The day began with a leisurely ride down Bevan Avenue through the coastal town of Sidney. We pulled into parking lot A and opened the vehicle door to the warming summer sun and fresh sea breeze; stopped by the parking meter and placed the ticket on the dash. This was the start to unlocking the heart of one of Sidney’s greatest summer attractions. Nestled amongst the islands of the Salish Sea, lies a little tropical-like oasis about 9km’s off of Sidney’s waterfront. The name of this mini Shangri-La is Sidney Island- a magnificent oasis of soft sand beaches, lush green forests, and flowing grasslands. It’s the ideal place for a day trip or an overnight camp in one of the many campsites situated on the islands south side.
There are no food or water facilities on the island, so we chose to make a stop at “The Farmers Daughter”- a local business specializing in artisanal cheese and wine. We picked our basket of enticing eats and headed down to the bottom of Beacon Ave to catch the ferry. Our excitement began to build as we waited to purchase our tickets.
We could see the destination shimmering off in the distance, almost as if it was inviting us to come to explore its beaches and forests. As we departed, we left the town of Sidney at our stern, and the tropical oasis to our bow, as we watched the sea life around us came to life. Our backpacks piled in amongst other passengers belongings, giving the impression we were on an expedition to a far off land. The ripples in the ocean glistened in the sun as the cool breeze whistled through the vessel.
As we took our first few steps in our new surroundings, we immediately turned toward the forest. We headed through the trees and into an open field, with grass that blew in the wind, mimicking the currents of the ocean – the perfect place to set up our camp.
After pitching the tent, we set off to the spit to indulge in our feast. We unravelled the contents from “The Farmers Daughter” and began tasting the plethora of decadent flavours. The crackers, cheese, and spreads were the perfect snack to pair with the experience. We spent the afternoon skimboarding, playing frisbee, and indulging in relaxation.
In search of shelter from the sun, we retreated to the cool forest. A lively, but calm place, with the sounds of birds echoing through the canopy. It was the perfect escape to cool down, so we broke out the hammock for a quick rest-up, and to sink into the moment.
Time washed over us as the elemental charm of Sidney Island drifted all remnants of stress away. We headed back to the tent to tie up the day and spend the night under the stars. The twinkling lights of the town of Sidney as the only reminder of civilization, and Sidney Island, the paradise not so far away.