Vancouver Island - Trip Report

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Sep 23rd, 2018, 01:14 PM
  #1
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Vancouver Island - Trip Report

We just got back from a 2 week trip to Vancouver Island.
Us: Middle-aged, not hard to please, VERY fit husband, Wife (me) with some disability (knee issues - I use a rollator for any walking much more than a block BUT I can walk with a cane for short distances and I can climb short flights of stairs)

We flew into Victoria and rented a car. Immediately we drove to Port Alberni because we had booked a day trip on the M.V. Frances Barkley for early the next AM.
The drive to Port Alberni was a bit wet but fairly uneventful. We decided rather than back-tracking to Victoria from the airport and then driving north on the Malahat that we would take the short ferry ride from Brentwood Bay to Cole Bay - a good decision. We really did not save any time bit we did cut out a significant portion of the drive.

In Port Alberni we spent the night before the day trip and the night after in a cheap but adequate motel (the Sunset Motel). The room was huge, the WIFI excellent, the owner pleasant. Fellow clientele were "interesting". There is a lower end trailer park out back but apparently the owner keeps a pretty tight reign on things because there were no problems with noise or anything. Unfortunately the same could not be said for our neighbour in the next unit who awakened us in the early morning hours vomiting LOUDLY in his bathroom (his bumper sticker read "No fat chicks" - so you can figure out a lot from that. Luckily to our relief and I think the owner's relief, he was only there for one night. We saw the owner entering the unit with a LARGE supply of cleaning accessories after "no fat chicks" left. Bottom line - cheap adequate motel that is well-run and clean.

The next day we took our day trip on the M.V. Frances Barkley to Sechart (in the Broken Islands) and Bamfield. The M.V. Frances Barkley is part working vessel (she delivers supplies to stops along the way and picks ups stuff that needs to be removed) and part tour boat. Our fellow passengers were either like us - along for the return day trip OR headed to Sechart resort or the Broken Islands (excellent sea kayaking) or to Bamfield (hiking, camping etc) or local people going to or from this area. The captain did provide some commentary for the tourists like us. There is a small restaurant that provides breakfast and lunch and a small bar. The ship is aging but authentic - we liked her just fine AND she can handle rough seas - the crossing to and from Sechart was quite rough.
We got off the ship briefly in Bamfield where she stops for 1-2 hours depending on her schedule. Unfortunately the weather was poor (VERY wet) until our return from Bamfield (go figure - the return was pretty nice). We did see sea lions and seals and a raptor fishing. At certain times of the year you can see whales. Bottom line - it makes an interesting day trip but if we did it again we would take our chances and not book ahead of time.

to be continued..............
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Sep 23rd, 2018, 01:50 PM
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Reading with interest as you were in my part of the world Semiramis; I grew up on Vancouver Island. That's too bad about the wet weather for your trip to the Broken Islands and Bamfield. Looking forward to the rest!
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Sep 24th, 2018, 12:19 AM
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Looking forward to more on this as it's in my part of the world as well.
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Sep 24th, 2018, 12:32 AM
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Reading along too Semiramis. We did your trip last year. Looking forward to the rest.

Iím in London right now. Amazing city of course but I think I prefer Campbell River. I wonder if that has ever been said before?
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Sep 24th, 2018, 02:49 PM
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Fun to read😊 A friend lives off the Malahat and I visited her this summer. Such a beautiful area!
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Sep 24th, 2018, 04:41 PM
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xcountry, first time I've heard that one! For myself, as much as I love many places on Vancouver Island: London or Campbell River? London wins hands down.
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Sep 25th, 2018, 02:11 AM
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Raincitygirl the cougar visit to our motel in Campbell River beats out the fox I saw in Edgeware tube station the other day. I wish I had taken a picture of the fox but my phone was packed away.
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Sep 25th, 2018, 11:39 AM
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It would be better / easier to follow if your whole TR was on one thread.
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Sep 25th, 2018, 11:43 AM
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Sorry but it's just not convenient for me to put it all in one thread.
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Sep 25th, 2018, 07:38 PM
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other people somehow manage every day . . . oh well.
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Sep 26th, 2018, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
other people somehow manage every day . . . oh well.
Personally I prefer to appreciate the effort taken to write all trip reports rather then quibble over format but I guess self-appointed board monitors do not.
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Sep 26th, 2018, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by xcountry View Post


Raincitygirl the cougar visit to our motel in Campbell River beats out the fox I saw in Edgeware tube station the other day. I wish I had taken a picture of the fox but my phone was packed away.
That's awesome, did you actually see one? ( a cougar I mean) They are becoming a bit of a problem on the island, in my hometown they are wandering around regularly. I'm not sure why as there are more deer than ever as well. But a fox in a tube station-now that's something you don't see every day, was he on his way to work or what? lol
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Sep 26th, 2018, 08:25 AM
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A cougar is certainly more impressive than a fox....."Please large kitty don't eat me". BTW I once saw a fox at the Humber Loop Streetcar station in Etobicoke - They are out there (but elusive) even in large cities. Urban wildlife always fascinates me - some animals can really adapt to a lot.
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Sep 26th, 2018, 09:03 AM
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We didn't see the cougar as the wildlife folk were telling us to stay in until they dealt with it. My wife heard one guy say "this must be a young male - really dumb. They come down to the water at night but are supposed to go back up in the woods at sunrise. This one missed the "return to the woods" lesson from mom.

We have a fox that visits our neighbourhood in Ottawa. But he/she can't be more than 15-20 pounds. The one in London was much larger. And totally calm.
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