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Trip report - first two weeks in September

Sheffield, United...
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Trip report - first two weeks in September

I found this forum really useful when planning our trip so I thought I'd add a report which may be useful to others. We flew into Vancouver International and went straight to the south terminal to fly to Nanaimo with Harbour air. Really great way to start our trip. We only had to walk up to the road and cross it to get to our hotel, the Coast Bastion. We had a lovely room on the 14th floor with great views of the harbour. We really liked Nanaimo. The water is crystal clear and when we walked along the seafront you could see crabs walking on the sea bed. We went to Newcastle Island the next day which is a really nice place. We walked along the trail by the sea then back through the forest. The following day we collect our car and drove across to the west coast. We stayed two nights in Ucluelet. We walked the Wild Pacific trail and especially liked the lighthouse loop. We were lucky enough to watch two humpback whales feeding off shore near the lighthouse. We walked the bog trail, rainforest trail and radar hill in the national park. All of which were interesting and enjoyable. We then spent 3 nights at Long Beach lodge. We really love this place. We had an ocean view room on the 3rd floor and were able to go to sleep each night to the sound of the sea. One night we saw the most amazing sunset. We visited the Botanical garden in Tofino which is very interesting. That was the end of our first week. The second week was spent visiting the east side of the island. We drove back across the island and up to Comox for two nights. The estuary walk was really interesting as we could see salmon coming up the river and then spotted seals. We were lucky enough to see the seals catch and eat the salmon. We went to Mount Washington and rode the cable car to the top for fantastic views and then moved on to Telegraph Cove for two nights. We went into Port McNeill and got the ferry to Alert Bay. Unfortunately the cultural centre was closed - after labour day they close on Mondays - but we had a good look round and walked round the ecological park. The next day we went whalewatching with Stubbs. Had the most amazing trip - we saw Orca catch a seabird, humpbacks breaching and lots of dolphins. Next stop was Campbell River. We stayed at Painters Lodge and really liked it. You can use the shuttle across to April Point their sister hotel. We did this one day and kayaked and had lunch on the deck. We went out with Aboriginal Journeys to see the grizzly bears. I had expected this to be the highlight of our trip but it was a bit disappointing. We were unlucky and didn't really see anything for the first couple of hours. We did see some bears in the distance just before we were ready to leave. I appreciate this is a risk you take and you can't expect nature to appear on demand. It did cost a lot of money though.

Last day we went to Nanaimo to take the hire car back and caught the ferry to Tsawwassen. We stayed in the Coast hotel and were really surprised when we checked in to be told we were guests of the day. We were upgraded to a lovely suite with full kitchen and given a goody bag. A great way to end our holiday. We were really lucky and had two weeks of great weather - sunny and warm every day. We really enjoyed our trip and hope to return again some day.

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Trip report - first two weeks in September

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your experiences. I'll pop this TR in the TR Collection on the British Columbia Forum. Thanks so much for letting us know how you made out. Your comments will help future visitors.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Trip report - first two weeks in September

Thanks for the trip report, kaswan. I always enjoy reading about other peoples' travel experiences. Just curious- when you stayed in Telegraph Cove, was it at the Dockside 29 suites or at the Telegraph Cove Resort? (We recently visited Telegraph Cove and found the history of the different buildings at the Resort quite interesting. It seemed that staying there might be a rather funky, and fun, experience.)

Sheffield, United...
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3. Re: Trip report - first two weeks in September

This time we stayed in Dockside 29. It was a really nice room, we could sit and eat breakfast with views out across the marina. We stayed in Telegraph Cove two years ago and stayed on the boardwalk so thought we would try something different. I think if we went again we would stay in Dockside 29, it was slightly cheaper and better equipped.

Toronto, Canada
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for Family Travel, Honeymoons and Romance
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4. Re: Trip report - first two weeks in September

That sounds like a great vacation, especially with all of the trails you hiked, and beautiful scenery......it is disappointing that you didn't really get to see much in the way of Grizzlies though......thanks for sharing your experience

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Trip report - first two weeks in September

Thanks, kaswan. Both those points (i.e., cost and how well equipped) would be something to think about for a future trip. Telegraph Cove is a lovely place and we hope to return some day. (We, too, took a whale-watching tour with Stubbs. They did a really good job in locating orcas for us and telling us about them and the other wildlife we were seeing.)

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Trip report - first two weeks in September

Its criminal though that Dockside didn't make some attempt with their architecture to fit the look and feel of the Cove. Its such an eyesore. I suppose they can't be blamed for saving money - some regional planner allowed that development.

Sheffield, United...
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7. Re: Trip report - first two weeks in September

I agree it is a bit of an eyesore. I was pleasantly surprised with the interior. We had unit 14 which right at the far end. Of course when you stay there you are looking out on the most picturesque part - the lovely old boardwalk. I'm glad we stayed in on the boardwalk in the past as it was a good experience but now that we've done that I'm happy to stay at Dockside 29 in the future.

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Trip report - first two weeks in September

They are really two separate resorts.

The houses and other buildings clustered around the boardwalk are part of the Telegraph Cove Resort, which has docking associated with it. Dockside 29 is part of the Telegraph Cove Marina and RV Park, which has separate docking associated with it. (You can actually see from the "hill" beside Dockside 29 that the two marinas are quite separate.) The owner of Telegraph Cove Marina and RV Park is in the process of developing a "subdivision" looking over the water. There are a few houses already built.

Issue 16 of Raincoast Chronicles, written by Pat Wastell Norris (the daughter of Fred Wastell who founded Telegraph Cove, i.e., the part with the boardwalk), - Time and Tide: A History of Telegraph Cove - makes for interesting reading on growing up on the edge of Vancouver Island where the only transportation in was by boat.

Sechelt, BC
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9. Re: Trip report - first two weeks in September

thanks for the read. Always interesting to read how others see our home.

Nanaimo, Canada
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10. Re: Trip report - first two weeks in September

So nice to hear that you enjoyed Nanaimo! You didn't mention trying a Nanaimo Bar while here though.

You got to experience and see quite a bit of the Island during your visit. I have yet to get to Telegraph Cove myself, and we have lived on the island for 15 years now.