|Subject: Re: East Coast of Vancouver Island, BC Canada|
I just got back from Vancouver Island, British Columbia is one of my favorite places in the world. We spend all our time divided between Campbell River, Tofino and Ucluelet, and Victoria. We enjoy Campbell River a lot, we always stay at Painters Lodge. There is a nice museum in Campbell River if your interested.
Between Nanaimo and Courtenay is Horne Lake Caves. These caves are easy to access via a beautiful short walk across a cool suspension bridge and through a verdant forest. We laughed for 20 minutes as my husband Ken showed me the various "waves" he could create as he stood on the bridge jumping! As an added bonus, along the route to the park we spotted a deer who had just given birth and was cleaning her baby and helping her walk across the road. We stared in amazement as the baby stood for the first time and took her shaky first steps. We waited until they were safely across the road since we were afraid that a logging truck would come jamming down the road and plow over these animals! http://tinyurl.com/4vr8q
Your brother might be interested in ferrying over to Quadra Island, a 10 minute ride from Campbell River to an wonderful Island with the clearest water I have seen. I spied many different colored starfish, and a river otter in search of food. Do walk out on Rebecca's Spit, its wonderful. http://www.quadraisland.ca/
The ride from Campbell River to Port Hardy is long, and there is less to do from a city perspective but much more nature and wide open spaces. There are tons of Eagles in Port Hardy, they are often feeding along the shore during low tide. There are some isolated Lighthouses that might be fun to visit as well, here is a website showing all the locations: http://www.fogwhistle.ca/bclights/ .
I realize you have not plans to visit Tofino but personally, I love Tofino and think this is the place to really step into the ocean. Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is a great place to take short rain forest hikes. We found a new trail in Ucluelet called the wild pacific coast trail that constituted an easy couple of miles following the scenic coastline. This trail truly represents the wilderness of the pacific coast, I highly recommend it.
Finally, I really enjoy Port Alberni, which is very close to Nanaimo but yet considered a west coast port because it is at the end of a very long inlet. The MV lady Rose cruises up the Alberni Inlet and into the Barkley Sound to deliver stuff to those isolated towns on the west coast such as Bamfield, and they take passengers as well. Maybe your brother would enjoy dipping his feel into this west coast port?
I feel silly telling you about areas in your home area, but i realize that sometimes we are more familiar with foreign destinations than our own home towns! I hope this helps, have a wonderful trip.
Amelia Hesson Chatsworth http://www.csun.edu/~afm1545/