Friday, March 31, 2006

Wilderness camping

Are back in Victoria now but have spent the last 3 nights on the southern coast of the island. Pretty wilderness - with very few people about at this time of year. Done some hiking along the coastal trail and have enjoyed quiet nights sat out by the campfire and having BBQs. Went up to Port Renfrew which is where the road runs out and the dodgey logging tracks start. Have had gorgeous weather too so have been crusing around on the bike - (that's the jinxed bike I'm sure of it - in Port Renfrew whilst eating our lunch we were interupted by some woman to say she'd just reversed her car into it in the carpark and knocked it over! It's obviously not destined to be scratch-free and shiney!) Fair play - she came and found us to tell us (I'm sure in England they would've done a runner)

Monday, March 27, 2006


Got to the capital of British Columbia a couple of days ago. It's an 'olde world Victorian town' apparently. Not quite what we thought - maybe we just take brick built building for granted?! It is very attractive - the Empress Hotel and the Parliment buildings are really impressive. Lovely weather and we've got an awesome campsite overlooking the harbour - very nice!

Yesterday we took the harbour ferry from the campsite into the downtown area. Strolled the streets. Watched street performers and wound up walking the harbour trail for 3km from downtown and ultimately back to the campsite. En route is a fabulous brewpub and restaurant called 'Spinnakers' Dozens of beers to choose from so Chris was happy and their daily special was double Caesers so I was happy! Staggered home the rest of the way...

This morning we walked back into town for the day. Fish n' Chips on the harbour, watched harbour seals jumping up to be hand fed fish! Went to the National Geographic IMAX theatre for 'Adventures in Wild California' - some cool sky-surfing footage, surfing and snowboarding and some very cute footage of sea otters (ok so it didn't really fit in with the 'theme' of the rest of it!). The harbour is really busy - it's recognised as an 'airport' with control tower and everything and there's up to 100 float planes taking off/landing each day! Walked back via Spinnakers again!

Sunday, March 19, 2006


We saw Whales!! Went on a 3-hour boat trip this afternoon out on the waters off the coast in search of the migrating Gray Whales - migrating from Baja California up to the Alaska. We saw several spouts first and then you see the back of the beast as it dives back down. Sometimes but not always it will flip it's tail - like the image you always see - and the first whale we saw to do that was just amazing. We tracked them for about an hour - there were about 3 travelling together - this was too cool! Photos are lousy - but then it was never about the photos - we bought postcards for that!!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Sea to Sky Hot Springs trip

What an awesome day! Check out these photos - this was our 'Sea to Sky' trip. From Tofino we went by boat for 1.5 hours up the coast to Maquinna Provincial Park. En route we did some wildlife spotting - dozens of sea lions basking in the sunshine.

Then onto the park and Hot Springs Cove - this place is only accesible by boat or seaplane. It was a 25 minute walk through the rain forest before arriving at the Hot Springs. They are really small but nice and warm if you muscle yourself a spot in one of the pools - we just lazed around for just over an hour - till the 'shrivelled prune' stage before having to get out (to discover some Jap tourist had nicked our towel - yes thanks for that - she gave it back - decided she'd made a mistake but only after she'd dried off and it was soaking wet!).

Our trip back to Tofino took just 15 minutes via Seaplane! Great, great views over the hundreds of tiny islands - complete wilderness for pretty much the whole journey - what a way to travel! This evening we went to one of the many local "whale Festival' events - a group called SWARM who were percussion musicians/dancers - basically they spent 90 minutes bouncing around like lunatics banging pieces of recyclables making some wicked vibes - Way cool - my ears will be ringing for days!

Monday, March 13, 2006


We got to the west coast of the island yesterday - late afternoon, so the first port of call was the lighthouse point in Ucluelet and the ragged rocks for a gorgeous sunset - we then trundled off to find ourselves a campsite - and what a gem! Right on the harbour - the RV is about 5 feet from the water at high tide and this morning I sat in bed watching sea lions swimming around and a bald eagle flying around - this is from bed people - how cool is that? It was a little overcast first thing but this afternoon we hiked a portion of the West Coast trail - stopping a dozen times at least to soak in the views. We had the binos out most of the time trying to spot whales - this is sposed to be a good spot but we were out of luck - I guess they were out on the pull or something?!

Friday, March 10, 2006

We've arrived on Vancouver Island

We have arrived on Vancouver Island. And the first thing we noticed was the change in weather. We left Horseshoe Bay on the mainland to snow and miserable grey skies and as we docked in Nanaimo we were greeted by Blue skies and mild winds - this is the island for me!! We drove up the coast a bit to Parksville and stayed in a lovely Prov' Park called Rathtrevor right on the seafront. Lovely views and wooded campground - it feels SOooooo good to be back on the road and staying in these sort of places. From here we plan to cycle along a bike trail linking this park with a local Mountain Bike park - get some fresh air and exercise! I think the beach trails are even inspiring enough to get me out of bed in the mornings and go running!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Back in 'Sunny' Cultus Lake

NOT! Some things never change - I never thought I'd find somewhere on this planet that had worse weather than UK - but Cultus Lake is just a little depression in BC where all it seems to do is rain, rain, rain. - oh - and snow - although that had to be better - not as wet!

Have been back 2 days and we've been itching to get on the road 'proper' again. Just need a couple of days to unpack and get our stuff together before we drive off into the sunset! The bike (motorbike) and the bikes (mountain bikes) are strapped to the back again! Have finally got a couple of my scrapbook pages scanned - I'm going to be 'published' don't you know?!! and we drove late to the ferry dock in Vancouver ready to catch the 8.30am ferry in the morning. Found a great little spot to 'boondock' for the night - right near the dock ready to roll on tomorrow morning with minimum effort!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Sad to be saying goodbye?

Have had a great time taking 'time out' in UK and Cyprus. It was 4 weeks and it wasn't long enough. We've spent the last month dashing around and have managed to catch up with many friends and family. We've said a final goodbye to the car and the cat - though both are still with friends so we can still 'visit'!! I spent my 32nd birthday with family and have over-eaten to mammoth proportions - we need to go back to Canada to 'detox', exercise and diet - I'm sure my Mum shrunk my jeans while we were back?!!! All rather wet and teary at Terminal 4 - but then I always get like this at goodbyes....