China trip – bye bye Beijing and west coast interlude

quiet Beijing hutong morning

quiet Beijing hutong morning

Before flying back to Canada, I had a few days in Beijing staying in a lovely small courtyard hotel in the Drum and Bell district again. Because of a strong rain the night before, the air was actually quite pleasant and the sky was blue that morning!

Beijing rush hour hutong style

Beijing rush hour hutong style

The hutongs (the traditional alleys of Beijing) have their own busy-ness but it is not like the regular traffic jams of the larger streets. Everything is at a smaller scale – even the vehicles.

Vancouver reflections on the way out of harour

Vancouver reflections on the way out of harbour

…and after a flight of 12 hours and one night’s sleep, the seemingly surreal beauty of Vancouver, British Columbia as we cruised slowly out of the harbour. (It is great to have a friend with a boat!)

feeling fine

feeling fine

Although the winds were too light at this point to actually sail, the day was beautiful and enjoying the scenery from the shade cast by the sail cover was just about perfect… the word “awesome” got slightly but justifiably overused during these few days :-)

sunset in the Gulf Islands

sunset in the Gulf Islands

Sunset the first evening after managing to prepare a pretty delicious meal in the galley – or maybe sailing makes you hungry ;-)

view from hiking trail

view from hiking trail

Pirates Cove Marine Provincial Park had some nice hiking around and through the point of an island.

otter

otter

Yay! Wildlife!!

sculpted landscape

sculpted landscape

Fantastical rock forms…

tidal pool

tidal pool

Fascinating tidal pools… the very first one I saw had the most diverse inhabitants.

view from shore

view from shore

There she is, still afloat!

Nanaimo Harbour

Nanaimo Harbour

A beautiful day in Nanaimo…

back to Vancouver

back to Vancouver

Strong winds made for a quick trip back to Vancouver and sadly the end of an amazing trip.

photos (cc) 2013 Hilary Farmer

except #4 (c) 2013 TJ Radcliffe

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2 Responses to “China trip – bye bye Beijing and west coast interlude”

  1. I finally got around to putting up my own blog about the Gulf Islands trip, which includes a few of your pictures (not the ones you’ve used here!) it was, indeed, awesome: http://www.tjradcliffe.com/?p=1170

    I took Carrie to the Gulf Islands for a four day trip last week, and while the crossing was nasty (the canonical “standing fully clothed in a cold shower tearing up $100 bills” experience) the weather turned nice on the other side and we had a wonderful time. The water had warmed up a LOT in the past month, so the swimming and diving was incredibly good too! Only one eagle, though, and no otters, although zillions of little crabs in the shallows and the starfish are starting their mating season in a big way.

    The family of geese were still in the cove, with the young’uns looking all growed up!

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