Of the places we went in 2019, one remains fixed in memory and demands return, Canada’s Gulf Islands and especially The Penders. I feel like we covered Salt Spring Island well but not the joined 2 islands called The Penders. While there, we were too focused on finding the trails to ocean views that abounded on maps, but in reality we usually ended up on the top of a hill staring at a a gate or a sign that read Private or No Trespassing or Beware of the Dog. The 2,200 people who live on The Penders may be welcoming in public, but they value and demand privacy around their properties.
There is no town on The Penders and only one developed shopping area, the Driftwood Centre, where everyone gathers. There were lots of hilltop houses. Maybe we went to the wrong places. When I look at the maps I brought home, I see lots of places I wish I had seen like the Magic Lake area on North Pender that everyone told me was on flat ground and is quite a housing development and Wallace Point with 4 ocean access views. The National Park Reserve and Poet’s Cove Resort were on South Pender, which has only 10% of all Penderites. We drove over the one lane bridge to it but didn’t stay long.
The Penders are small, only 14,681 acres. There is only one major ferry terminal. It’s at Otter Bay on North Pender. It’s only about 3½ miles from there to the bridge to South Pender, which is an even smaller and hillier island than North Pender. I’d also like to see another Gulf Island like Galiano or Saturna. Mayne looks small but quite developed. Locals discouraged us from visiting any of them off-season. We must go back to resolve these many issues.
Ruth Is my source of information about the travels of Meghan and Harry. She just told me that they are in the LA area looking at properties near her mother. I didn’t know. I thought they were in Canada on Vancouver Island looking at houses. Real estate developers on the internet are showing them, and us, undeveloped, buyable islands in the Gulf Island area. A house built out there would surely mean privacy for the still royal couple, but it would take years and lots of money to develop. Meanwhile, Ruth assures me that Meghan and Harry don’t have money issues and retain a residence in England at a place called Frogmore.
We only focused on the hilly parts of North Pender, the shopping area where most of the action was, and Woods on Pender, the place where we stayed. Its owner drove there to meet us and give us a key to any room we wanted. Because it was late in the year, he said there were no other guests. However, that night there were folks we didn’t know in the hot tub.
The Penders nickname is “the Friendly islands”. They are very wild and beautiful. One guide book showing a lady in kayak on its cover says that these islands still enjoy the atmosphere of the past when supplies were delivered by boat. This seems true. It’s definitely a place to get away from 21st century problems.
Its Art Guide lists 19 galleries and studios, none of which we visited. Nine of them are in the Magic Lake area. The Gulf Islander says that “Over two dozen galleries flourish on North and South Pender”. To be continued.