Miles: 235 Days: 17-23
Part 3 of our epic Canadian Road Trip took us out to Vancouver Island to visit friends, see some of the sights and spend a few nights in Victoria, British Columbia. If you missed parts of our travels, you can catch how we planned our epic road trip, as well as Part 1 and Part 2. This epic road trip topped our 2017 trips.
Port Alberni, British Columbia (Vancouver Island)
We hopped the ferry from Vancouver to Nanaimo and headed to our friends in Port Alberni. We were geared up for camping, so we made camp in their large backyard. It was nice to camp, but also have access to running water, electricity and showers made it even better. We spent a few days visiting and helped them build a deck. We also took a day off to see a few of the sites. Being fresh from the Twin Cities, we couldn’t resist visiting Two Cities Brewing in Port Alberni. We also visited art galleries, shops and enjoyed coffee at The Steampunk Cafe. We also took side trips to hike parts of the scenic forest.
Coombs, British Columbia and Sproat Lake
Our friends took us to to Coombs, BC and to one of the most famous BC landmarks, Goats on the Roof. The building is literally covered in grass and turf and there are live goats that live up there!
Goats on the Roof is a market and eatery. The market is full of food stuff from all over the world and plenty of local stuff like smoked meats, cheeses and the small eatery was a perfect place for lunch and a taste of Canadian poutine. On another day, we visited Sproat Lake and took an evening stroll along Beaver Creek.
Victoria, British Columbia
After our time in Port Alberni, we spent two nights in Victoria, BC. We visited a few dog parks, Munro's Bookstore and the oldest pub in British Columbia: Six Mile Pub that has been around since 1848. We took Euro to the market along the water, stopped in to look at work by local artisans and purchased a lovely wood cutting board. We did laundry, ate dinner out, restocked our pantry, packed breakfasts, lunches and an evening camping dinner for our single night in the Olympic National Forest.
The ferries are very busy in the summer time. As we had a loose itinerary, we did not book our ferries in advance. We had luck getting on ferries using their stand-by system and arriving early. We would suggest if at all possible to make reservations in advance. When we arrived in downtown Victoria, we entered the ferry line and were told that we were #18 for stand-by and it looked unlikely that we would make the next ferry. Once in the ferry terminal and in line, you can’t take your car out again.
We took Euro out and walked around the nearby park and later spent time reading on our kindles in the vehicle. We were in the sun, so I rigged up a few towels to keep the sun off us and Euro. We passed time by speaking with the couple in the car behind us. When it came time to board, we were able to make the ferry by a single car. Us and the couple behind us made it on the standby and they locked the ferry door just behind us.
We took the ferry from Victoria, British Columbia to Port Townsend, Washington where we end the Canada portion of our road trip. We continue our travels to our ultimate destination of Portland, Oregon. Read Part 4 - The Home Stretch where we travel to Olympic National Forest, Long Beach, Washington and Mt. Hood National Forest.