Thursday, August 13, 2009

the best of vancouver island...

After ten days of sightseeing on the island...and files of photos to organize...I'll leave you with memories of a few of my favorite spots.

The crown jewel is of course...Victoria. The garden city happens to be the capital of our province...and the gateway to the Pacific Rim. But this vacation was more about seeing the rest of the let's leave Victoria behind for now and travel west along the coast.

We drove the new Pacific Marine Circle Route on the southern part of the island...where we stopped for lunch near a wonderful little resort overlooking the ocean...called Point No Point.

The food was great...the view was amazing...and there were binoculars on the tables for our viewing pleasure.

Our next stop was near China Beach...

...where we hiked a small portion of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. The trailhead for the West Coast Trail is also in this area.

Port Renfrew...which I have heard so much about...was somewhat of a disappointment...since there wasn't much there. It is a very remote fishing harbour...and not much else.

We saw fish...Pacific salmon...and lots of them...and then we carried on our way. Until recently, Port Renfrew was the end of the road...and motorists were forced to return from whence they had come. As of several months ago...newly paved logging roads have formed a circle route through pristine wilderness...where motorists previously dared not venture.

I quite enjoyed this lonely stretch of road...

...where we met up with a black bear.

It happened to be B.C. Day...and so the logging trucks were nicely parked...and the roads were empty.

Parksville happens to have miles of beautiful beach...and is one of B.C.'s favorite vacation spots.

The tide was out...the shells were free for the pickin'...and I brought home a bag of sand dollars.

Thanks to advice from friends...

...we visited Painter's Lodge near Campbell River...where we caught a free shuttle to April Point, on Quadra Island. It was there that we rented scooters for a few hours and explored Quadra.

If you ever have the chance to go sure to visit Rebecca Spit...a narrow hook of land jutting more than 2 kms. into the ocean.

And from the end of the can wave at the passing ferries...

...and leave an inukshuk...just to show you were there!

We see cars being towed behind motorhomes all the time...but one thing we noticed on this vacation...if the yacht gets too need to tow a motor boat. Life can get complicated!

I so enjoyed watching this little gal fishing...while her dad lounged on the dock. I'm not sure she ever caught anything...but they made a lovely picture.

Logging...that's what it's all about over on the island...and so I will include a photo of a dry sorting lot near Sayward.

My favorite spot on the northern tip of the island...

...would have to be Telegraph Cove.

It was here that we went on a whale watching tour...and were privileged to see lots of orca whales at play.
Known as the town with the board walks...overlooking the Johnstone is a mecca for European tourists. My broken German even got a workout!

Everyone we passed seemed to be carrying a fish...and looking pleased!

The best falls...

...would have to be Elk Falls.

And not far from the falls...we found that the river is a popular place for guys on hang out on Sunday morning.

We stopped by just as he was bringing in his first catch of the day. My idea of good seeing someone else landing a fish while I take a picture.

Campbell River is known as the salmon capital of the world...and everything here is about fishing. Discovery Pier is Canada's first saltwater fishing pier... ...still a popular place for tourists and locals alike to cast off from.

It was fun watching the novices (from Europe)... well as the old pros (locals) fishing off the pier.

It seems everyone in this area has a boat...and a parking stall to go with it.

We heard that the best fish 'n chips in Canada were to be had at Dick's Fish 'n Chips...
...not far from the Campbell River.

We checked it out...and even met Dick...and will vouch for his fare! It was our last stop...before catching the ferry back to the mainland.

We so enjoyed our time on the island...being enlightened about the fishing and logging industry in our province...

...driving through pristine forests...and rugged coastlines...and seeing totem poles at every stop along the way.

Our bikes went the distance...firmly attached to the back of the RV...without any wear and tear on the tires! It was a good thought.

Here's hoping you enjoyed your armchair tour of Vancouver Island!


  1. Wow, you covered a lot of the island and have made me want to get out and see more of where I live! Your 'people' shots are lovely and really add to your travelogue - I see a new career for you as a travel writer!

  2. What a wonderful vacation!!! I feel almost as if I went along with you. Great photos. I loved the first one of the gardens - absolutely beautiful. A delightful photo of the father and daughter!
    Great picture for the ending! :-)

  3. fantastic pictures, as ever. quite enjoyed this 'tour.'

  4. I felt like I was riding along...As I said before you may as quickly jump on the bandwagon and become a tour guide for Olympic 2010. Make a bit of extra cash so you can travel more....
    I loved the picture of the Euorpean boys fishing.

  5. Wow that was great to come along on your vacation, at least it felt that way! Enjoyed all the pics, Judy, you do such a good job of capturing points of interest.

  6. Looks like it was a Grand Trip ..

  7. Now that was a trip worth recording for history! Lovely places and I love the black bear, too! Thanks for sharing your trip with us, Judy...

  8. I really loved the tour for sure! Gives me something to aspire to in the future when Lord willing we'll settle back in our home in the Northwest :0)

  9. Wonderful tour! I'm always amazed at the vast size and beauty of Vancouver Island. My sister has lived in Port Hardy for nearly 30 years (teaching) so we've been up at that end many times, but we haven't done much exploring in the southern part of the island. Your travel writing makes me want to go right now!

  10. Judy, you made me feel as if I were right there with you. What a gorgeous and interesting place.

    I'm glad you didn't have your picture made with the black bear.

  11. Wow! I definitely have to make it out to that part of our country! I don't think I'd have any trouble convincing my beloved either - not with that kind of fishing available! I'm glad you had such a lovely holiday.

  12. Hi Judy

    Welcome home! I enjoyed your tour of Vancouver Island very much! I hope to see it someday, and your photos and narrative made me even more determined about that.

    Now I know to leave a inukshuk whenever I can, and where the best views and "must sees" are, and what to avoid, and where to eat...etc.

    The garden in Victoria in your first photo took my breath away! How spectacular!

  13. I feel refreshed just tagging along. Victoria Island is ALWAYS a good idea! And there never seems to be enough time to do it all properly when I get there.

    The yachet towing a boat reminded me of friends who lived on a small island, and needed a dingy to get back and forth to the ferry. A retired couple they were surprised to find their lives so busy they needed to become a "two dingy" family!

  14. I would give this wonderful post a standing ovation if I could. So beautiful and so informative! I felt like I was traveling with you to places I have never even known existed, but it sure was a great trip!! Thank you! I especially liked the last picture. Perfect ending!

  15. I sure did enjoy this armchair tour of a most beautiful and interesting area. The first picture is gorgeous. I would love a real trip like this. Maybe someday...

  16. I did enjoy the pictures of your best of vancouver island. ..very much. I loved the one of the guy dragging his fish. . .awesome shot.

    I think you could easily make a travel brouchure. ..easily.
    I'm glad you had such a good time.

  17. Oh I love the island...I am so glad you had a good time........ What? No Tofino?!!!!!!!! Grin. Well, Campbell River is beautiful too!

  18. Well Judy you have had some wonderful vacation time. I am more and more intrigued to visit your country down the road. I hope you are all nice and relaxed. Loved the picture of the boys running through the corn field. How priceless that you caught that one on camera.

  19. I absolutely loved this post and will most likely come back to it to plan an RV holiday for next year. Growing up on the Island I felt the island girl in me calling out for a visit 'home'. Kathy

  20. thank you so much for your wonderful thought and ideas for sharing this beautiful places in your homeland, you and your family was very blessed by God to have all this kind of beautiful surroundings and natures. i always love to stop on your blog. very interesting and very beautiful. have a blessed good day ms. judy.


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson