North to Port Hardy

Trip Start Sep 13, 2008
Trip End Oct 04, 2008

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Thursday, September 18, 2008

We left Tofino at around 9am and filled up with Gas on Highway 4. Halfway between Port Alberni and the Junction with Highway 19 is the MacMillan Provincial Park otherwise know as Cathedral Grove. A 500 metre trial leads from the car park through 200-800 year old Douglas Firs that stand approx 70 metres from the floor. After a brief visit we continued onto the junction with Highway 19.

At around 1pm we arrive in Campbell River. We parked in a 2 hour free car parking space and walked along Discovery Pier. The Pier is 180 metres long and seems very popular with the local fisherman. We then wondered around the town and decided to get a sandwich to take away, which proved to be a little difficult. We eventually found a little internet cafe that produced every sandwich imaginable. We ate our lunch in a park overlooking the tree covered Quandra Island, before heading back onto Highway 19 North.
Our next stop was not until we reached Telegraph Cove, which is approximately 8 kilometres (5 miles) from Port McNeil. It is a picturesque village consisting of a boardwalk community. Many buildings stand on stilts over the water. As you walk along the boardwalk a plague on each house telling you what the building was used for many years ago. As there are only approx 20 people that call this home year round there is a distinct ghostliness about this place. The main attraction for tourists is the whale watching on offer as there is a pod of Orca's (Killer Whales) residing in the local area. After returning to highway 19, we observed a Bald Eagle and to Black Bears on the side of the road.

We arrived in Port Hardy at around 6:30pm. Port Hardy lies along Hardy bay and is home to the BC Ferries terminal for all sailings north along the Inside Passage.  We decided to walk along the sea wall to Tsulquate Park which we were led to believe is a good siting point for Bald Eagles. Unfortunately there were none to be seen. We then headed for our hotel the Glyn Lion Inn. From the outside is doesn't look like much and the rooms are a little basic, but the view from the room more than makes up for it with views over the harbour.  We had dinner in the hotel restaurant as dining options in Port Hardy are rather limited. The hotel restaurant prices were reasonable and they offered a wide selection of seafood caught locally. The restaurant also looks out onto the harbour , where we saw a Bald Eagle swoop past the window whilst having dinner.

Distance Travelled - 544Km
Time Taken - Approx 5 Hours
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