Vancouver walks – Beach trail

Vancouver walks – Beach trail

Last Sunday we decided to take a bus to Jericho beach and walk all along the beaches on the Spanish banks to Acadia beach, Tower beach and around to Wreck beach. The entire walk was only about 13km so it was a relaxing stroll, moving slowly further away from central Vancouver. The second half of the walk was along beaches where clothing was optional, so I took fewer photos than normal. Somehow a willy photo did make it into my camera so I’ve had to add a well-placed star to the image to make this post safe for work. πŸ˜‰

We’d been as far as Jericho beach on a previous walk. Each time we have walked through there seems to be loads going on; Large picnics as well as lots of people kayaking, and paddle-boarding. The beach has a really good view of downtown Vancouver and Stanley Park.

We took off our shoes and paddled along the edge of the water. There are lots of spiky shells to dodge and the sand is pretty muddy, but it was still nice to get our toes wet. Afterwards we sat on some rocks waiting for our feet to dry and watching the kayaks swish past.

After walking past the Jericho sailing centre, we had our first look at the amazing Locarno beach and the Spanish Banks. Vancouver is slightly strange in that it only had one proper low tide each day. This is because Vancouver Island is so close to the mainland, that the narrow straits restrict the flow of water, skewing the heights of the tides. These beaches must normally have a very shallow area to swim in, as the sea had retreated for miiiiles at low tide! We took our shoes off again and explored around the squishy, muddy sand.

I love the way the seaweed looks like swirling mermaid hair in the shallow water. There were plenty of birds making the most of the low tide to collect shellfish, and quite a few VERY happy doggos splashing around in the puddles.

It took us a while to even walk out to the edge of the water! I tried to capture just how vast this beach was with a panorama. You can see Vancouver city to the right, then the far away mountain on the right is Mount Seymour, then Β along from that isΒ Grouse Mountain. We haven’t explored the closer Cypress mountain area yet, but it is really good to see we have so many more places to walk(!)

We could walk out almost the whole way to the lighthouses. I tried to do a normal jumping photo, but Marc wanted me to make more of a splash, so I also attempted to do a frog-like jump photo. I look a little loopy, but it was great fun!

It is really strange to be able to walk so close to the massive oil tankers. They looked almost touchable, but it must be dangerous to attempt to swim out to them, as the water suddenly gets a lot deeper beyond this point! Looking back towards Kitsilano, we could see the sky reflected in the puddles. It all looks so much prettier with a hint of a blue sky!!

The tide turned. Although it hadn’t started to come back in yet, we thought on such a shallow camber it might come in quite quickly, so we started to walk inland to the Pacific Spirit National Park. Looking back, the sea had already started to make shallow horizontal channels along the beach. These were fun to paddle through, but it would be a little stressful if they were much deeper. I saw lots of shrimps swimming around and there was a some kind of fish that kept darting out of the sand towards Marc’s toes! It was so quick that we didn’t get to see what it was.

We sat at the edge of the beach to let our feet dry before we could put our shoes back on. Isn’t this an amazing view!? You can see central Vancouver, but it seems to be miiiiles away, rather than an easy 20 minute bus ride! Most people had not bothered to walk this far around so we had this end of the beach almost to ourselves.

We came off the beach and climbed up onto the headland to continue our walk. There is an easy path to follow through bright green trees with loads of orange and yellow butterflies fluttering around.

Next to the path we saw these fern-like plants. They looks sort of fluffy from far away, but when you get close they are like a collection of bright green daddy long legs! Please let me know if the comments if you know what they are!

We also found quite a few different types of berries. I *think* the first one, that looks like a raspberry with a collar, is a salmonberry. There was another similar shaped one called aΒ thimbleberry, that was really tasty! The green-red berries in the middle areΒ salal berries (according to the lovely Andy G who has given me loads of helpful advice about walking in Vacnouver). They aren’t ready to try yet as they need to turn black. I have no idea what the last red berries are, but as I didn’t know, I didn’t try them.

Once we were up on the headland, we had to follow the road for a little way, and the edge of the Marine Drive is covered in these gorgeous purple flowers. I have no idea what they are, but they grow really tall! Lots of them grew up far taller than me, so they must have been 2m high!

Quite soon we found the pathway back down to the beaches. There were some steep steps down through a wooded area. The only other person around was a jogger with legs of steel, who kept running up and down the steps! She is definitely far healthy than either Marc or I!

We knew that Wreck beach at the end of the headland was an area where clothing is optional. But actually there were people sunbathing in the buff on Tower beach too. We found a bit of driftwood that was balanced to allow me to walk out to the end and pose for a photo. I only noticed when I got home… but there was a willy in this photo! Oops! I don’t think Marc intended to take a penis photo in our holiday snaps. Anyway, I have added a star to the photo to protect the bloke’s modesty, so don’t bother to zoom in!

Tower beach is named after two remnants of WWII – large towers that used to hold powerful search lights. The first one is called Tower 2 (or CASL Coast Artillery Search Light #9). Apparently some of the graffiti high up where it can’t be re-painted easily is from the 1970s.

The beach itself was lovely, although quite rocky. There were a few naked sunbathers in secluded spots, but most other walkers were still wearing clothes.

Further along the beach, we found a small bunker with a happy skull painted into the back. After that was Tower 1 (CASL #10). I like the way the towers are surrounded by bright green trees, so it makes the colourful graffiti really stand out.

To walk along this section of the beach you need to balance on large rocks and on driftwood. It makes it into quite a fun walk, but you need to watch your step to protect your ankles. Eventually the rocks give way to a large sandy area called Wreck beach. This part of the beach was really full of naked folks, so I didn’t take any close-ups! We stopped at the beach for a sandwich, made by a friendly man called Abdul, who has been selling yummy sarnies here since the 70s. Marc and I did look a little out of place in our hiking boots and clothes, but I did see a sign that said people are meant to keep their clothes on if they are hiking.

Beyond Wreck Beach’s naked people, we could see a huge area that is used to store logs. Neither of us had seen how the logging industry works close up; So we decided to keep walking along the nature trail beyond Wreck beach.

Nature trail is the perfect description of this walk! You can see the beach to your left and lovely woodland on the right. Then, despite the sign asking hikers to keep their clothes on, we did encounter quite a few naked walkers too! The path was a little swamp-like but planks have been laid down to make it easy to walk . I hope the naked hikers didn’t get bitten on any sensitive areas by the mozzies! I had clothes and plenty of DEET, and I still managed to be bitten twice!

At the end of the walk we had to take some more steep steps back up away from the beach.

Then, as we still had quite a lot of energy left, we walked through the University of British Columbia. I am hoping to find a job there, so it was lovely to have a look around. It is a massive campus, well spaced out with plenty of greenery and stunning views of the mountains and sea. Lucky Canadian students!!

 

39 thoughts on “Vancouver walks – Beach trail

  1. I’m not sure if my first comment made it through cyber space so I’m posting another. It looks like a really cool adventure you took. Awesome pictures. Neat place to explore.

    Good luck with the job!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    1. Thank you! It was a perfect walk for a not- too sunny day! πŸ™‚

      I have my fingers crossed for the job too!

    1. lol I did only need to use a teeny star!

      I was surprised that Marc managed to take it without noticing the penis right next to me though!

    1. I kind of like the idea of it, I mean especially on a hot day…but not if there were mozzies around! I mean, why would anyone want bug bites on their bottom!? Eep.

  2. *blush* πŸ™‚ The best berry I ever tasted was a thimbleberry. ‘The other red berry may be red elderberry but if so the berries shouldn’t be eaten raw. The tall pink flowers are fireweed (aka rosebay willowherb), and the spidery green plants are a variety of horsetail.

    I love walking out on Spanish Banks at low tide – Maria and I did the same thing a couple of weeks ago and had to walk quite quickly to beat the tide coming back in! Glad you caught one of these low, low tides as they happen at night in the winter.

    Ah yes, Wreck Beach – the place where you maintain eye contact. Most of the time… πŸ˜‰ You wouldn’t think you’d encounter naked people there in November, but I can confirm that yes you do…

    Good luck with the job hunt at UBC! I’m back there again at the moment. What kind of work are you looking for?

    1. Thanks Andy! I just realised that I didn’t label my photos, but now I know the names of things!! πŸ˜€

      Originally I was hoping to find work that would use my Japanese language skills, but there doesn’t seem to be much at the moment. I’ve been hired as UBC temp staff…so now I just need to wait for a suitable work assignment to come up. I figured that way I should be able to work in several different departments and work out what kind of thing I should apply to next!

  3. Oh, UBC is absolutely lovely!! And so is the rest of your walk- the flora and fauna on the coast are so lush and green, which is amazing when you look at how dry the coast is in Washington State!! How often do you go on your hikes/walks??

    1. Really? I always thought Washington State was similar and all green!? I need to visit to see the difference!

      We normally do one walk a week…unless I can do more! πŸ˜€

    1. Thank you!

      I do look slightly demented in the frog jump picture, but at least it was a laugh taking them! πŸ˜‰

    1. Well, it would be pretty mean to show it when I don’t even know who he is! It would even be mean if I DID know who he is!

  4. Wow! What beautiful places! I loved your descriptions of everything and the wonderful photos (especially the frog jumping photo). I have never personally encountered a “clothing optional” beach, so that would surprise me a bit. I would love to be able to visit all of those trails one day! Thank you for sharing!

    Good luck with finding a job! πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you! πŸ˜€

      I found one…so I’ll be hiking slightly less after Monday. At least I’ll have more money to buy new hiking boots, mine are getting worn out!

      Clothing optional beach wasn’t too intimidating. There were naked folks and folks in cozzies – I guess it really is optional.

    1. Hopefully not! He is pretty far away in the photo, so if I added a bigger star, it’d just look like I was exaggerating the size of his manhood!

  5. Delightful! The picture of the swirling seaweed reminds me of the art my friend used to make by putting paint on 2 pieces of plexiglass and then smushing them together so that the paint swirled and looked kind of marbleized. Really cool! I also love the graffiti pics. Well-done graffiti is awesome.

    1. Oooh i can imagine what you mean. I love those smudge like swirls of paint. I used to love mixing acrylics for the same reason, the way the paints smoosh together is gorgeous, just like mermaids hair. πŸ™‚

      There is so much street art in vancouver! I think you’d love it here!!

    1. Yay! I hope you make it here at some point. The city is nice, but the scenery around the city is simply stunning. πŸ™‚

  6. Gorgeous! I LOVE that view of Vancouver from the beach- just amazing. Am also loving that graffiti! I love the combination of the bright green trees & the colour of the graffiti too.

    1. Thank you!! It’s funny, sometimes I hate the way graffiti looks, but sometimes it just makes everything seem vibrant. I suppose it is the non-arty tags that I’m less keen on.

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