Day 13 – July 21 // Downtown Victoria, Cadboro Gyro Beach, Burchart Garden // Tynehead RV Park

Day 13 – July 21
Downtown Victoria, Cadboro Gyro Beach, Burchart Garden
Tynehead RV Park (5/5)

Sadly, the journey was nearly over. We had one full day left to enjoy Victoria before we went back to Vancouver.

After we woke up, had breakfast, we were on the way to Downtown. Fort Victoria RV park is just a short drive to downtown Victoria, and there are only 2 parking lots that accommodate larger RV’s.

If you want to walk around downtown Victoria, I suggest to start from the Mile 0 Point, and make your way North, towards the Parliament Building via the Fisherman’s Wharf and floating houses, and to Chinatown (the oldest one in Canada, and second oldest in North America).

There was nothing that we saw in Victoria that I haven’t seen before, though I had a ton of fun exploring it once again with my dearest.

I recommend allocating at least 3-4 hours for the sightseeing. Make sure to walk the breakwater at Ogden point, and once you are at the Fisherman’s Wharf try clam chowder and oyster burger at Barb’s Fish&Chips. Make sure to bring enough water, because there are not too many stores during the first part of the route.

At about 4 we headed out to the beach for a quick dip, and at around 5.30 we were at the Burchart Garden.

Can’t say that I loved it - frankly speaking, I don’t think it was worth the money, so unless you have absolutely nothing else to do, I’d skip this location. If you really want to go, allow ~2 hours for the visit. My favourite parts were the Japanese and Italian gardens, and the rose garden (my mom and I have smelled almost all of them, and they all smelled differently!

The Italian garden

The Italian garden

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After the garden, we have headed to the ferry terminal. 1.5 hours later we have landed in Tsawwassen, and headed to Tynehead RV Park.

Tynehead RV Park review (5/5):

IMG_20140722_084349087_HDRSince we have arrived after-hours, I had to wake up an attendant, who gave us a spot and sold us a cleaning solution. The park is very large, and almost all the spots are busy. There are dividers between the spots, and all of them have full hookups. The rates were reasonable, and the territory was clean.

When we were hooking the electricity and water up, I got some of the dirty water on my leg, and in panic broke the shower knob. This was by far the most expensive shower I have taken in my life, estimated at $120 for the repair by the RV rental place.

Because of the scheduling, I did not have a chance to see the facilities (washroom and showers), as we have left at about 10 in the morning to return the RV to the rental place.

Day 12- July 20 // Little Qualicum Falls, MacMillan Provincial Park, Coombs Country Market, Nanaimo // Fort Victoria RV Park

Day 12- July 20
Little Qualicum Falls, MacMillan Provincial Park, Coombs Country Market, Nanaimo, Victoria
Fort Victoria RV Park (5/5)

Sadly, our trip was coming to an end. 2 more days, and we would be on the road home again. But, as of then, we still had 2 nights left, and it was no time to stop to be reminiscing yet.

The weather on the island was far from perfect, but we could work with that. Some rain in the morning has turned into cloudy afternoon, and we drove to see the Little Qualicum Falls, and then to MacMillan Provincial Park to check out the famous Cathedral Grove with 700+ year old cedars.

Qualicum beach stop on the way to the falls

Qualicum beach stop on the way to the falls

On the way we have stopped at the gas station to feed the beast, and within 30 minutes from the RV park we have reached the first destination.

We have chosen to see the Little Qualicum Falls and the Cathedral Grove because of the close proximity to each other, and only a short drive from the park we have stayed at.

vZIlGbHtNb3wEJ3RHzUHtT8qGDU9pajzkDTzx3nHTFULittle Qualicum Falls are not the most interesting waterfalls out there, but the park is a nice walk for a cloudy day. The route from the bottom falls to the top ones and back is about 30 minutes total, and there is plenty of parking available. The top waterfall is running in a rocky area, and the route is shaped in an astonishing manner – it seems just as it is going through the ground, but in fact it’s turning right, which is hard to see unless you look from a certain angle.

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The trail is not very difficult, but unfortunately, is not wheel-chair accessible. Allow about 60 minutes for the visit.

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After the falls we have proceeded to the MacMillan Park. Finding parking there is a nearly impossible task – there are only a few stalls, and as you are leaving, you need to back to the highway. Having said that, I would not want to see these trees go down to make more space up for parking.

My father, brothers and I are trying to hug a tree. And it's not even the biggest one!

My father, brothers and I are trying to hug a tree. And it’s not even the biggest one!

The tallest tree there is estimated to be 1000 years old, and the dendrologists suggest it has another 300 to go. There always is a large group of people taking pictures in front of it, so you need to wait for a little while before you get to take yours. The walk around the park should not take you more than 1 hour.

After the MacMillan Park we have stopped at the Goats on The Roof marketplace (it is exactly what it sounds) to get some fruit and bread for the road, and then went to Nanaimo for a seafood dinner at a local diner (absolutely no recollection of what it’s called, but it was good!).IVjtPljXNilOBJv3BBUYU7iaIO7w9v-E4Eh7QadOJyY

More oysters eaten in Nanaimo

More oysters eaten in Nanaimo

Fort Victoria RV Park Review (5/5):

IMG_20140721_111012831_HDRFort Victoria RV park is within a 7-minute car ride from Downtown Victoria (or 20 minutes on the bus – the bus stop is a 5-minute walk from the park). Cab ride to the RV park from the Parliament Building is $20.

The park is very big, and has spots large enough to accommodate RV’s of any size. Each site has full hookups (water and electricity). The staff is very helpful – ask them for the maps and bus schedules if you are new to the area. They also have daily bus tickets for sale (the price is equivalent to paying for the bus fare twice).

The park has some trees, and there are some divided spots, and some that are just next to each other. It gets very quiet in the evening and at night, and, even though there is a railroad right next to the park, I have not heard or seen any trains.

Day 11 – July 19 // Artisan Market in Sechelt, Qualicum Beach Cedar // Grove RV Park

Day 11 – July 19
Artisan Market in Sechelt, Qualicum Beach
Cedar Grove RV Park (3/5)

IMG_20140719_140952850_HDRThe original plan that day was to wake up and head to the market at Gibson’s Landing, but it was over by noon, and we only woke up at 11-ish (oops). So we decided not to waste any more time on this coast, and head to the Island ASAP. But I mixed up the schedule, so we found out that the next ferry was in 2 hours. We decided to go check out the Sechelt Artisan market in the meantime: 15 minutes and one stressful parking job later there it was.

We have purchased some local cucumbers (yummy!), beeswax lavender deodorant (smells yummy), and shoes for my cousin’s son (not yummy but cute). The time was tight, so we skipped the beach part and went straight to the ferry terminal. Ferry was still on the station, but because of the mechanical issues with the ramp, a backup one was utilized, which delayed the boarding by 30 minutes. Then, when it was finally our turn to board, there suddenly was no space left on the ferry, and it departed. No biggie, we are in the RV, so tonight we feast like kings. A little later another ferry shows up and we board. 40 minutes later, we loop around and board another ferry, to Nanaimo this time. $220 and 1.5 hours later we are on the island!

Since it was a little late, we went straight to the RV park, which was about 45 minutes away from the ferry.

Cedar Grove RV Park review (3/5)

IMG_20140720_113344040_HDRThe park is in a cedar grove (I know, shocking). There are no dividers between the RV spots, except for the tree logs, and the spots are pretty snug to each other. Maybe I was spoiled by the previous parks, but I didn’t feel like there was anything besides the basic level of comfort.

There is, however, a kids playground and a water slide park on site, and a small creek running at the back.

Cedar Grove was probably the worst campground we have camped so far. And while it certainly was more developed than the Fraser Cove, but the sketchy management, backyard campground spot and the fact you need to pre-request tables made me rate this park at only 3/5.

Day 10 – July 18 // Davis Bay, Gibson’s Landing, Smittie’s Oyster Bar // Gibsons RV Park

Day 10 – July 18
Davis Bay, Gibson’s Landing, Smittie’s Oyster Bar
Gibsons RV Park (4/5)

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Gibson's landing

Gibson’s landing

There was some rain in the morning, which has turned into sun later on. Because of a few distractions here and there, we have left only after noon, and went towards the Secret Beach. We got lost (thanks, Google Maps), then I misplaced my brother’s flip-flop (silly story), so I gave him mine, and had to walk bare-footed. The decision was made unanimously to carry on towards Davis Bay for a dip at the famous sandy beach, which we didn’t see, so we started diving from the dock. I hoped we would go towards the end of the shore to swim in Ruby and Sakinaw lakes, but the weather went south again, so we drove back to Gibson’s Landing (that’s where the first settlers landed on the coast, apparently where they film Beachcombers – the longest running Canadian TV series), to Smittie’s Oyster Bar for some oysters and about, which by the way, were incredible. I can highly recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for good seafood in the area – this place is a solid 5/5.

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Oysters, salmon, some fish fritters, shrimp cocktail, lobster dumplings

Gibsons RV Park review (4/5):

Screen shot 2014-08-07 at 10.52.33 AMThis park has $2 hot showers and mediocre Wi-Fi. The facilities are new and very clean. The territory isn’t very large, and the sites are separated with the small trees, that are planted within a tree interval, so there isn’t much privacy. The park is located within an adequate proximity to Gibsons Landing, about 5 minutes away.

When leaving the park, do not rely on Google Maps – we did, and it got us to the private land in the forest (second fiasco at their account that day). The only right route to go is on the right hand side as you are leaving the park.

Sorry – there are almost no pictures from that day (except for the last one), because of the crappy weather I didn’t really feel like taking pics – the ones here were kindly provided by my father.

Day 9 – July 17 // Whistler Village, Peak-to-Peak gondola, Alta Lake // Langdale Heights RV Park & Golf Resort

Day 9 – July 17
Whistler Village, Peak-to-Peak gondola, Alta Lake
Langdale Heights RV Park & Golf Resort (5/5)

As usual, we woke up late, packed up and went to Whistler. We have parked at an RV parking (lot 3) for $8 for the day – surprisingly low, considering that it once cost us $18 to park at Science World the other day when we went to see Cirque De Soleil’s Totem.

IMG-20140717-WA0012The gondola tickets were $230 for 4 adults and 1 youth. First, we made it to the top of Whistler Whitecomb, then took a glass-bottom Peak-to-Peak gondola, which arrives with a 15-minute interval – not really worth the wait, because despite the expectations, the glass opening was fenced, and only about 1 x 1.5 meters.

Apparently, people still skied at the glacier (Camp of Champs), but we didn’t get there as the last bus to the lift was leaving at 2.45 pm, and we only got on the Blackcomb side at 3.05. We took another 2 lifts down, and went for a dinner to Mongolian Grill. This place is dangerous! Even though the waitress has warned us that it’s easy to get involved in hoarding the items, my youngest brother and my mom still managed to get 1+ kg of food on their plate.

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IMG_20140717_175419740_HDRAfter the village, we went for a dip to Alta Lake, where we’ve been the last time my mom visited back in 2012. Not much has changed, and we found the secret-ish location where you can cliff-jump with fair ease. After about 30 minutes we were on the way to the ferry to take us to Gibsons. The fare for 5 adults (since we all are older than

Our dad has finally got to fish!

Our dad has finally got to fish!

12) + the 32” RV was $213.85, which – attention – is a return fare, e.g. you only pay once to go there and back again.

Since we got on the 8.40 ferry, we didn’t have much time for sightseeing, so we went straight to Langdale Heights RV Park.

Langdale Heights RV Park & Golf Resort Review (5/5):

IMG_20140718_101337316_HDRThis RV park is only 5 minutes away ride from the Langdale Ferry terminal. We have arrived at around 9.30 pm, and the friendly manager has placed us in a lower row of spots. What’s cool about this RV park is that they have a 19 hole golf field, which is free to use for all guests. They also have complimentary coffee in the morning.

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The facilities are clean and taken care of.

The RV park has a pretty conservative Wi-Fi policy, and we were asked to limit the use for emails only, and refrain from watching movies and playing online games (due to limited bandwidth).

The spots for RV’s are divided by trees, and there is enough privacy. The hot showers were $1 for 7 minutes.

To our surprise, we have seen a few hummingbirds on the territory, which, apparently, are nothing uncommon in that area.