Even on a cloudy day, the first views of San Sebastian from the Camino del Norte were amazing. I had long anticipated visiting the Basque city and couldn’t wait to descend the mountain and walk along the beaches, check out the historic buildings, and have a closer look at the hill of Urgall. My time would be limited, but I was going to enjoy my afternoon and evening in San Sebastian.

I left my last post, Coastal Views Along The Camino del Norte in Spain, Pasajes de San Pedro to San Sebastian, here, after walking along one of the most scenic stretches of the Camino de Santiago. It had been a tiring day, but also one that was memorable for I had met a group of friendly, interesting women, and we would stay together for another day.

San Sebastian Zurriola Beach On and off the Camino del Norte in San Sebastian, Spain

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One of my recent fond memories was a Mother’s Day about six years ago that I spent with my late mother at the VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, Canada. I always enjoy visiting gardens in Springtime, but on that particular day, we witnessed something that we both had never seen — the beautiful Laburnum Walk with the Golden Chain Trees in full bloom. My mother and I were fascinated as we had only seen individual trees, and, although beautiful on their own, nothing could come close to what we saw that day.

With the onset of Spring and the odd Golden Chain Tree coming alive with their bright yellow blooms along the streets of Vancouver, a few weeks ago, I made another visit to the VanDusen Botanical Garden. I had returned since the aforementioned visit in the summer, but mid-Spring is still my favourite with the Rhododendron, Azaleas, Alliums, late tulips, early roses, and many other plants providing a vast array of colours.

A little warning: if you don’t like yellow flowers then you probably won’t enjoy this post. Now let’s visit the Laburnum Walk in the VanDusen Botanical Garden. Golden Chain is the common name for Laburnum, a genus of the pea family.

Golden Chain Trees Flowers VanDusen Garden Vancouver Canada Under Golden Chains, On The Laburnum Walk, VanDusen Botanical Garden

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The greatest thrill while experiencing nature often comes when you least expect it. That’s exactly what happened to me as I began my descent of Panorama Ridge in Garibaldi Provincial Park on a summer’s evening. After spending hours on the ridge, I had barley descended when a family of Ptarmigan came to visit. To be more precise, since it was their home, I was visiting them.

I have written a few posts featuring one of my favourite places, Garibaldi Provincial Park, north of Vancouver, Canada, including Views From Panorama Ridge On A Clear Summer’s Day. Now let’s visit the Ptarmigan.

This is the Rock Ptarmigan of Garibaldi Park.

Ptarmigan Garibaldi provincial Park Canada My Visit With Ptarmigan, Panorama Ridge, Garibaldi Park

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After a tough morning on my first day on the Camino del Norte, I was glad to arrive at the crest of the hill just before the villages of Pasajes de San Juan & Pasajes de San Pedro. Walking had been difficult, not only from the rain, but because I was so out of shape. The two ascents to begin the day nearly wore me out. I was happy to see the brilliant blue of the ocean and anticipated visiting the picturesque seaside villages.

I left my last post On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Guadalupe to Pasajes de San Juan, just a little east of this spot, overlooking the city of Pasaia which is a suburb of San Sebastian. Walking through the city is an option but didn’t interest me. I wanted to see the villages, smell and touch the ocean, and was excited when I arrived here, just above Pasajes de San Juan.


Pasajes de San Pedro Basque Region Camino Del Norte Spain On the Camino Del Norte in Pasajes de San Juan & Pasajes de San Pedro, Spain

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When I was given the opportunity to talk about Avenza’s PDF Maps app, I immediately thought how it would benefit not only traveling, but my main passion of hiking and trekking. Avenza’s PDF Maps app is free for both Apple and Android devices. There are literally thousands of maps, many of which are free, while others have prices set by the publishers. One of the best features about Avenza’s PDF Maps app is that it runs strictly on the GPS of your smartphone without the need for data. You download the maps prior to your trip or when you have WIFI, and use them offline while your phone is on airplane mode.

ipad iphone pdfmaps example Traveling and Trekking with Avenza’s PDF Maps App

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I love to watch sunsets and one of my favourite vantage points in the Metro Vancouver area is from Garry Point Park in the village of Steveston. Because of it’s location on a point, the views are vast — from Mount Baker in the United States to the south, to the Gulf Islands to the west, and the North Shore Mountains to the north. Other attractions include a picnic ground, flowers, historic buildings, a memorial, and trails along the water and marsh. Oh yes, did I mention the fabulous sunsets?

This post is compiled from my many visits to the park which is located in the city of Richmond, just south of Vancouver, Canada. For more information about the park, including directions, please visit: Garry Point Park on the City of Richmond’s official website.

From a beautiful winter’s evening, the old moorage building with a full reflection in the neighbouring pond.

moorage Garry Point Park Steveston Richmond BC Sunsets, Reflections, and Bubbles, Evening Walks at Garry Point Park

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