One of my favorite places to visit in the Vancouver, British Columbia area is the Reifel Bird Sanctuary. I try to get out there at least a couple of times every year for a relaxing walk in nature.  There are numerous trails to explore that wind through different areas of the 300-hectare (740-acre) property famous for its resident ducks, many songbirds, Sandhill Cranes, and Bald Eagles. Another important visitor is the Lesser Snow Goose which can be seen in the adjacent and nearby fields numbering in the hundreds or even thousands. There is nothing like seeing an entire field covered in a sea of white from these geese.

The sun was out and the temperature was cool on this late November day . It was perfect for some fresh air and exercise. After visiting ducks, ducks, and more ducks near the entrance — along with a few chickadees and sparrows — my walking partner and I made our way to the far reaches of the sanctuary that is accessible by us non-bird folk. Here, in the open waters away from the trees, near the marshes and the sea, we were able to witness something I hadn’t seen for a long, long time. I will ask you, dear visitor to Camino My Way, have you ever seen…

 

 Ducks On Ice!

ducks ice 4 Reifel bird sanctuary Ducks on Ice! An Afternoon of Reflection, Reifel Bird Sanctuary

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Just an hour late in both the morning and evening. That’s all I was from a stunning reflection on Garibaldi Lake. As you can tell, I had beautiful weather and felt very fortunate when I visited on a late summer’s day. I had hiked to the lake during the same time in other years and experienced cold and even snow.

I never set off to photograph only the reflections on Garibaldi Lake, in Garibaldi Provincial Park, near Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. My goal for the day was the summit of Mount Price overlooking the lake on the west side. At about 32 kilometers return and 1,700 meters in elevation gain, it was an arduous task for someone so out of shape (yes, that was me icon smile A Day of Minor Reflections, Garibaldi Lake ). I ventured out anyway and after about two hours of hiking, arrived here. This is beautiful Garibaldi Lake.

Garibaldi lake reflection whistler bc 1 A Day of Minor Reflections, Garibaldi Lake

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The most surprising aspect about visiting the last home of Leonardo da Vinci, Château du Clos Lucé, at Amboise in the Loire Valley of central France, may not be the château itself, but the amazing, and very scenic park, Parc Leonardo Da Vinci. At times, it was peaceful and serene as I enjoyed an evening walk on a beautiful summer’s day. I didn’t know about the vastness of the park, and how well-presented and fun it would be. Not only can you walk the paths, enjoy the greenness and flowers, you can try and participate in the inventions of the great Leonardo.

On my last post, Finding Leonardo Da Vinci, My Visit to Château du Clos Lucé, I took you in and around Château du Clos itself. Now, let’s go for a walk around Parc Leonardo da Vinci. First, let’s look back at the Château itself. I really like this view.

1 park Château du Clos Lucé Amboise France An Afternoon at Parc Leonardo da Vinci, Château du Clos Lucé

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Before I left home for the Camino de Santiago, I chose a small stone from a beach in Vancouver, Canada. I carried the stone to England, France, and across Spain to Finisterre, Galicia. On the famed beach, Praia do Mar de Fora, I gently tossed the stone from the Pacific Ocean into the Atlantic. Then, I picked up a small stone from that very spot on Praia do Mar de Fora and carried it home. I tossed it into the Pacific off the same beach where picked up the first one. All this was to honor my recently departed mother who would have been thrilled to know that I walked across Spain on the Camino de Santiago.

I left my last post, Visiting The End of the World at Cabo Fisterra, Monte Facho, with this view of the famed western beach, Praia do Mar de Fora from the summit of Monte Facho. This was a beautiful spot to sit, relax, and take in the vistas. If you have time, I really recommend making the short climb up Monte Facho. It’s well-worth the effort!

Praia do Mar de Fora Finisterre fisterra Spain Visiting Cabo Fisterra, Monte Facho and Praia do Mar de Fora

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In ancient times, the Romans built a road to the summit of Monte Facho and it’s believed that a settlement once stood on the mountain. Ruins and artifacts from throughout the centuries have been found on Monte Facho. For some pilgrims, locals, and notables, the mountain has become a final resting spot; a finality of the journey of life. For others, it’s a place of birth, at least of conception. It may be (or may not be) interesting to note that there’s one specific and famous stone on Monte Facho that sterile couples from centuries ago (and quite possibly, recently too), following a Celtic rite of fertility, would have sexual intercourse to hopefully conceive. I only saw one couple on my entire trek to Monte Facho and they were fully clothed. As for me, I was alone and, at the time, had no idea about the famous stone or its location.

I left my last post, The Camino Finisterre in Spain, Visiting The End of the World, here, at the statue that pays tribute to the dolphin and their importance to the waters off Cabo Fisterra. Let’s continue. We have a small mountain to climb.

dolphin cape Finisterre fisterra Camino Galicia Visiting The End of the World at Cabo Fisterra, Monte Facho

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The famed lighthouse at the end of the world, Faro de Fisterra, is one of the most recognized landmarks in all of Galicia. The lighthouse was built in 1853, and on a clear day, can be seen from 30 kilometres out at sea. The northwest coastline of Galicia is rough, jagged, and treacherous. Therefore, it was given the appropriate name, Costa da Morte, the Coast of Death. Numerous vessels from ancient times to the present are resting on the floor of the Atlantic with lives lost multiplied many times more. It’s not only pleasure and fishing boats that have had distress, but well-documented naval battles between the French and English occurred just off Cabo Fisterra. Visitors are also reminded to be careful walking on the slippery rocks as deaths on the coastline around the lighthouse have also occurred.

I left my last post, On The Camino Finisterre in Spain, Finisterre to The End of the World, here at the 0.00 kilometer bollard at the end of the world. As a pilgrim, you arrive here full of emotion, and grateful that this part of your journey is over, and you’re safe and sound. Once you begin walking the Camino though, the pilgrim knows his or her journey never ends. I know mine continues. Now, let’s take a look around the end of the world at Cape Finisterre.

0 kilometer bollard Finisterre fisterra Camino Galicia The Camino Finisterre in Spain, Visiting The End of the World

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