Getting a tooth extracted the day we left for our first post lock-down getaway might not have been the greatest idea, but those things are never really planned, right? The irony of wanting a weekend away to eat, drink and explore was not lost on me when my dentist informed me I should stick predominantly to a liquid diet for the next 24 hours, slowly migrating to soft food over the next week and not do anything too strenuous in case it triggered bleeding. We were keen to go anyway though: if anything, the change of scenery after not leaving metro Vancouver in about four months was still going to be one heck of a treat. Even if the weather forecast was predicting rain.
Our weekend trip to Gibson’s Landing on the Sunshine Coast was the first time either of us had used the BC ferries service. As pedestrian passengers, we couldn’t make a reservation online for this particular route so we wanted to make sure we arrived in ample time to secure our tickets. We caught the 257 express bus to Horseshoe Bay and were dismayed on our disembarkment 45 minutes later to see a big glaring sign saying “capacity full for Langdale services”. My heart skipped a beat, I did not want to be getting back on that bus to Vancouver for another two whole nights yet!
We were so relieved when the ticket seller informed us that it was just for the current ferry trip (which was running an hour late) and once that boat departed, we would be able to buy tickets for a later sailing. A bit perplexed by the poor signage, as well as why we had to wait for one boat to leave before being able to buy tickets for the next one, we immediately gauged the reactions of others around us and were taken aback by how angry everyone was at this delay. As soon as tickets became available, we nabbed two and then disappeared to sit on the waterfront with coffee (for Andy) and ice cream (for me) to pass the time and escape the tension at the terminal.
Our boat ended up running almost an hour and a half late, meaning on our arrival we had to scramble for the bus ($2 fare, coins only folks!) which delivered us to the supermarket up the hill for me to stock up on smoothie ingredients for the next few days. I’m on a bunch of pain relief medication following my trip to the dentist, all of which needs to be taken with food – I couldn’t afford to skip dinner the day of! We dashed home and whizzed up a smoothie (yup, Andy had packed our whizz stick for this purpose!) before heading out to Tapworks Brewery, basically the only place still accepting customers after 9pm, to satisfy Andy’s appetite for dinner.
Our Air BnB was in the most delightful location: right on the waterfront where we could see boats coming and going from the marina from the comfort of our bed. We had lazy mornings (well needed, I assure you) with breakfast in bed, plenty of reading, board games and soaking up the view. There were plenty of walks to be had: nestled seaside, everything heading away from Gibson’s tended to involve an immediate uphill walk. My favourite wander took us around to Georgia Beach for some rugged coastline views, a great spot for whale watching had there been any.
I will do another post that deep dives into Gibson’s cuisine (read that here), but even with my strict instructions from the dentist we managed to adequately indulge. Takeaway coffee and donuts from Beachcomber Coffee is surely the best way to start any day, so naturally we did this both days. This great start was only followed up by successes from Persephone Brewery, Tapworks Brewery, Molly’s Reach and fanciful dinner views from Buono Osteria. Eating was slow going, but I thought I was doing a pretty good job at sticking to the rules from my dentist!
Getting home proved a little more difficult than anticipated. After missing the first possible bus by a mere few minutes, we had to wait an hour for the second bus: which was full. Another couple at the bus stop with us offered to share a taxi, an option we felt compelled to take if we wanted any chance of making the 2.30pm ferry home. We needn’t have bothered: apparently unprecedented, the number of foot passengers let into the boat was capped, meaning we had to sit and wait for a further two hours to catch the 4.30pm sailing instead. Welcome to the post Covid-19 world. It didn’t stop there though: of course our bus from Horseshoe Bay to Vancouver had to break down, but fortunately there was another bus following in its wake which was able to pick us up and deliver us the rest of the way. Boy, I was glad to get home!
Gibson’s Landing is relaxing, charming and picturesque, making it a perfect weekend getaway from Vancouver. It is (usually) easy to get to and around without a car, thanks to public transport and Gibson’s itself only being a small village. I want to climb Soames hill on a future trip, but I think the weather and the dentist’s instructions to take it easy precluded us from doing it this time. We have plans to come back with a car and go further afield (Sechelt and beyond) but we will be sure to stop in at Beachcomber Coffee on the way through – especially if there is donuts!