Salt Spring Stopover

This weekend my bf and I went to Ganges on Salt Spring Island to crash my parents camping trip.  (Note: for a low-maintenance gettaway – crashing someone else’s vacation is a great ‘no-fuss’ option).  We thought we had brought all we needed, but realized on the way to the ferry that we had forgotten the tent (borrowed from my sister).  Oops! Only a slight oversight!  No worries though, we were able to pick one up at Mouat’s for $70.  Now we have our very own tent – not a bad deal!  It’s pretty basic, but did the trick for the 2 night stay.

We stayed at Garden Faire campground – a sweet little spot just a 10 minute walk from town in Ganges.  One of the highlights of Garden Faire is the in-garden outdoor shower and bathroom – a very Zen washroom experience – I really should have taken a photo!

My parents were there to kayak, Jeff and I were there to hang out and do a little cycling – so this was a super conveinient place for some low-key camping.

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We spent our first half-day checking out the Saturday market (an obvious draw on the island) and turning into our campsite fairly early in the evening to set up, make dinner and indulge in good red wine and conversation.  Can’t beat a selection of Burrowing Owl and Quails Gate when ‘roughing it’ in the great outdoors.

On Day Two – our only full day there – Jeff and I took the bikes out to St. Mary’s Lake for some fresh water swimming.  At first we could only find a small public access beach crowded with young families (somewhat entertaining, but not really our scene).  We hung around there for a bit, but didn’t feel right about swimming, as we were relying on underwear as suits.   Plus we figured the pee levels in the water would be fairly high – considering the ratio of 3 year olds to adults.   Luckily, as we were heading back along the lake, we noticed a rough pathway down to the water, and found a perfect spot off of some flat rocks for swimming and sunning.  It was the perfect little watering hole, and highly satisfying after our family beach experience.  After our swim, I lay on the rock along the water with my arm dangling in like it was an all-natural swimming pool.

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On the way back from our swim, I had to take a photo of the Salt Spring Island Cinema – How cute is this?!  Jeff thought it would be a perfect spot to premier an indie horror flick – complete with little old graveyard in the back.

Salt Spring Cinema
Salt Spring Cinema

That evening we opted to go for dinner in town – not exactly rustic living!  I’m normally a fan of full-on cook-your-own-food campfire style camping – but since we only had a day and a half, this was perfect.  We hit up Moby’s on the water for a full face-stuffing.  The entrees were good, the appy’s and desert were awesome – and friendly service.   I was a little disappointed that it was no longer an oyster bar, I think they recently changed ownership.  In any case, I’d recommend it for a casual dinner.

We left the Island the next morning on the 10:35am ferry.  This one had two stops along the way and took twice as long as the trip there.  In the future I’d try to plan that part a little better.   Can’t complain too much – I did see a super cute seal swimming by on our return trip – so I suppose that makes up for it.  Next time round, we may attempt a full cycling/camping adventure – all we need is the right gear.

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