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Hi. I am Julia from Germany, the current internee at the Painted Turtle Guesthouse.  I have been in Nanaimo for two months &  “I really love it!” I love the Island, I love the city,  all my fellow staff members and the sense that I am part of the Painted Turtle family. I am working Wednesday to Sunday and therefore my days off are usually Monday and Tuesday. As I have only three more weeks until I leave, I want to experience as much as possible on my days off.

[caption id="attachment_1257" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Spectacular Mount Benson view"]Spectacular Mount Benson view[/caption]

This week, on Monday, I went for a hike with Audrey, my new friend who works reception at the Guesthouse.  Our plan was to reach the top of Mt Benson – but we didn’t make it there. The trail was very flat but after a while, in the deepest forest, the trail got steeper and steeper. After a while we reached a beautiful lookout on a huge rock, where we enjoyed the great view of Nanaimo and the Gulf Islands. It was spectacular. Although I didn’t make it to the top, it was a lot of fun – thanks Audrey for the great hike. When I came home I was so tired and that night I definitely had a very good sleep. ;-)

[caption id="attachment_1255" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Whale sand sculpture at Parksville Beach"]Whale sand sculpture at Parksville Beach[/caption]

Yesterday I went to Parksville to see the world-famous Parksville Beach & Sand Sculpting Exhibition.  It was so amazing to see what one can create out of sand. I learned that the sculptures are fixed with glue in order to withstand water and rain. After that I relaxed at the beach for a while listening to music & visiting many artisans selling their wares right on the beach.

I went back by bus and had a drink with my friend Adrienne: the perfect ending of two exciting days off.

[caption id="attachment_1263" align="aligncenter" width="150" caption="Wind blowing in my hair on the beach!"]Wind blowing in my hair on the beach![/caption]