Photoblog: Bowen Island Part 1: Rivendell

Last few years I spent a lot of time lying down, staring at the ceiling, thinking about what I would do if I would be healthy again. One of the things that I would like to do is travelling the world with my camera. I have spent many hours, visualizing how I would travel the world with my camera to photograph the most beautiful places and light. It gave me so much strength to hold on to in times of darkness. 

After I had seen the movie “Into the Wild” that longing only got stronger. What would it be great to travel alone and to meet all kind of beautiful people along the way.

Suddenly this dream became reality. Because of my treatment and trainingprogram I would go to Vancouver to see dr. and Master Zhi Gang Sha and also spend some days for holiday. My first holiday in many years. The group I would travel with, had decided to book a hostel, because of the low costs. But only the thought of sleeping in a hostel, with several people in one room, didn’t make me feel very happy. So sensitive as I am, that would affect my energy too much, so I had to look for a different place to stay. At first the thought of staying somewhere else, on my own, made me feel very sad, but then I realized that it was the perfect opportunity to live my dream. I would have two days to travel with my camera and to explore nature in Vancouver, BC. Immediately feelings of sadness transformed into excitement! This is what I had been dreaming of, now I should grab this chance I had with both of my hands 🙂
I only had to find a place to stay, so I searched on the internet. After only a short time I already figured out there was a lot of beautiful nature to photograph in Vancouver. My heart totally opened. If I could find a place to stay near that beautiful nature, I could do what I wished for, for so long.

I decided to ask my friend Sara for help, who lives in Vancouver. We had been emailing for almost three years now, and I was sure she was able to give me some advice about where to photograph and in which area to stay. After only two days she wrote me back and said that her apartment was not big enough to offer me a place to stay, but her best friend, Nancy, would be very happy to have me as her guest. She and her husband live on Bowen Island, and built their own property.  Their home is on a very large forested piece of land, half way up a mountain, with a beautiful view on the lake and the mountains that you access by a dirt road. The town (called Snug Cove) is about 2km away, and is very small. But, so said Sara, it was very rural, so maybe I should think about it if it was not too quiet for me.

Are you kidding? Too quiet, too rural? No, absolutely not. It sounded like a dream. Tears of gratitude were rolling down my cheeks. I couldn’t wait to go to Bowen Island. What started as something I didn’t like too much, within only a couple of hours transformed to something that was almost too good to be true, but it was the truth 🙂

September 26th, 2013 my adventure started, after all those years of being inside. We travelled as a group from the Netherlands to Vancouver, but when we arrived in Vancouver arond 2 PM, the group went to the hostel, and my friend Sara picked me up at the airport to offer me a ride to the ferry, which would bring me to Bowen Island. It was so nice to finally meet her in person!  It was beautiful weather, blue sky, nice temperature. We had some free time, so Sara took the sightseeing route to show me a little bit of Vancouver and then drove to the Ferry. A little while later, I was on the boat. What a perfect view. Sun, Sea, Mountains. My adventure couldn’t start in a better way! I could hardly believe it was my own life. 


There I stood, on the boat, enjoying this fantastic view. Suddenly I remembered the doctors in the Netherlands who had told me a while ago, that there was no hope for me and that I would die. According to them I would not be alive anymore on this day. And see what happened, after a long fight of many years, life was coming back to me and I had a future to look forward to. This was only the beginning. I tried to take in every impression so I could remember the feeling of freedom I had for ever. My first summer outside again and many dreams to chase…


There was the port of Snug Cove, in bright sunlight! How beautiful!


On the Ferry I met Marina, a lovely lady who I also knew from Internet and who I recognized by her eyes. She is one of the students in Vancouver. It was so nice to meet her. In Snug Cove was Nancy waiting for me, to pick me up and to drive me to her home. Nancy also knew Marina, and offered her a ride to Rivendell, where she would stay for a week. So for me it was the perfect opportunity to see a part of the Island. I could not believe I was so blessed to stay there. It was so beautiful! And I already met three beautiful women in just a short time.


When we were at her house, Nancy made a lovely meal from vegetables from her garden and after diner together with her husband Harry it was time for me to go to sleep. It had been a long day for me and I wanted to get up early in the morning to go out to photograph, so I set the alarm at 6 AM. I lied down in bed, thinking about all the changes in my life and the beautiful meetings of that day and fell asleep with a happy smile on my face. There had been so much light coming into my life in such a short period of time.
However, when I woke up I heard the sound of falling raindrops on the porch. Oh Oh, that was not very promising. I decided to get up anyway and took a shower, hoping it would be better soon, but one hour later it only rained more. It was raining too hard to go out to photograph. What a disappointment!  The view from the house however was beautiful with all the clouds and while we were drinking a cup of tea I had the opportunity to get to know Nancy better. Change of plans turned out to be the start of a new friendship in my life.


Around noon the weather finally improved a little bit, so I could go outside, with a raincoat and an umbrella to protect my camera. Nancy brought me to Rivendell, on top of the mountain, so I could walk the trails to the top and then down to the village. I smiled with the idea that I was walking in the rain, but so much enjoying the view that the rain didn’t even bother me that much. In fact, because of the rain, all the colors were more intense and the light was kind of magical. 




Clouds were everywhere, which made it a special place for me.


Then in the midst of all those grey colors, there was orange and yellow, a beautiful sign of the coming Autumn. I love those colors!


And there were raindrops everywhere 🙂


 Slowly I walked down the mountain, enjoying these amazing views and the dark heavy clouds.


Because of the bad weather, there were not so many animals, but the big black birds were still flying above my head. I only saw two deers, a mother and her child, but I was not able to photograph them because of the bad weather. Too much motion blur. 


Back in the village, it was time to look for the trail towards the waterfall. I was curious what the waterfall would look like.

To be continued … in my next blog.