Parksville : Vancouver Island – Sailing on the Horizons and Bidding Farewell to 2015

Having celebrated New Years with the fireworks at the Sydney Opera House and the Beaches in Southern Taiwan, I made it a point to do something special for new years when I am back home.  Granted I haven’t really done that since coming back but I decided to do it in 2015!

Below: Chasing the last sunset of 2015

It so happened that all air tickets to the most exciting cities for New Years were – as expected- horrifically expensive.  My friend suggested we go across the water and have a nice spa – and that was how we ended up in the small town of Parksville.

We found a deal on BC Ferries Vacation and got a 2 nights hotel deal at the Beach Resort & Hotel in Parksville.  It came to about $240 per person, including the ferry ride, which was $88 each way for car and 2 passenger and lunch.

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Towards Horseshoe Bay

We left on the evening of New Years Eve because I had to work the full day.  So we sped to Horseshoe Bay Terminal to get on the first ferry out to Nanaimo.  We caught the 5 PM ferry and we were on our way to Nanaimo!

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Sundeck View

On one side of the ferry is the town of Horseshoe Bay, while the other is towards the Vancouver Islands.

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snow-capped hill

The ferry allows for walk on passengers and passengers with cars.  There is a limit for how many cars that can be on the ferry.  I am not sure the capacity but there is at least 3 levels for cars.

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Night time in Horseshoe Bay

There are two indoor levels for passengers to relax and another sundeck for those willing to brave the cold wind to see the view.  I stood on the sun deck to watch the last sunset of 2015 (see above) before returning inside.

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Inside the Ferry

The ferry is a lot bigger than the ferry I took to Bowen Island.  The ride is also a bit longer, at 1 hour and 30 minutes.   There are a couple of restaurants, each on one end of the boat as well as a souvenir store.

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New Years Eve Dinner

We really couldn’t decide what to eat for our final meal of 2015, so we decided to get the most luxurious one available – White Spot.  We bought a pirate pack; technically, it is for kids but if you add tomatoes and lettuce, it’s the same as the original burger combo AND you get a pudding.

Fast forward to getting off the ferry and then driving 30 minutes to the town of Parksville.  We found our hotel and were able to check-in without any problems. When I booked the hotel and ferry package, they offered the studio room, which still had two queen sized beds, mini fridge, and kitchen sink but had no view.  Therefore, I paid an extra $15 and upgraded to a room with a patio and ocean view.  The beach was literally a minute walk away from the patio.  However, at night, we weren’t able to see anything but the lady at the front desk promised the view would be nice.

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At night, we watched the countdown from T.V., popped the bottle of champagne and bid 2015 farewell.  Travelling wise, it was a year of great adventures – going to Ixtapa Mexico in February, Maui in April, and Peru in November.  Good Bye 2015! 2016 is a new beginning, time to throw away the old and welcome the new 🙂

Day of travel : December 31 2015.

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