An August 2003 trip
to Vancouver Island by Funky Monkey
Quote: A quick guide to one of Canada's rainiest places.
If you are a keen surfer, then Long Beach is a really good place to visit. It can get a bit too windy for sunbathing, but waves coming in from the Pacific are good for beginners while still offering a challenge for the more experienced surfer.
A favourite local dessert is Naniamo bars, and the best place to have them is at the buffet in the Empress, in Victoria. Another great dessert is the Five-Layer Chocolate Cake. You can eat it in Tofino (on the west coast) at the Sea Shanty, and with one slice at a staggering 6 inches tall, it is certainly a mighty dessert.
The hotel is within walking distance from shops and restaurants, as well as having its own restaurant on the ground floor. The hotel also has a gym and internet facilities. The service is friendly and there is a shop where you can buy Vancouver Island souvenirs.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 7, 2004
Coast Bastion Inn
11 Bastion Street
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R6E4
Before you go, everyone has to put on huge orange waterproof suits which make you look more like an astronaut than a tourist. It takes between 30 and 60 minutes to get out to where the whales are and the whole trip takes about 2-3 hours. The guides who sail the boats are extremely knowledgeable and can answer most (if not all) questions you ask them. They can name any of the whales you see from about 100 metres away, just from the dorsal fin (the big one on the top).
Most people are really tired on the journey back, but the guides like to have a bit of fun by sailing the boat by holding onto the steering wheel with one hand - whilst their feet fly out the back of the boats! Bring a camera / video camera if you have one, and if you have one with a zoom lens, bring that. This is a truly memorable experience.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 13, 2004
Prince of Whales
812 Wharf Street
Victoria, British Columbia V8W 1T3
Welwyn Garden City, United Kingdom