Ray Mears’ Northern Wilderness: the last episode was awesome…
Posted in canada, nature, pia's photos November 30th, 2009 by pia


Last night was the final episode of Ray Mear’s Northern Wilderness. It was set on the west coast, around vancouver island and on the mainland. The scenery, as always, was breathtaking. Among other things Ray went berry picking, hand carved a lid for a cedar box, was taken to a sacred island to view an ancient totem pole, made a beautiful basket from the bark of a cedar tree,  stood underneath a cedar estimated to be around 2000 years old, and cooked halibut in little leaf parcels, in the sand, on the beach.

PJB_canada_mixA medley of photos from my times spent on the west coast of Canada. And yes, that’s me in the kayak, with short hair,  about 4 years ago. The sunset is on Chesterman’s beach, Tofino, and the sea lions and bald eagles (two bottom shots) are around nanoose bay.


In honor of Ray’s awesome series, I thought it would be nice to show some photos from my personal album from various trips to Canada. Although I lived on the east coast for a few years when I was younger, these shots above and below are from my west coast travels in more recent years.

PJB_whistler_1a peek through the mountain tops of whistler, on my way ziptrekking – an amazing experience.


There were no black bears on Ray’s series, but here is one I ‘met’ in the wild a few years back. He was on the search for salmon, and I was in a canoe, very calmly paddling first in his direction, until we spotted him, then casually out of the bay. We ended up about 10 meters from him, in water. And then later we crossed his path again on land, only 10 meters too. The land sighting was a little worrying, but he seemed quite nonchalant about the whole thing.


This is one of my favourite photos  – and favourite moments – ever. The water, as you can see was glistening, reflecting the light and creating a spectacular mirage-like effect over the ocean. We were out in a little dinghy when we came across this special place, aptly named “mistaken island”. I wanted to stay there forever.


And above is a little view while coming down from whistler and back into vancouver. It’s a magical place, don’t you think? If you haven’t been, I highly recommend you go sometime, and if you haven’t seen Ray’s show, you can watch the full series here if you live in the UK, or you can buy it here.

Thanks Ray! Can’t wait to see where you go, what you create, and what you cook up next.

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  1. Cath says

    Ooh these pics are amazing Pia!!! You can just feel the peace and quiet. You have captured it exactly as my mind imagines it to be in all its beauty. Can’t wait until I get to go. Thanks for sharing, spectacular pics as usual xx

    November 30th, 2009 | #

  2. Sarah says

    Your photos are just stunning! I love that one of the mirage effect with the little island and I am jealous that you met a bear! Do you know the children’s rhyme about Algie?
    Algie met a bear,
    The bear met Algie,
    The bear was bulgy,
    The bulge was Algie!

    December 1st, 2009 | #

  3. theaxx says

    GOSH!!!!!! It’s INSANELY beautiful isn’t it? What an expanse… do you feel intensely free out there in the wilderness, insignificant etc… or does everything suddenly make sense…?

    December 1st, 2009 | #

  4. Danielle says

    Hey, that is really cool. I really like the quality of the colour in the photos – I remember it being really blue, also.

    Where on the East Coast did you live?

    December 1st, 2009 | #

  5. sandy says

    This is my home. I’ve lived in BC my whole life. It is a magical place. I love it here.

    December 1st, 2009 | #

  6. Leanne T says

    They are the most beautiful pictures Pia. I’ve never been and they make me want to go! Thanks.

    December 1st, 2009 | #

  7. Lisa says

    Your gorgeous photos really capture the spirit of the West Coast. Those fluffy white clouds over Mistaken Island remind me of warm summer days on this chilly autumn evening.

    December 1st, 2009 | #

  8. Lynn says

    What stunning photos. I longed to be there while looking at them!

    December 1st, 2009 | #

  9. Marte Marie Forsberg says

    Purely beautiful, and they so make me desire to spend some time up there in the wild and untamed.
    Thank you for sharing.

    December 1st, 2009 | #

  10. Miranda says

    I know how great the westcoast is. I’ve been there too. Thankyou for bringing me back a few moments. I’m dreaming of going back (with my two men).

    December 1st, 2009 | #

  11. emily says

    Thank you for sharing these. They remind me of how grateful I truly am to be living in BC and gorgeous Vancouver Island.

    December 1st, 2009 | #

  12. Victoria says

    Such beautiful photos. makes me want to hop on a plane right now. Thanks for the post Pia

    December 2nd, 2009 | #

  13. jan says

    Lindsay left a comment on my blog today that you had posted some pics of Vancouver here. Thanks for reminding me that it is beautiful here – when one lives here, you get so caught up in your day to day, you forget…fun to see from your point of view.

    December 2nd, 2009 | #

  14. amanda says

    i wish i were that black bear.

    December 2nd, 2009 | #

  15. pia says

    thanks guys!

    Danielle – it wasn’t the east ‘coast’ as such , more lakeside – on the edge of lac st louis, in a little town called beaconsfield, in quebec. I hope to go back one day soon and explore some more, I’d love to go further up the coast, I imagine the landscape to be quite different.

    theaxx – freedom for sure, it’s incredibly inspiring.

    sarah – i’d never heard that! poor algie.


    December 2nd, 2009 | #

  16. brandeye says

    man i really need to get to the northwest coast! your pictures are so beautiful…

    December 4th, 2009 | #

  17. Leslie says

    These photos are beautiful! I recently left Vancouver after living there for 22 years to live in Toronto. I dearly miss the scent of ocean air, the sea, and the mountains every day. Thanks for sharing these photos with us.

    December 5th, 2009 | #

  18. Michelle says

    I was raised on Vancouver Island but haven’t been back for about five years…these photos have made me feel a little nostalgic! It really was a wonderful place to grow up.

    January 12th, 2010 | #

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