RVing Vancouver Island

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 Revival

Not 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. 
vancouver island colin

Colin… seeking out new scents, sounds and smells

False Start

We 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 Again

The 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.
motorhome

On the road again

Water Trucks Sightings

The 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. 
bc ferry terminal

Our BC Ferry ride arrives

Road Trip to Vancouver Island BC Ferry Tips

Every 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:  
  1. Book online. Big discounts at times if you book ahead of time, as per just showing up.  
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. There is no smoking or vaping on the site of the terminal. Please respect others and refrain from smoking. 
  5. Bring a hat, sunglasses, warm clothing and camera so you can really experience the amazing sightseeing opportunities on the open-air top decks. 
  6. Food is expensive on the BC Ferry (and not very good).

Vancouver Island Senses Explosion

Salt 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.
RVing Vancouver Island

The Maple Leaf RV has landed on Vancouver Island

Camping Vancouver Island

We 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 Again

nanoose beach vancouver island

Low tides in the morning

What 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 Island

vancouver island road trip

Colin beachcombing the Vancouver Island Beach

During 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 Travel

Life 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 Continues

family time vancouver island

Family meets for first time in years

Packing 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 Girard 

canada travel talk show

Greg 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.   
    • “Best Economic Development Community Project Award (under 20,000 population)” 2021 BCEDA Awards
    • “Best Marketing Program of the Year” 2021 Canada Prestige Awards 
    • “Best Canadian Adventure Vacation Planner” Lux Life 2021
    • “Best Nationwide Adventure Travel Company” Lux Life 2020
    • Top 20 Canada Travel Websites to Watch – FeedSpot 
    • #23 Top 1000 Global Travel Bloggers – Global Rise
    • Best Canadian Blogger — Expertido 
    • #4 Top 60 Canadian Travel Bloggers – BlogSpot
    • #7 Top 100 Canadian Travel Bloggers – Flight Network
FEATURED ON: CBC, Canada.com, Huffington Post, World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Low Season Traveller, TravelTV.com, Travel Industry Today, Cottage Life Magazine, Yukon Life, TAPS Magazine, HUB Magazine and many community publications.
1 reply
  1. Megan
    Megan says:

    So glad you found your happy place with a little Canadian travel therapy! Look forward to following the rest of your adventures!

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