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A restored Old No.7 (1929 Baldwin 2-8-2T 90 ton) locomotive to pull the tourist train. Operate on summer weekends. Trains leave the E&N Railway Heritage Station at the foot of Argyle Street near the Harbour Quay in Downtown Port Alberni. on the hour from 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
At first it looked ike a waste of time, but we stopped at the Butterfly aviary and we have talked about it ever since. They had Butterflies from all over the world. I only have slides of that trip so I can't upload a picture yet. It's located on the way to Buchard Gardens from Victoria. It was a high light od the trip.
Updated Jul 15, 2007
On Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Tom Chudleigh has built two wooden spheres, above, that allow visitors to literally hang out for the night in a forest at Qualicum Bay. Each insulated sphere has electricity and dangles by three ropes tethered to three separate trees. The more minimalist “Eve” (yes, they are named), which rents for $100 a night, or two nights for $175, has a double bed and storage, as well as a settee and a table, while the more deluxe “Eryn” has a double bed, a loft bed, a cupboard, a sink, a microwave and a refrigerator. Eryn is $150 a night or $275 for two nights ($35 extra for a third person). More information is as www.freespiritspheres.com.
420 Horne Lake Rd. Qualicum, British Columbia, Canada
(This was featured in The New York Times Travel Segment)
Written Jun 8, 2007
Phone: (250) 757-9445 / (250) 927-2525
We were lucky enough to get a good look at a bald eagle on two occasions while on Vancouver Island. The first was on Quadra Island, near the lodge at Tsa-Kwa-Luten, flying between the pine trees near the shore (second photo). The second was this one at Telegraph Cove, perched on one of the pilings in the harbour – we spotted him from our table in the Killer Whale Café at lunch time and rushed out with the cameras to take photos (leaving our food to get cold on the table!)
Bald eagles often spend the summer on the B.C. coast, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the Queen Charlotte Islands fishing for herring and feeding young. I read up some facts about them on the internet:
The adult eagle's white ['bald'] head and tail feathers are developed by its fourth or fifth year. An immature eagle has mottled brown and white plumage. Wing span is 6 to 8 feet; the females are larger than the males. Eagles can fly at 50 kph, dive at 160 kph and can spot a fish from more than a kilometre away. Their diet is mainly fish, supplemented by water fowl, small mammals, and carrion when fish are in short supply. Their preferred habitat is in the old growth timber along the coast. Bald eagles mate for life and can reach the age of 40.
You'll probably need to click on the photos to see the eagles clearly
Written May 12, 2007
Driving to Qualicum Beach one day we were intrigued by some signs indicating the way to this attraction, which I hadn’t read anything about in my pre-holiday planning. With time to spare we decided to turn off the road and investigate. We love anything quirky, and have an interest in fifties Americana, so the detour was well worthwhile.
The diner is a treasure trove of all things related to coca cola, the more kitsch the better, and there’s a great juke box. But this is also a genuine diner, so you can come here to enjoy a light meal or cold drink (and not just coke – I had a very good milkshake).
The mural outside apparently caused quite a stir when it was first painted because Marilyn Monroe was portrayed in a topless outfit - see this website http://www.alicubi.com/articles/cola_01.html to see what she looked like before the bikini top was added, and to read about the controversy.
Written May 12, 2007
Seals, Cormorants, and Snakes!
Snake Island near Nanaimo is so named because in the old days the ocean going ships would keep snakes onboard to catch the rats on the ship. After they had crossed the ocean, they would stop and dump the snakes out here before they docked at the harbour in Nanaimo.
I was warned that you should never set foot onto this tiny island. Apparently, there is some sort of virus in the sea gulls here that can infect humans and is very serious.
Actually, the snakes would be enough to keep me away, even without the virus threat!
Updated Mar 23, 2007
This little island is home to a small lighthouse, which helps mark the way for ships coming through the Strait of Georgia. The island in the background is Gabriola Island, while the less-visible island behind Gabriola is Vancouver Island. It is barely visible through the fog and clouds.
This is approaching Duke Point, near Nanaimo.
Updated Mar 23, 2007
Well if you have read my Alberta VT page you will understand my fascination with world's largest roadside attractions and the what not. Right in Duncan is the World's Largest Hockey Stick and Puck and it is located on the Cowichan Community Centre. It is 205 feet long, weighs in at 61,000 pounds and was built in 1985. Originally commissioned for Expo '86 in Vancouver. After that it was donated to the province of British Columbia. From there, there was an across Canada competition to determine it's final location. Now Duncan is its final resting spot. You can see it along the TransCanada Highway. Going south you will be able just to see the tip of the handle. The address is 2687 James Street.
Written Jan 23, 2006
Tuesday, June 3. As we were driving North on Highway 1, just before Duncan, we decided to go off the highway and explore the Lake Cowichan District with its freshwater lakes, parks, campgrounds and friendly little communities like Cowichan Bay and Crofton, a forestry town with hiking trails, great fishing and a B.C. Ferries Terminal where you can board a ferry to Salt Spring Island.
Updated Nov 15, 2005
A great but somewhat demanding hike. To make it to the top of the mountain, allow yourself 2-4 hours depending on your physical condition. It's steep, hot (in summer) and somewhat technical in certain areas. And, if you think getting up was tough, wait till you go down! Your knees will take a real pounding... coming from a guy with good knees!
On the way, we stopped off for a beef jerky snack and I noticed many birds flying into the surrounding trees. While eating a peice of jerky a bird flew up, handed on my hand and stole the morsel right out of my hand. Incredible!!! These birds have no fear of humans. From that point on we shared the rest of our lunch with the birds, before moving on. A great experience!
Be sure to take at least a liter of water "per hour, per person". Otherwise, you WILL dehydrate! By the time you reach the top you'll be fully drenched in your own juices, trust me!
You can do multi-day trips up here. I wish we had more time. This would have been the case.
Written Oct 27, 2005