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Vancouver Island Charm

What photograph­y simply cannot capture is how “The Island” makes you feel

- By Erica Henault, Victoria

Ihave had the privilege of calling Vancouver Island my home for the past 30 years. Stunning ocean views and diverse forest trails are within minutes of where I live in Victoria. I feel the harmony, balance and beauty in the magnificen­ce of nature as I take in the fresh, clean air; the ocean breeze against my skin; the goosebumps appearing on my arms as I watch a spectacula­r, breathtaki­ng sunset. Vancouver Island is not something that can be captured and shared; rather it needs to be experience­d. But visitors beware: this nurturing, welcoming, mystical locale is highly addictive.

Ten Reasons why you should not live on “The Island”

1. You will squander your days walking on beautiful, tranquil beaches. You will have to tolerate stunning views of the ocean as far as the eye can see.

2. You will waste precious time exploring fascinatin­g tidal pools filled with marine plants, organisms and unique rocks. You will have to become familiar with reading tide tables so you can access these rich, colourful pools during low tide.

3. You may have to share your sushi lunch with the otters. You will often be surprised by wildlife sharing their home with us.

4. Visiting the west coast of The Island will spoil you forever. The spectacula­r, breathtaki­ng sunsets will leave you awestruck, grateful you are here to witness the beauty on our planet.

5. If this is your first time on The Island, you will not want to miss the incredible views on the Malahat Drive on Highway 1. You may want to take an alternativ­e route home, the Pacific Marine

Road, on a busy long weekend in the summer months. The extra two hours of driving will turn into a full day, sightseein­g adventure. This scenic loop offers breathtaki­ng ocean views, winding mountain passes, and enchanting old growth forests. Another entirely wasted day…in paradise.

6. You will be amazed by the vast number of shades of green appearing in nature. A rich diversity of mosses, varied ferns and many species of magnificen­t trees thrive in our coastal rainforest­s. Green will become your new favourite colour.

7. Hiking with family and friends of all ages will consume a great deal of your leisure time. You will never run out of places to explore. Decisions, decisions.

8. People are neighbourl­y and approachab­le on The Island. Expect a friendly wave with the obligatory wave in return. You will have to constantly say “Hi.” A tiresome custom.

9. Hundreds of beautiful, inspiratio­nal pictures will overfill your photos library every week. Unfortunat­ely, you will have the daunting task of selecting only a few favourite ones to share.

10. Most importantl­y, will you be able to keep The Island our little secret? I think not! Especially when you call beautiful Vancouver Island your home.

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 ?? ?? Clockwise from left: Erica’s granddaugh­ters enjoy a rainy day of shoreline exploratio­n; otters at Island View Beach Regional Park near Victoria; hiking at Witty’s Lagoon, offering wonderful trails for all ages; a breathtaki­ng sunset at Long Beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Clockwise from left: Erica’s granddaugh­ters enjoy a rainy day of shoreline exploratio­n; otters at Island View Beach Regional Park near Victoria; hiking at Witty’s Lagoon, offering wonderful trails for all ages; a breathtaki­ng sunset at Long Beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

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