Trees, Coffee and Beer.
In that order, these three items sum up B.C (British Columbia). Oh and a splattering of Tattoo ink in Vancouver for good measure.
So we’ve hit the road at last. It was a bit of a bumpy start. Jet lag, hot weather and an itchy skin rash for Bet, were not our friends for the first week, but we grizzed it out and eventually Bet’s night time scratching sessions subsided giving us time to enjoy B.C and settle in.
Our trip around B.C was short and sweet. Two weeks to see Vancouver (or Vanny as we came to call it) and Vancouver island. It was enough to give us a feel, but in hindsight we could have had a few more days on ‘Vanny’ island.
Our first home was in Vancouver and just off Main street in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. It was a nice area to stay in, loads of places to eat and drink all along Main street and the side roads. There was good coffee and good beer. Two things that you’re not short of in Vancouver. For the little un’s there’s loads of good parks, Big (Queen Elizabeth) and small (Mount pleasant).
We thought it was a good idea to travel minus a buggy and carrier, to save weight…….Not the best idea we’ve ever had. Cue the arrival of our saviour, Tanya! We came into contact with Tanya via British mums of Vancouver on Facebook and she very kindly lent us a ‘stroller’ for the two weeks we were around. Tanya you made our life easier, we owe you.♥
We didn’t stray too much from Mount pleasant in that first week in Vancouver, but we did go up Grouse mountain and Hire bikes to Cycle around Stanley park, both of which were great. Bet had her own funky trailer on the bike ride, which proved to be a bit of a hit. I just wonder if you can attach one to a Brompton. Now then we’d be talking!
Vancouver Likes – in no particular order
- Hillcrest Centre – Great kids swimming pool! Library attached as well. Thumbs up from us!
- Parallel 49th cafe – Good Coffee and nice staff. Kid friendly.
- Beansprouts kids shop (Main St) – We got a decent 2nd hand Ergo carrier. Nice price.
- Pho Tan Vietnamese restaurant – Tasty Pho, kid friendly, good value.
- Dopelgangers – Everywhere and made us laugh!
- wickedwesties.com – Cool VW Westfalia vans and David (owner) is very helpful. Recommended
Vancouver Island (Vanny island!) is beautiful. A bit like the West coast of Scotland, only pumped up bigger and wilder and definitely hotter!!!
Ruby slippers our ‘Westie’ van was home and wheels for the week and Betty took to the car seat straight out of the blocks. Result.
Camping under the trees, marshies on the fire, Betty back to sleeping. It was all good on Vanny island! We camped in a mix of both private and the provincial parks, run by BC parks. The BC parks were fantastic. Great locations, Top facilities and good prices.
Our first stop was Nanaimo. After a nice but brief stay, we headed over to the West coast and to moody Tofino. We had been told to expect mist, rain and colder temperatures. It couldn’t have been much different.
The sky was as blue as the Pacific and the thermometer was nudging up. In Tofino we got Betty some ‘Beach’ shoes and hit the sand. There’s alot of decent beaches, but Mackenzie beach at our campsite was great, much better than the actual campsite, which seemed to be taking for granted the lack of competition in the area. Incinerator beach is also beautiful and was a great pit stop for some ‘Westie’ style dinner on the road between Tofino and ‘Ukee’. We pulled up next to the beach, watching the surfers catching some breaks and Nay rustled up another quality meal. Ucluelet or ‘Ukee’ was a more laid-back sister to Tofino and had a great coastal walk. Sorry Lee and Em, but we saw some whales (Gray) as well!
In the south we sort of skipped Victoria. An extremely hot Sunday, Father’s day at that, mixed in with a one and a half hour ‘Fish n chip’ queue and a lack of parking, saw us making a hasty retreat to our campsite. Goldstream Provincial park, just outside of Victoria was our favourite park and as always had beautiful big trees. Lots of them.
I’ve got to mention the ferries. The ferries in B.C are fantastic. The one on our way back to the mainland from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen was the nicest ferry journey we’ve been on. The ferry weaved its course through the Southern Gulf Islands and into the strait of Georgia. Steve had his eyes glued to the water in the hope of catching a glimpse of some whales again. This was prime whale watching territory, however i don’t think he had much hope. But low and behold about thirty mins from docking, the ferries PA system fired up and the announcer stated that there was a pod of Humpbacks to the port side of the ship. They were approximately five hundred meters out and heading back to where we’d just come from. We followed their path back watching them spurting water through their blowholes as the sun started to set out to sea. It was a fitting end to a great couple of weeks and start to the trip. Cost aside, hopefully it carries on in similar fashion…..Catch us in a few weeks from Oregon, US of A!
Vancouver Island likes
- Wild Pacific trail walk – Ucluelet
- Pacific Rim National park reserve
- Drive from cathedral grove to Tofino
- Chemainus – Cute town, great murals
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