I spent the beginning of this week camping at Nitinat Lake on Vancouver Island. No cell service, no internet, no power or running water. It was amazing. I tried kiteboarding for my first time and learned that it is something I could seriously become obsessed with. Nitinat used to be a windsurfing mecca but as the sport lost popularity, the lake didn't see much action for a while. Now that everybody's switching to kiteboarding, the temporarily-sleepy campground is again bustling. We arrived on Sunday morning after spending a night at a lovely little spot along the river between Lake Cowichan and Nitinat, only to find that there was not one single flat spot to put a tent along the whole beach. It was packed. Even venturing off deep into the woods, we would have had to do some serious brushing to find the ground, as the scrub brush is as thick as West Coast rainforest gets.
By about 6pm, most of the spots had freed up - the weekend warriors had gone home! We set up a perfect base camp with a few of our friends and settled in for a few days of well deserved rest and recovery after a long, hard training camp in Whistler with my team. The problem I have is actually resting and recovering. I did pretty well, for the most part, only kiteboarding one afternoon. But... it being my first time, I did have one gnarly crash... I got picked up and slammed down on my face, after catching the toe edge of my board. It's insane how much power can be generated from those big kites. And it made me remember why I quit wakeboarding years ago... those toe-edge bails are so brutal! Whiplash.
Our crew finished the trip off with a quick little jaunt down the side of a ravine to one of the most beautiful waterfalls I've ever seen. We swam into the emerald green pool it lands in and crawled up the rocks behind it. I'm pretty sure everybody in our group found this to be an incredibly peaceful, holistic, even spiritual experience, really feeling 'at one with nature'. Turns out I'm totally freaked out of this kind of thing. I should have known from my super scary underground, underwater tunnel experience in Jamaica last winter. But the other day, I was pretty much in full panic mode by the time I got into the ice cold splash zone behind the main force of the falls. I clutched to my man and eventually managed to calm down, but as everybody dove back out through the falls, I couldn't stop envisioning getting pushed to the bottom of the seemingly bottomless pool in the impact zone and started panicking again. Ha! I'm such a wimp! I just can't handle water in my eyes and my mouth, especially ice cold water causing brain freeze! It still blows me away that there are waterfalls like the one we got to experience scattered all around our beautiful province of British Columbia with barely a beaten path to them.
We caught an evening ferry back to the mainland on Tuesday night, drove up to Whistler to welcome a few hundred lawyers to their Whistler conference the next morning, and were back on the road to Vancouver by 10am Wednesday to pack for London.