The mystical landscape of Long Beach, Vancouver Island.
All today’s road tripping double exposures are from my trip to Vancouver Island, specially the Pacific Rim National Park where we went camping. We stayed on the Long Beach area which is just miles and miles of beach surround by the rain forest and covered on these amazing rocks that remind me of photos I’ve seen of Hawaii. There weren’t many chances to take multiple exposures on our short trip there but each of these I really enjoy.
Long Beach on Vancouver Island is one of the few places in Canada I’ve been that feels like nowhere else. Situated in the Pacific Rim area of the island sandwiched between two small holiday towns (Tofino and Uculelet) and surrounded by the rainforest, it’s pretty magical. Not to mention there is nothing between it and the raw span of the Pacific ocean that reaches all the way to Japan. It feels like a raw untapped environment, the bear lockers as well certainly back that up. The highway trip there however might persuade you not to visit; we twisted and turned constantly through the mountains for a few hours to get to this secluded area of the island. Even after only being there twice in my lifetime once as a kid and an adult I feel a connection with the place. If you ever get the chance or plan a trip to Vancouver Island – I’d say jump on it. These were all taken with my Polaroid Super Shooter Shot using Fujifilm FP-100C film instant film.
I am sharing photos from my Vancouver trip piece by piece, there is something about summer that makes me never feel the need to relive it a second time…that is until Winter hits and the first snow falls and then all I do is look at photos of better and nicer days and pine away. lol. All the instant photographs today were taken with my Instax Mini 90 camera using Pandora film while me and Victor were on our trip. We really wanted to go camping on Vancouver Island while in town and my friend Brent agreed to drive so we hit the road 2 days into landing in Vancouver. Me and Victor spent the next 6 days camping at various places across the island.
Our second location of the camping trip was Long Beach on the west coast of the island. The sky was blotched out due to the heavy smoke from a forest fire on the north side of the island that happened on the 2nd day of our camping adventure. The lower mainland and the island were having a severe drought so fires are to be expected. We didn’t know until we arrived back to Vancouver that the whole of lower mainland had the same issue with the sky just being a sea of smoke. I remember once having black ash fall from the sky in downtown Vancouver one year after a really bad forest fire which didn’t feel as bizarre to me as this. It’s just what happens when you are in province with so much forest and dry summers. So we didn’t really get a sunny beach while camping but I loved the atmosphere. Below is a double exposure shot of the beach and a few of us hanging out.
Sadly I didn’t get any photos of us wave surfing as a group but we spent most of our day on Long Beach doing that with my friend Zara who joined us there. The water was very cold especially with no sun to warm us up but we had a blast. We also headed down to the beach later that day to watch the sunset together. I hate when I take photos of sunsets with the Instax camera the sun becomes a black dot in the skyline (like the second photo below).
Due to the drought most of BC had a fire ban which all three of us didn’t even think about before heading out camping. Lucky for us we just happened to have packed a gas stove or it might have been a disaster. However at Long Beach they didn’t have a ban on camps fires due to being so close to the ocean. We made the biggest fire we could! It was so nice to cook supper over it (man I love anything cooked over a fire) and I must have spent a good hour roasting marshmallows.
Our 3rd camping location was the beautiful island of Newcastle which is just adjacent to Nanaimo’s downtown harbour. When I was little and lived in Nanaimo my school use to go over to Newcastle to hike all the time and even do group camping. I couldn’t wait to take Victor and show him as I have a fondness of the place. Sadly our friend Brent had to get back to work so he dropped us off so we could hop on the small ferry over to the island. The first night we arrived the sun was just setting so we didn’t do much except setup camp and eat a quick supper but the next morning we made the big plan to walk around the entire island. It was intense and it took 5 hours but being able to view the ocean from the cliff sides and even have lunch dangling my feet over a cliff was well worth it.
Late on our last night of camping my older brother showed up with his girlfriend and we proceeded to show them the coastline of the island. We didn’t get to go very far since me and Victor were exhausted from our own walk but the next morning on our last day we took them up the side of the island that we thought was the most beautiful. Victor and my brother were on the hunt to find the perfect private beach to sit and chill at. We did find in the end after a lot of walking and even scrabbling down the side of rocks, lots of hand hold and finding a path down with the least amount of thorn bushes. All the photos are us hanging out on the secluded beach and enjoy the morning breeze coming off the ocean. Victor even went for a swim at the end to capitalize on our last hour on Newcastle before we headed back to Vancouver.
Pick of the Week: Jason Villeneuve
Today I wanted to share with you the work of painter Jason Villeneuve who sells a selection of his paintings through his Etsy store. Villeneuve predominantly sells abstract ocean landscapes although recently has been selling mountain landscapes as well. I’ve been missing the ocean so much over the last few months I was really drawn into picking up more of his work. He is even based out of Vancouver Island where I grew up so I imagine many of the Pacific Ocean landscapes he paints might be sights I’ve seen before. He paints a variety of locations however so his work is not just solely from there, this year he seems to have doing a lot of landscapes featuring icebergs which I’ve enjoyed as well. I have purchased twice from him before and the shipping is always very quick and well done and he is easy to communicate with if you have any questions. The price of the paintings range substantial in consideration of materials and size of each piece but I love that he offers very affordable paintings. I have one piece on actual mounted canvas, and one of canvas board but most of the ones I’ve picked up are acrylic paint on archival paper which he sells individually or in sets. I haven’t picked out where I want to hang there nor had the chance to frame them but I will show pictures of some of the paintings I have and some of their temporary locations so you can get a good idea of his work. If you love abstract landscapes definitely check his website and store!
a few of my favourite paintings from his store:
What’s a girl to do when she missing home? Bake a delicious snack named after her hometown? Yup that sounds about right. I can’t even say I remember Nanaimo bars as being a big thing when I lived there, sure I ate them but they are everywhere on the West Coast. In fact I didn’t even realize how much I’d miss them until a few years into living on the East Coast. I hadn’t seen them anywhere until on a trip to Prince Edward Island 2 summers ago, we stopped at a bakery in New Brunswick which had them and my eyes light up and my stomach grumbled, and I remembered. Remembered one of the few baked items I’ve always loved and one that is extremely rare to find here. For the last month I’ve been craving the ocean and anything that reminded of living on the island so I decided “hey, l should make Nanaimo Bars”. At first I thought it’d be cute to do a few post of me trying to find the ULTIMATE recipe but quickly I realized that there is an official recipe, right on the city’s website. They threw a contest in the 80’s to see who had the best recipe, and Joyce Hardcastle’s recipe won and is considered by Nanaimo to be THE recipe (to rule them all). I was also surprised that the official custard powder, made by Bird’s was easily found at my local grocery store – off to a good start. So last night I made these, and let me tell you – they taste like home. Already I feel a bit better and maybe just maybe on a bit of a sugar high. I wanted to share with you guys part of my hometown, and a great dessert to make. No baking required and super easy to do, the flavor is hard to describe because of the layers but it’s very chocolatity, rich, and sweet with nuts, graham crackers and coconut. Although one warning if you haven’t made these before – watch a YouTube video like this one to get an idea about what each layer should look like because the recipe although official is pretty bare bones for a first timer. Here is some shots of my yummy treat, and let me know if you make these yourself.