Vancouver Island Road Trip
RVing in British Columbia Canada
Join us in a long awaiting RV road trip to Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Road trip to Vancouver Island BC Canada – Covid has put many of us Canadian Adventure Seekers and travel hounds in limbo? Although, on the flip-side, Covid has also given us a bigger appreciation for the smaller things in travel when we do have an opportunity to explore. To us… our Vancouver Island road trip unleashed a bevvy of senses which we may have buried in the world of pre-Covid travel?
Road Trip to Vancouver Island Senses RevivalNot long ago visiting and exploring Canada was very common place for many of us in the industry. However, times have changed. The sounds, sights and smells that were once taken for granted, and often lost in the travel experience, were now highlights of our recent road trip to Vancouver Island in BC, Canada. Consequently, our adventure was like a revival of our travel senses. We had gotten rusty. Read further and find out.
False StartWe left Merritt BC Canada very early in the morning to catch the first ferry to Vancouver Island. Great idea, right? Not! What we did not factor in was that the new storage unit we were storing the Maple Leaf Bomber at (motorhome) was not 24 hour access but opened a 5 AM. Ugh! Therefore, with little options, we ventured back home with our tail between our legs. The wait was like watching ice melt.
On The Road AgainThe delay provided us a road trip in daylight hours from Merritt to the Vancouver Ferry Terminal. We went from yawning, to guzzling coffee, to rockin’ it out with music and sunglasses, in a matter of hours. It was official! We were on our Vancouver Island road trip! And above all, we were gassed up on java and our adventure radar was running on full batteries.
Water Trucks SightingsThe scenery was familiar to us… the forests, the rivers and the traffic. However, there were new sights as well spotting the landscape that looked out of place like the many water trucks parked on the side of the highway. Welcome to our new reality… we have a forest fire problem in BC. To clarify, the water trucks were on stand by, ready and available to battle the “the big bad” forest fires when called upon. Therefore, it is important to thank our firefighters.
Road Trip to Vancouver Island BC Ferry TipsEvery trip back home to the Vancouver Island requires a BC Ferry trip. We have done this boat ride from the island to the mainland all of our lives. Yes, my brother and I were raised on the “ROCK” in the Cowichan Valley. Therefore, we have learned a few tricks of the trade when it comes to riding on the BC Ferries:
- Book online. Big discounts at times if you book ahead of time, as per just showing up.
- If you can unhook towing a car or put your bikes in the motorhome because length will bump up your ticket price considerable. The tow bar and the bike rack added an extra 7 feet to our bill the first time we were caught napping. Not again though!
- Watch out when putting stuff on the roof of the vehicle, as it will often create oversize charges on your ferry rate. If you can take it off the top and stuff inside the vehicle, do it.
- There is no smoking or vaping on the site of the terminal. Please respect others and refrain from smoking.
- Bring a hat, sunglasses, warm clothing and camera so you can really experience the amazing sightseeing opportunities on the open-air top decks.
- Food is expensive on the BC Ferry (and not very good).
Vancouver Island Senses ExplosionSalt air! It first hits you near Surrey BC and sometimes as far as Abbotsford BC (depending on the direction of the wind which can bring carry an over whelming scent of manure). The ocean is the first scent that strikes all who enter the west coast of Canada. You can not run from it, so embrace it. The ocean is the local perfume in the air on this side of Canada. We so missed the scent. Consequently, it seemed stronger this time around because of our absence of 2+ years.
Camping Vancouver IslandWe arrived late at our oceanside campground near Nanaimo and Parksville BC Canada. This is our second visit to Snaw-Naw-As Campground. An Indigenous campground and a good one at that. We pulled the Maple Leaf Bomber into our campsite nestled nice and tight against the ocean sands. “Our community, often known as the Nanoose First Nation, along with 18 other tribes in the Salish Sea, are Coast Salish people, and one of the most northern tribes on the east side of Vancouver Island. We speak Hul’q’umi’num’, which is 1 of 3 branches of the Halkomelum dialect spoken from Nanoose to Oregon.” Snaw-naw-as Website The first morning at the Saw-Na-As Campground beach was enjoyed in silence with a cup of coffee. I closed my eyes. I slowed down my breathing. I wanted to let my ears and nose do the seeing, since I have been away for so long.
Old Sounds and Smells Are New AgainWhat I heard was music to my ears. Closing my eyes, the first sound to engulf my senses were the calls of the seagulls. The “screech” of their call, once familiar was now new again. I almost forgot how big of a sound it played on the westcoast of Canada. A reminder of a dominate west coast sound that was often muted, taken for granted, during pre Covid travel. Then, as I focused on the seagull’s chants, I was interrupted with more senses. In my sensory explosion experience I picked up the harmony of an orchestra of crickets performing a concert for me. My face was flush with ocean air as the waves lapped the shoreline beach where we were staying. As a result, I caught myself toe tapping, massaging my feet in the warm sand below me, slowly and methodically. I found my happy place.
Blinders Off on Vancouver IslandDuring our stay roadtripping Vancouver Island from our beach campsite, we took the opportunity to do some beachcombing. We walked to the rocky point, taking photos, talking stories and seeing the west coast again… as if for the first time. We experienced everything westcoast like slopping through wet sand, and seaweed; navigating over boulders covered in barnacles; and soaking in the salt water. Lastly, we found a rock perch to claim as our own to take it all in. In our mantra-moment we were visited by a seal and then flanked by some turkey vultures who wouldn’t stay still enough for a photo.
There is Therapy in TravelLife has been challenging for many of us during Covid. What we found, during our road trip to Vancouver Island to see family and to explore the outdoors of our childhood – without smoke – without distraction – without politics – was required therapy. Our love of country and home was a well prescribed remedy for the Covid blues.
Road Trip Vancouver Island ContinuesPacking up after visiting family full time for a week was a somber moment. Leaving family never comes easy for us. However, knowing family is well is the greatest gift they could of given us. Now, as we push more pavement behind us, we head out to Wells Gray Provincial Park near Clearwater BC for some well deserved solitude and rest, while playing golf and hiking. Watch for that story coming soon. Have you ever been to Wells Gray Park? If so leave a comment and let us know what you think?
Vancouver Island Road Trip in BC Canada
Motorhome Travel on the “Rock”
Written by : Greg GirardGreg Girard is a CO BRO Founder of the award winning adventure and travel website and blog ehCanadaTravel.com, as well as, the Co Bro Founder of the EH? Tourism Marketing Group and host of the popular EH? Travel Talk Show. Greg is also a top ranked Canadian and global travel blogger who enjoys public speaking, and working with as many small and rural Canadian communities as possible.
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