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Mount Washington in the 2025 Mazda CX70 GT MHEV

This week we were in our first 2025 vehicle of the year, the 2025 Mazda CX70 GT MHEV. And by the looks of the odometer, we were the firsts to test drive this media fleet model.

In truth, knowing we would be taking a road trip to Vancouver Island, we inquired about a vehicle that we could feature for the occasion. A rugged SUV to take us over various terrain to our destination safely. And spoiler, the newest Mazda 6-line was certainly up to the task.

We unfortunately did not have reservations for the ferry and by the time we thought to do so, they were all booked up. As a result, we left home at 7am to only wait for 4 hours for our sailing. Thankfully there is plenty of room in our 7 seater to linger comfortably within.

When we got to the terminal, our place in ferry line was well before the payment gate. We were in for a wait. Thankfully I brought self heating hot pots for breakfast so that we could eat something warm the likes of a vegetables and noodles in tomato broth, cooked through steam.

We missed the first sailing at 9:05am, but moved through the line and found ourselves adjacent to the public washroom and vending machine for the next ferry. Here, we grew hungry after our small 8am breakfast and sought snacks we were smart enough to bring along.

We folded down the back seat to extend the cargo room and utilizing the flat back trunk space for its tailgate. Here we would snack and stretch out our legs. During this time our whip of the week caught the attention of a fan, who came to get a closer look at the 2025 model. He wanted to confirm if the 6-line was basically the CX90, but with one less row of seats. We would debunk this for him.

We would eventually get on the 11:25am sailing, making it onboard as the third to last vehicle to board.

We were looking for a more fulsome meal and sought out White Spot on the ship, like many of the other passengers, adding to the line. We got their dipping chicken with extra honey mustard dip and substituted regular fries with yam fries and chipotle mayo. We also shared their bacon cheddar burger with a side of tomato soup.

On the way home we would replicate the above, except leaving an hour earlier at 6am to get on the 9:05am ferry. And there, we were in time for White Spot breakfast.

We shared a bacon and egg breakfast sandwich on an English muffin and The All A Board breakfast platter which comes with your choice of 2 meats: sausage and bacon with scrambled eggs, potato hash, salsa, and a side of toast.

Then after spending some time on the upper deck, walking the ship, and taking in the ocean water and sun, we receded back into the Mazda CX70 to rest.

There was a futuristic silver trim lining the dash, that extended on to the air vents. A tan copper metallic stitching along the textured plush dash and seats. The former was a nice to have considering how much we put our feet up on the dash, while waiting for the ferry. The out stretched ledge along the door was unnecessary, but a stylish add on, although it became a hinderance when we tried to put our legs up and lean our arm against it.

We then reclined our seats fully back and took a quick nap on fairly firm and comfortable support. I just couldn’t get the head rest adjusted to carry my neck. For added darkness we drew the built-in sunshade that sprung shut when unlatched.

A quick 10 minutes nap got us to Nanaimo, and after an hour plus of flat driving, with no view we got to our designation and accommodation for the weekend.

Going up the mountain we utilized the off-road drive setting, as the smooth paved roads transitioned into gravel and potholes. There were speed bumps and warming signs to go slow, and if you saw dust that you were too fast.

We would be staying at one of Cona Getaway’s guest houses. A chateau with 6 rooms on the top floor, 3 at the bottom, and a basement. The 3 baths, kitchen, dining room, living room, and salon, were shared spaces. We were a couple out of a handful of writers invited to cover the seafood festival and share the space.

The Chateau was outfitted for the snowy season, much like the other neighbouring properties. One unit in this snow and ski town with all the buildings and homes matching this aesthetic. Rows of pointed colour roof houses, wood log facades, piles of fire wood stacked, and ATVs parked outside.

Insides, the decor was very homey like a cottage with antique dressers, a wood burning fire place, repurposed barrel side table, towel racks, and wood and cast iron hooks.

Each guest room had a modern queen bed and a set of bunk beds, enough sleeping space for a family of 4. Towels left on each bed were available for use, much like extra sheets, should you need it.

There were 3 washrooms to share. Each with additional towels, a caddy of face cloths to help yourself to, hand soap, and a hair dryer. You need only bring your own hair and body care products.

We were impressed by the strong water pressure despite the 80’s style shower. The cold water was chilly and the hot heated up quick. You had a choice between shower stall or tub, depending on the washroom.

The water was clean and fresh, we felt safe drinking from the tap.

We were on the mountain for food, but our host also stocked the shared kitchen with communal, local snacks and small bites, should we get peckish in between food-fuelled events. Yogurt, bread, coffee, and snack bars, to name a few.

For our late night snack, I would get creative and craft some nachos with local Comox tortilla chips, their runny tomato salsa and vegan cheese spread made out of vegetable. We also added on brie and spicy sausage, microwaving it all to get things a little melty. Then finishing it with a home made guacamole with plenty of Parmesan cheese.

The back deck offers a beautiful mountain view with a sea of ever greens. Here there is a barbecue for use and a hot tub. We would take advantage of the latter the first night. It had colour changing LED lights, bubble jets to massage, and got hot enough to feel like a sauna. It soothed and relaxed, leaving us malleable for a long night’s sleep ahead.

And with that we were safe, secure, and serene at our destination. Ready to take on the 16th annual BC Seafood Festival!

Visit the link to learn more about our Cona Getaway Chateau, and to book your own accommodations at any one of their properties.

Chateau Cona
1187 Fosters Place, Comox-Strathcona C, BC VOP 1NO

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