Sunday, 6 August 2006, Clinton BC
On Thursday we took another extremely comfortable ferry trip across from Vancouver Island to the mainland, landing in Powell River. This is the northern end of Canada's Sunshine Coast - The Upper Sunshine Coast. There is so much water on the west coast of British Colombia, with inlets from the ocean and rivers and lakes that there are lots of places that can only to be reached by water, or air. The Sunshine Coast is one of them. Fortunately these places, like Vancouver Island and many other smaller islands off the coast, are connected by an excellent ferry system - BC Ferries - and rolling on and off them with the camper was little more hassle than just driving between places. Our first trip on the Circle Route was to Vancouver Island and we waited just under an hour to leave. The trip to Powell River was the second leg and we arrived at the terminal about 45 minutes before the departure. The system works so well that they commence loading these large vessels only 15 minutes before departure. It is really to be recommended to take the ferries and go to the places they go.
The trip to Powell River was a little less than one and a half hours. Once again it was a trip with some very lovely scenery. When we arrived we drove first to the Tourist Information and collected some maps and camping information as well as a handy list of local internet access points. We had decided to drive to Lund, the northern end of the 101, which is British Colombia's, and in fact Canada's, only coastal highway. Lund is an historic fishing village with a Swedish heritage. It was much smaller than we had expected and the only camping options were a rather crowded RV park and the local provincial park, which is situated on the Okeover Inlet. We chose the latter. It was fairly quiet, but the only facilities on offer were two not-so-clean pit toilets!
I had discovered at the Tourist Information that we were heading into a long weekend - Monday is BC Day and a Province-wide holiday. This meant that the Sunshine Coast, one of Vancouver's favourite holiday spots was going to be crowded and campsites would be hard to find. We decided to drive through the area rather quickly and begin our long journey north as soon as possible. On Friday we drove the 101 back to Powell River and then continued on to the ferry terminal at Saltery Bay which would take us to the Lower Sunshine Coast - also known as Sechelt Peninsular. We had planned to catch the ferry which left at 11.45, but found ourselves earlier on the road than planned and as we were driving toward Saltery Bay we began to pass a long stream of cars which indicated that a ferry had just arrived. We were 10 kms from the terminal and had 15 minutes to make the 9.30 ferry. We were surprised and pleased to arrive with time to spare and then were much earlier than planned on the Sechelt Peninsular, which does improve the chances of finding a campsite - but not necessarily on a long weekend!
Continuation on > Page 2 > !