Think about a time when life was not so fast paced, when warm sunny days allowed you to dream of far off places, when the lapping of the ocean calmed you and the far off carefree laughter of children playing lulled you into a completely different space.
Life on Denman and Hornby Islands is much like that. If it is not, you are the one out of step! Heavily wooded Denman boasts a number of large properties where farming or craft type of work takes place. A shift from the big city rat race one can easily fall into a frame of mind that allows you to slow down. Seldom do you hear sirens or heavy traffic. The biggest traffic problem on Denman is the tourist traffic as it lines up to take the ferry back to Vancouver Island. The only access by vehicle is from Vancouver Island, departing Buckley Bay and a short ferry rideto Denman. Going to Hornby you will need to drive acrossDenman to the other side to load onto the ferry that will take you to Hornby.
Driving around Denman provides an interesting insight into how people live here and what many of them do to provide for themselves. Drive carefully as deer are everywhere!
Denman has been inhabited for quite along time. The first school was built in the 1800’s and many of the buildings still standing reflect a by-gone time.
Hornby Island is even more laid back than Denman is. It seems to operate on it’s own time and provides an atmosphere of some idylic place where one can take it easy and just ‘be’!
Nearly every year in the springtime Hornby hosts a one week Blues school. Students arrive from across Canada to learn and play from some of the best in the industry. Who can forget Big Dave McLean from Winnipeg and his style. Big Dave has played with some very renowned artists over the years and he along with Rick Fines and many others help the students sing, learn riffs and become a better performer. This week long learning culminates in a three hour presentation back in Courtenay or Nanaimo by all the instructors; and what a fantastic performance it is! The hall in the photo above has been a venue for the week long sessions. That building kind of epitomizes what is happening.
Hornby is blesssed with some very nice beaches. Careful now, one of them tendsto be a nude beach but it is somewhat isolated!
You cannot go wrong while visiting either of these islands. Both have wineries and Hornby also has a Honey Mead brewery which commands a taste!
Enjoy these islands.