Day 14 - From Port Hardy to Campbell River, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Today we leave around 8.45 am for our first big trip on Vancouver Island and drive to Campbell River. During our trip we arrive at a large parking place at Robert’s Lake where we take some nice pictures of a Stellar’s Jay. There we meet a couple with a camper and start talking with them. We tell them that we would love to see some killer whales and they advise us to do this in Victoria. They also give us a good address to have dinner in Victoria, which is always welcome. Around 2.15pm we arrive at Campbell River but before entering this city Patrick suggests to drive to Strathcona Provincial Park. Good idea, we still have enough time. We drive over the John Hart dam and enter the Elk Falls Provincial Park. We arrive in an area which is very humid as the trees are covered with moss. Nice view! We walk to the Elk Falls and enjoy the nature around us. We continue our drive and then return to enter the Strathcona PP. A bit further we arrive at Snakehead Lake where we take some nice pictures. Through a side-road we arrive at the Upper Campbell River Dam (also known as Strathcona Dam) where we have a short walk. As there is too much wind to take pictures of a specific flower, Sofie needs to hold the flower so Lucien can shoot pictures. Funny! We continue our drive and pass Upper Campbell Lake until we arrive at a large parking (the Park Entrance Portal) at the Buttle Lake 2. Here we have our lunch. There is a large wooden statue of an Elk and a sign beneath it mentioning ‘Strathcona Park’. After half an hour we continue our drive and cross the bridge at the Buttle Narrows and arrive at the other side of Buttle Lake 2and Upper Campbell Lake where we drive for a very short time in the Strathcona PP and enter at the Elk River Delta. It is time to get back as you can keep on driving or course, and we drive towards Campbell River and around 4.20pm we check in at our hotel, the Painter’s Lodge, a beautiful resort. There we get the history of the Painter’s Lodge and when reading it we are amazed that people like John Wayne, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Goldie Hawn, Julie Andrews and the Prince of Luxembourg already stayed at this hotel. Amazing! We get the keys of our lodge at the Quadra-wing and drop off our luggage and drive to the harbor of Campbell River. There is a very nice pier, the public fishing pier, where we go for a walk and enjoy the view. At the other side of the Discovery Passage we see Quadra Island. After our walk we return to the car and our two ladies distract Patrick and Lucien goes to the local fishing hardware store. Once back in the car Patrick gets a very nice present from Luso. A Browning Classic Folder, wood, Model 335. A very nice engraved pocket knife. Great! Thanks! We drive back to our lodge and have a shower and look for a place to have dinner. Around 7.20pm we walk to the main lodge where we have the choice to have dinner in the hotel or take the free boat to cross the lake (10 minutes on the Discovery Passage) to April Point Resort & Spa. The choice is obvious! Every 20 minutes there is a boot to Quadra Island April Point. We walk to the hotel’s pier where we just saw someone arriving with his catch of the day… salmon. He caught a huge salmon and is very proud about it. The salmon is cleaned on the pier by the captain of the fishing boat and he tells us to watch now... He takes out the bowels of the salmon, hits the wooden pier twice with his foot and throws the bowels in the water. Everybody watches and suddenly the bowels disappear?! A bit further we see two seals who just enjoyed a great dinner and apparently they know this very well! Around 7.45pm we take the boat and ten minutes later we get of the boat on the other side of the water. We walk to the main lodge into the restaurant. The food is fantastic! After dinner we have to wait for the boat so we make a short walk around the place. It is just beautiful and we take a couple of pictures. After the crossing we go for a short walk around the pier and walk back to our lodge for a good night’s rest.
Daytrip approx. 395 km