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      07-05-2011, 05:41 PM   #1
Veritable
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2011 Southern Vancouver Island Trip - Pics and Vids

2nd time doing this route, so I have had a better idea as to where to stop for pictures. Also, had the GoPro in various positions again

Equipment is the Canon 50D + Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L USM + B+W Circular Polarizer, and a GoPro HD Hero 960. Car is a 2008 BMW E90 M3, Melbourne Red Metallic.

Click here for the Google Maps link of the route.

Day 1 started in Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal....





Then, after disembarking in Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal, I took a route that I discovered by my usual means: "How do I go from here to there, without driving on the boring freeways?" "Ooooooh, that looks like fun on Google Street View...." The road goes through what is called the Highlands, and for lack of a better explanation, it looks like someone took a hiking trail and paved it into a road. Tight, twisty, plenty of elevation changes, huge trees just FEET from the road, and barely wide enough for 2 cars.

The ridiculous amount of tall trees meant the pictures were underwhelming, but they give you an idea:




After emerging from the Highlands, neatly skirting urban Victoria, then it's down to Sooke to do the Sooke Loop:







Then, onto the West Coast Highway, BC Hwy 14, to Port Renfrew:











Here's another one of those roads that I "discovered," which is a LOGGING ROAD that the BC government PAVED, in order to complete what is called the Southern Island Circle Tour. Logging roads always look like great drives on overhead maps, being deep in the forest with lots of twists and turns. They're usually dirt and gravel roads, though, so imagine what a gem this one is, being paved all the way through.









Overnight in downtown Nanaimo:



Day 2, here's the Pacific Rim Highway (BC Hwy 4) Westbound from Port Alberni to the Tofino / Ucluelet junction:






Pacific Rim National Park Reserve Visitor Centre:



Ucluelet waterfront, with a couple of my best pictures on the trip. It's one of those rare times when even the weather, lighting and scenery all cooperated. Currently thinking of trading in this car for a 2011 Interlagos Blue M-DCT (while it's still being built; not for long, as you all know), but boy MR looked great here:






I took a wrong turn when leaving the town, and stumbled into a newly developing housing area. These epic scenes will be some lucky person's back patio view....








Looked for picture opportunities while driving Westbound on Hwy 4, so did the photo opportunities on the way back. Hey, the ferry was not for 5-6hrs anyways....

Here's the epic cliffside drive of the Pacific Rim Highway. Can you believe that they even drive 42ft tractor trailers on it? Well, the supermarkets in Tofino need their veggies and frozen meat....




More beautiful scenery alongside BC Hwy 4:






Finally, a quick rest stop in Port Alberni, with the paper mill in the background:



As usual, I'll be posting GoPro footages throughout the week. Here's the aforementioned "Highlands" with the bumper cam, which gives you a much better impression of how tight and how many elevation changes there are. I wouldn't call it a "great" road, because of the complete lack of scenery, but it's certainly technically demanding. I'd call it a rally route, but paved so perfect for my BMW



Thanks for reading, and expect more videos later on this week.

...

2nd video is up. After coming out of the Highlands, I changed camera position for Millstream Road, which leads you from the rally tarmac stage back into civilization:


Last edited by Veritable; 07-06-2011 at 01:16 AM.
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      07-05-2011, 07:50 PM   #2
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Love the pictures! I plan on taking a road trip net summer to BC from Toronto in my new E92.
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      07-05-2011, 09:00 PM   #3
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nice!
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      07-05-2011, 09:05 PM   #4
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As usual......great pictures and write up!
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      07-05-2011, 09:08 PM   #5
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The drive looks amazing! Any chance you can share the route you took?
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      07-05-2011, 09:31 PM   #6
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Amazing photos!
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      07-05-2011, 10:46 PM   #7
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Amazing trip! Thank you for the pictures and write-up. Some beautiful scenery and a beautiful car to go with it
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      07-06-2011, 01:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard313 View Post
Any chance you can share the route you took?
Sure thing, here's the Google Maps link with the exact route that I took: click here

Oh, and the 2nd video is now posted into the 1st post.
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      07-06-2011, 01:58 AM   #9
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very nice! great pics! i was up in Vancouver and Victoria back in May for a friends wedding
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      07-06-2011, 02:36 PM   #10
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sick!
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      07-06-2011, 02:44 PM   #11
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man i miss vancouver and all its bed n breakfast spots
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      07-06-2011, 06:44 PM   #12
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WOW!! Great pictures!
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      07-07-2011, 03:32 AM   #13
Veritable
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3rd video, taken from the South Sooke Loop, which is the detour I did in the south side of the route that you can see in Google Maps:

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      07-08-2011, 02:33 PM   #14
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Next video, BC Hwy 14, West Coast Highway, starts with a view of Jordan River and ending up with a relatively high-speed jaunt approaching Port Renfrew, with the hood cam:

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      07-08-2011, 04:59 PM   #15
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beautiful shots! love the Vancouver area, would love to take a long drive like that in an M3...
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      07-08-2011, 06:06 PM   #16
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Nice trip and great pics!
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      07-08-2011, 06:13 PM   #17
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nice
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      07-08-2011, 10:46 PM   #18
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damn, that's a nice scenery.
Would love to visit that place.
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      07-09-2011, 08:09 AM   #19
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amazing pic and amazing car
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      07-11-2011, 03:04 AM   #20
Veritable
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Do apologize for the bump-age, but here's 2 more videos.

Here is that paved logging road I've been harping on about, Harris Creek Mainline that cuts through the heart of south-central Vancouver Island, that lets you leave Port Renfrew without going back the way you came from, by taking you on a 60km jaunt through essentially nothing, to Lake Cowichan. The pavement is not perfect, but it's a LOGGING ROAD. That's PAVED. Awesome!

It's even got an overtake by an LCI E90 335d at the end.

Please excuse the rattling; my GoPro housing broke right before this video was taken, so it was shot with the housing's back cover not closed fully. In fact, the back cover was held on by jaming the housing right against my car's front bumper :P



Then, here's a more mundane run that shows you the scenery at the start of the Pacific Rim Highway (BC Hwy 4), going westbound into Port Alberni. What you see here are the shores of Cameron Lake, and then Cathedral Grove of MacMillan Provincial Park.

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      07-11-2011, 03:50 AM   #21
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love the pics!
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      07-20-2011, 11:31 AM   #22
Veritable
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Boy, video editing is tough business....

Here are the final 2 videos from the trip. The first one is the left front wheel well cam, showing you the best stretch of the Pacific Rim Highway (BC Hwy 4) going into the Tofino / Ucluelet junction. A bit trafficky, and in retrospect I should have had the camera on the RIGHT side (because that is where the ocean views are), but I think the video still shows you what a great road it is.



Of course, the lack of views in the 1st video is remedied by the return trip, with the windshield cam:



That's all folks, for this trip. Next up is the Gold River / Port Hardy / Port Alice trip, to be done next weekend, with a little bit of a twist if everything works out. Stay tuned....
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