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Old 05-02-2015, 02:01 PM   #1
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Vancouver Island questions

I'll be on Vancouver Island for a bit over a week late May, early June. Taking the Anacortes to Sydney ferry and hope to spend the first two nights at Island View Beach regional Park. They don't take reservations. The ferry arrives around 11:30 AM. What are the chances of my getting a site, or should I book somewhere else? I figure I won't see any other Escapes there due to poor timing on my part.....

From there I'm heading north, and also going west. When I leave the Island midweek I'm going to Chilliwack for some more retrofitting. Which ferry, and what time, should I take for the least noxious traffic? (I'm thinking Naniamo rather than Victoria?). And what is a good campground for getting to the ferry, whichever one that is?
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Old 05-02-2015, 02:11 PM   #2
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http://www.livingforest.com/
Is RV park that's very popular. We stayed once and it was good. Close to Departure Bay ferry terminal.
You can figure two hours total ferry time ( trip is shorter, but by the time you get off, it's at least another 20 minutes ). You do not want to be on the Upper Levels Highway after about 2:30 pm and don't want to be in rush hour on #1 heading east to Chilliwack. Rush hour starts by 3pm.
So, I'd go for a ferry around 9 am. Google BC Ferry and you can see routes and departure times and make reservation ( good idea depending on day of the week ).
Wave at us when you cross the Capilano River.
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Old 05-02-2015, 02:30 PM   #3
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Sally we did the trip in reverse from Chilliwack to the Island, it took us 1hr 15 minutes from Escape to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal. The traffic at rush hour (7:00am - 8:00am) was minimal. From there it is a 2 hr ferry trip to Duke Point Nanaimo.

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Old 05-02-2015, 03:02 PM   #4
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Good idea. Duke Point never occurs to me since we live 12 minutes from Horseshoe Bay.
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Old 05-02-2015, 03:14 PM   #5
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We've been to that one as well , very handy location nice spots . We tend to chose the longer ferry crossings , love the water .
Oops didn't say which one - meant the same one Gbaglo was referring to . Not sure that the traffic is less noxious in Nanaimo than Victoria . We always try to pass through Van very early , unless we really must stop off to see an uncle ....
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Old 05-02-2015, 04:20 PM   #6
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Hi Sally, Island View Beach is an 8 minute drive from our place. You should not have a problem getting a site. Not sure which day you arrive but chances are you will get a better spot if you show up mid week. It is a spectacular beach with a beautiful View of the Gulf and San Juan Islands. The drive from the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to Island View is about 15 minutes max. Easy to get to. Once you get off the ferry, stay on the highway for about 8 miles and hang a left onto Island View Road and follow it down to the beach. It is will marked. There is a farmer's market right on the corner of the intersection , Michell's Farms and , the strawberries will be ready by the time you roll in. Lots of local veggies as well.!!!!! If you like to read, there are lots of great little book stores in the waterfront town of Sidney. Worth poking around.

When you do go back to Tsawasseen from up island, the fastest way to get to Chilliwack is via the new perimeter highway that opened up a while ago. Much quicker the taking Highway 10 through Surrey and Langley.

Any questions, shoot me an email.

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Old 05-02-2015, 08:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kærnehuset View Post
When you do go back to Tsawasseen from up island, the fastest way to get to Chilliwack is via the new perimeter highway that opened up a while ago. Much quicker the taking Highway 10 through Surrey and Langley.
You had me puzzled - I didn't know which road was the "new perimeter highway", but apparently it is South Fraser Perimeter Road (Highway 17). I'm not a Greater Vancouver local, but I've visited there quite a bit, and I couldn't picture a new road traversing Surrey and Langely; instead, it is a faster route to the Trans-Canada (Highway 1), so you use it across the top of Surrey and the Trans-Canada past Langley. Now that I see it, I realize that I got on 17 accidentally once when headed to Port Coquitlam - not a good detour!

I assume that this is still a near parking lot at afternoon rush hour, although not as bad as when there was more Trans-Canada and bridge construction.

Tsawwassen to Chilliwack in Google Maps
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Old 05-03-2015, 10:56 AM   #8
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Thanks so much. Just the information I needed. Really looking forward to seeing this beautiful island. What I get from the driving discussion is its better to go from Nanaimo to Tsawassen rather than go to Horseshoe Bay? And book a 9 AM or thereabouts trip and hope to avoid what I seem to always hit when going through Seattle - traffic with a capital T. It's not so much the time, there's plenty of that, but the start and stop and trying to guess what lane one needs to be in since no one will let you over that drives me crazy.

Then there's the fact that Loonies are supposed to be more polite than those ugly Americans just south, eh?
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Old 05-03-2015, 12:29 PM   #9
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Hi Sally, yes I would take the ferry from Nanaimo (Duke Point) right to Tsawasseen and bypass the Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay route. This way you will avoid traffic in downtown Nanaimo as well as West Vancouver, North Vancouver etc. The trip is about 1/2 hour longer then the Horseshoe Bay run but you will avoid a ton of traffic and lots of aggravation once you get to the Lower Mainland. The perimeter highway out to Highway #1 is really quick and less congested and it brings you onto the #1 around 200th Street in Langley, thus you will avoid much of the traffic on Highway 1. You will still get a bit of it but most of it gets off at either Surrey or Langley, so it will be clearer sailing! With all of the improvements they have made to Highway 1, it is not as much as a parking lot as it used to be, but traffic can still be heavy at anytime of the day. Taking the 9 am ferry is a good time to go as it is in between both rush hours and traffic will be lighter.

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Old 05-03-2015, 12:32 PM   #10
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Also, toll for vehicle and trailer on Port Mann Bridge is $9, so you save that.
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