Vancouver Island highlights

We spent beautiful 2.5 weeks on Vancouver Island and cycled 811km and it feels too little. It will always be a spectacular start of our journey.


We were passing Chemainus in order to get off the highway for a little. Suddenly something caught our eye. There are these beautiful murals in Chemainus and they are practically everywhere.

Salt Spring Island

When we stopped in Chemainus, a cyclist who we spoke to suggested it might be a good idea to ride via this island instead of going directly to Victoria. So we took the ferry from Crofton after a night spent in the town park (aka the story about sprinklers). It’s only about 25km ride through the island from harbour Vesuvius to Fulford Harbour. Quite hilly at times but definitely worth it as we had great crepes and the best coffee in Canada so far in the town of Gagnes.

Cycling path from Victoria to Sooke

We were told about Galloping Goose being really good offroad cycling path. But the reality overcame our expectations. It’s superb with regular pit stops with benches, toilets and water and the last bit to Sooke leads via forest where the dogs ran with us. There are bits with beautiful views over the lakes and the ocean finally.

A bear!

There is no photo here because when seeing a big head with two ears next to the viewpoint road close to Port Renfrew, Luba and her camera bag disappeared back to the main road within seconds. The bear then checked Tom out from the distance and made his way back to the bushes :).

Lake Cowichan

The road to Port Renfrew and then to Lake Cowichan was definitely a challenge with first bits required pushing as Canadians also build walls not roads (as Welsh and Scottish do). We spent the night in Gordon Bay Provincial Park sleeping on the beach and woke up with a stunning view of the lake. Then we took a road to Duncan being pleasantly surprised there’s a cycling path next to the old road. We even saw three female elk crossing our path.

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Ucluelet and Tofino

After a night spent with retired fisherwoman Eliza, who lived in a motorhome with her dog and cat and had two Harleys on one of the backroads close to Ucluelet :). After a short incident with two passed out drunk boys at Visitor’s centre (where we had to play doctors once again), we based ourselves in Surf Junction campground and decided to explore the area lightweight. Best decision ever! Ucluelet is a cute fishing village, where we had the best fish and chips from Jiggers (Eliza’s tip and she knows what she’s talking about). We took Wild Pacific Trail around the Lighthouse. Next day we cycled to Tofino, explored the Rainforest trail and saw Steller Jay there, had the best tacos from Tacofino truck and in Tofino saw at least 5 bald eagles circling just above our heads. On the way back we stopped at Long Beach for a nice evening stroll with the dogs (close to us as you never know when there’s a wolf or cougar wanting to eat them). The best trail we took in the area is definitely Lost Shoe Trail – not known so well, but very wild, humid and wet rainforest, just after the junction when you’re heading back to Port Alberni.

Secret waterfalls

Dasa and Petra draw us a map how to get to the waterfalls close to them. We are not going to share the location as part of their beauty is that we were alone there but here are some photos of them and one naked cyclist :-D.

Bonus story

On the road from Tofino to Port Alberni we saw a handbag at the roadside. We stopped thinking it’d been stolen, maybe there are IDs at least that we could return to the owner. What a surprise! There was everything, driving licence, credit cards, about 300 bucks, make up, cigarettes and a toothbrush :). When we finally got reception in Port Alberni, I found the girl from driving licence on Facebook and told her the good news. Wondering how you can lose your bag like that? Going at night for a wee at the roadside and the bag slips out of the car.

See you in a week 🙂

Follow Luba Lapsanska:

Older woman, 33 years old, experienced. She stopped being a doctor and started being a traveller. She likes animals more than people because they don't lie. She also likes looking at the the world through the viewfinder of her camera.

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