In September myself and three friends from Spokes took a road trip to Vancouver Island. It is somewhere I’ve wanted to go since arriving in Vancouver however it isn’t really an easy to place to get to without your own transport. So a big thank you to Carson who kindly lent us his car.
So it began with a ferry ride from Tsawwassen ferry terminal. We actually missed the one we planned on getting, so we waiting an hour for the next one. Luckily the terminal had various food options and shops to kill the time. The ferry takes about 1 hr and 30 minutes.
We didn’t arrive until late so after checking in at our hostel and taking advantage of the free cocktail we headed to bed. We stayed at the Ocean Island hostel in Victoria. We had our own private dorm with two bunk beds. It was good location and suited us perfectly. You also get a free breakfast included in your stay.
The next day we wandered the streets of Victoria, feeling a little deflated. I wasn’t completely blown away. We walked along the harbour and through downtown, up to Chinatown. It is very different to Vancouver, it feels like an English seaside town. After an hour or two we decided to hit the road and make our way to Errington for our second night on the island. It was also Holly’s birthday so we stocked up on alcohol for an alcohol fuelled games night.
We didn’t have the best weather, however it conveniently rained whilst we drove. I enjoyed driving across the island, the views made it worthwhile. We decided upon Errington as it half way between Victoria and Tofino. We booked an Airbnb cottage and we were pleasantly surprised. It was idyllic, it stood on its own in a field, surrounded by trees. The owner was so helpful too, he told us a lot about the area and his past (maybe too much).
We ate dinner in Parksville, possibly at the only place open. It was a ghost town. After dropping our bags off at the cottage, we headed to Englishman River Falls for a short hike. It was late in the afternoon so the trial was deserted. You can see waterfalls and hike through the forest. It’s a beautiful short walk and really close to where we stayed.
After this we drove to the Goats on the Roof in Coombs. The most bizarre place I have ever been to. I’m not even sure how I’m going to be able to describe this to you but I’ll try. It is basically a tourist trap where you can buy anything you could possibly want. Apparently the owner travels the world finding products to sell in his shop. On top of the shop are goats, just chilling on the grass roof. It is worth the trip because I doubt you’ll see anything like that on Vancouver Island or maybe even in Canada.
Our Airbnb had a little games corner. We played various games, whilst drinking and snacking. It was a great night in, in the middle of nowhere. The cottage even had access to Netflix for that essential background noise.
The next day we went to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre. We kind of stumbled upon this whilst driving round the area and for $10 it was a fun morning. We saw a lot of birds, all rescued and now can’t live in the wild. We saw part of a bear, he was hiding and we watched the bear cubs on a webcam.
We made our way to Tofino for our final stop on our tiny road trip across the island. On the way we stopped at Cathedral Grove to check out the famous trees there, 800 year old giant Douglas Fir trees to be precise. This was a recommendation given to us from our Airbnb host. We stopped a bit later on by a lake too, I have no idea what it was called but it looked something like this.
Big thanks to Vanessa for letting me use some of her photos. Check back soon for the Tofino instalment.