My mom was over to visit me about a week ago, and she gave me a book called Secret Beaches of Greater Victoria (by Theo Dombrowski), and I have decided to start exploring my way through the book.  I live practically surrounded by water, so why not really get to know my area, know the beaches that are good for dogs, for BBQs, for frisbee, for beachcombing, etc.  

Stop number one was D'arcy Lane (Beach #46 of 92) which caught my attention with the headline "A huge flight of stairs down a cliff face to the quiet of Cordova Bay and its mixed shore of rock and sand."  Sounded lovely.  

Well I was a little surprised by what I found.  In fact, I had to laugh as my first attempt to seek out a secret beach led me to.... the water.  At the end of this magnificent set of stairs, there was nothing but ocean.  No beach to speak of.  Perhaps the book should have mentioned how important tides were?
But the views were lovely - looking out at islands - D'arcy Island, the namesake of both the beach and lane being one of them.  The coolest thing for me was this one small rock - the lone area on the horizon where the sun was shining - just covered in white birds.  Probably sea gulls, but it was too far away to be certain.  

Back at lane, there was a plot of undeveloped land - and I went to explore, hoping to find another set of stairs down to a perhaps existent beach.  Instead, I found a blackberry bush - completely untouched.  Some berries were so ripe and ready that they fell off at the touch.  I wish I had brought a bucket with me, these berries were so delicious!!  I ate to the point I thought I might make myself ill, and then tore myself away.  What a treat!!

Disappointed by my lack of beach finding, on the drive home, I followed the signs to Arbutus Cove (which actually turned out to be beach #50 in the book).  And this stop delivered!  At the end of another set of long stairs through the woods, I was awarded with a lovely long pebbly beach - with excellent climbing rocks on one end. I would have loved to have spent more time here, climbing on the rocks and seeing how far I could walk the shoreline.  It is an area I will be going back to.  

Although the beach was lovely, my favorite thing about Arbutus Cove were the trees - and the namesake of the beach.  The Arbutus trees are phenomenal!!! So huge and majestic... such a beautiful tree. :)  

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