Now that I've lived here for more than two weeks, I've got to tell you about Cowichan Bay. It's a tiny village on Vancouver Island (population 2,575) about an hour's drive north of Victoria.
There are signs along the road that say, "Seaside Village Route", and that's a perfect description. It seems a bit overly romantic, but a seaside village is exactly what it is. There are lots of lovely houses up in the hills, but the main strip of the village is right along the water. The shops look directly out on the boats and a lovely island across the bay. If you sit facing the bay in Hecate Park, you can see little seals' noses poking above the water, and all sorts of birds swooping around and waiting for fish.
When the tide is low, you can see the starfish suctioned onto the poles of the docks. I mostly see the starfish when I'm waiting for my laundry. The only laundromat in town is one washer and one dryer at the end of a long pier that's there mostly for the fishermen and tourists who are mooring their boats at the wharf.
Getting to and from the main bit of the village from our apartment is even picturesque. From the top, there's a lovely view of the water, boats, and mountains, and there's a wooden staircase that makes a little shortcut from our street to one below. It makes the hill seem inviting, especially since those bushes to the right of the trail are full of ripe blackberries. I will definitely miss blackberry season when it's over.
There's a patch of woods right next to our place where we like to explore and just sit. If you sit still long enough, deer (and deer babies!) will come right into the clearing and stare at you. I have yet to get a picture of this, but I am working on it!
Another bit of nature I've been enjoying is the beaches. Since dawn and dusk are the best time for outdoor photos, especially with how blindingly sunny it's been here, I've taken the time to be on the beach early in the morning. It's about a five minute walk to this beach.
And the colors are downright inspirational. Does this make anyone else think Fair Isle? (Thank you Alice Starmore for helping me notice these things!)
Since bikes are our only mode of transport right now, we've been riding them a lot. The trek to the grocery store is getting easier (especially since I learned how to properly inflate my tires! Learning curve.) And we've been riding around just for fun too. The whole area is just forest and farm land full of cows, goats, sheep, and horses. It's definitely a big change from city life, but I think it suits us perfectly. We're planning a riding tour of some local wineries too since I got a taste for that sort of thing by touring some eastern Washington wineries.
I know I haven't even mentioned Cowichan sweaters or knitters throughout this whole thing. I thought that would be all I'd be interested in, but there's so much more to talk about! I am working on getting lots of Cowichan knitting tales (and pictures) and I promise to pass them on. Stay tuned.
Thanks, Cowichan Bay for the warm welcome!
You can read more about the village here.