come and visit, head over to this site for the friendliest travel links and best places to stay: http://www.saltspringmarket.com


  12. flameonglassSunday, March 30th, 2008 — 6:10pm PDT

    Hey, I love Salt Spring so much I just bought a house there.
    It is absolute heaven.

  13. john bollwitt blog » Yes, that’s meFriday, April 4th, 2008 — 10:14pm PDT

    […] the month with my day job. After Northern Voice, the pace has gone nonstop, even if we did make a weekend for ourselves on Salt Spring Island. The toughest part is coming home and wanting to do much of anything except […]

  14. stormyWednesday, May 28th, 2008 — 9:55am PDT

    ya ssi is a great place to grow up…until you hit 18 and you want to get off this rock and go explore…im thankful that i didnt growup in the city….with the video games, tv, computer and other junk that you spend all day in front of….we people learn from outside…and eat forest mushrooms and leaves…..no pizza for us

  15. A Morning at the Vancouver Aquarium » Vancouver Blog Miss 604Wednesday, July 9th, 2008 — 3:26pm PDT

    […] will compare to the experience John and I had on Salt Spring Island when we spotted a Pacific Dolphin circling the water around us while we were perched on a rock at […]

  16. 2008 in Review: January to June » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca BollwittWednesday, December 31st, 2008 — 11:24am PST

    […] In March I went to the launch of the Union Gospel Mission’s website, John and I had our photo in the Wall Street Journal (thanks to Darren) and we took a weekend getaway to lovely and refreshing Saltspring Island. […]

  17. Review: Serrano Hotel San Francisco » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca BollwittTuesday, June 2nd, 2009 — 3:32pm PDT

    […] The bathroom was huge as well, complete with a jacuzzi tub, leopard print robes, Aveda products and a digital scale. John and I ended up stopping by the Lush store in Union Square to pick up a bath bomb so we could make the most of the tub after walking around the city all afternoon (a custom we enjoyed when we stayed on Saltspring). […]

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