What a fabulous weekend! We took Friday off to use a certificate for a weekend at Ruby Lake Resort that I “won” in a silent auction fundraiser for Pacific Wild.
Since we had taken the day off, we also chose to do a long-coveted tour of swiwelàt (Princess Louisa Inlet). This is a conservation area where fjord meets ocean and is a stunning example of west coast nature and beauty. It is only accessible by boat or plane. Beautiful Chatterbox Falls tumbles dramatically over a huge rock face, dwarfed by the massive mountains surrounding it. We took the boat tour in with Sunshine Coast Tours. Our tour guide, Cliff, provided insight and stories, pulling in here and there to show us waterfalls, pictographs and industry along the fjords leading up to and into swiwelàt. There are many mountains and cliffs along the Jervis Inlet, historically used for indigenous rites of passage. Industry brought logging to the area and heli-logging still operates in permitted areas. I can highly recommend this tour! I also highly recommend that someone save the gorgeous little Yamaha motorbike wasting away at the Back Eddy Marina. Such a shame!
Another highlight of the day was meeting Maureen, Frank, Mark and Vivian. Maureen and Frank were visiting from Ireland and we got to chatting on the boat ride. We talked about how we would love to visit Ireland again and they would like to come back as their son Mark is now living in Vancouver. Getting off the boat at Chatterbox Falls and moseying up the trail, I said “We should house swap with them!” I mentioned it when we saw them again and Maureen said she had been thinking the very same thing! So we swapped deets with the promise to keep in touch. One thing led to another and before the end of the weekend, a deal had been struck for the summer of 2024!
The next event of the day was to check in at Ruby Lake Resort. My certificate was for a 2-night stay, 3-course dinner for 2 and paddle board or kayak rental. The property has a nature preserve and fun displays of quirky woodwork and art all over the place! We checked into our safari tent, which certainly qualified as “glamping” and relaxed a bit on it’s deck (yes, that’s right – a deck with our tent…) before going for dinner at the Grasshopper Pub. The Grasshopper always has good food and a view to die for.
Saturday dawned cool with the threat of rain, so we decided instead of paddleboards and kayaks, we would go do the hike to Skookumchuck Narrows for the ebb tide. This is another special spectacle of the area where the tide changes create incredible turbulence. The water comes through as fast as 17 knots when it is rampaging through, creating whirlpools on the ebb tide and standing waves on the flood tide. Kayakers who need their heads examined wait for these tides to ride the waves during the flood tide. The hike is about 8 kms round trip and relatively easy, though my out-of-shapeness found it quite enough, thank you!
After our hike, we toodled around the Madeira Park area before heading back to the resort for our dinner at La Trattoria Italiana. WOW! What a meal! Our appetizer of house made olive and tomato focaccia and insalata bocconcini was followed by the west coast special of snapper and black cod with seasonal veggies. As if that weren’t enough, we were forced to have desserts of mango ice cream and tiramisu. And then climb the hill back to our tent! Oof.
Despite the swank tent digs and showers at Rider’s Retreat and Ruby Lake Resort, and the fun I had a both, I have to admit I am still a hotel kinda girl. I’d probably book at cottage with the bathroom inside instead of up the road next time. 😊
All in all, it was a lovely little weekend getaway that made me think it might be time for a genuine holiday soon.