The Gibsons in Vancouver
Trip Start May 10, 2005
105Trip End May 11, 2006
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Where I stayed
Eddie's tip for the day, always take a good medical kit, the gel I had with me helped, as did a lot soak in the tub.
.... After a total of 2,680 miles on the train (wow) we did hit high season in Vancouver, but it's sort of mid-season in places, so just be mindful of the price hike. We recommend the HI hostel in Vancouver, very reasonably priced, good location, and excellent free brekkie (a bit of a free for all, but hey, it's free so what d'you expect?)
Don't miss out on Vancouver Island (the ferry cost us $10 each as a foot passenger for a single journey, but it's really pretty and worthwhile, lasting 1 hour, 50 minutes).
Victoria, the capital, has a great harbour, really neat little tug boat ferries that whiz you across the harbour, just for a kindly donation to the 'captain' if you enjoyed your trip, which we did ..
The Parliament building lights up a night providing a lovely back-drop for the street entertainers (we laughed a lot).
We caught the train to Nanaimo (70 miles) on the east coast of the island the next day and decided to hire a car to get us to the west coast to Ucluelet and highly recommend the C & N Backpackers Hostel. It has a huge well equipped kitchen and the garden and views from it are to die for. We even sat around the camp-fire that evening - brilliant. The ex-manager loved his chain-saw and has really 'sculpted' the garden from available wood (well there are one or two trees in Canada you know). Don't miss the trek around the peninsula (the He-Tin-Kis Park) where you get wonderfully stunning views of the Pacific ocean lapping rocks and striking inlets. Also, Tofino, a little more touristy small resort, but an unbelievably untouched beach cove (track at the end of Tonquin Park Road and easily missed!). Other beaches are great for you surfers out there. Cool art gallery too (free) in Tofino. You can grab decent cheap grub at Coombs en-route back in the undercover market (the one with a grassed roof). Rumour has it that sometimes sheep get up there - cool! Today we are heading back to Nanaimo to get the ferry back to Vancouver, taking a different route back!