The drive between Courtenay and Victoria used to take a lot longer when I was young – that’s back before the Malahat drive was improved (and it’s stiff awful) and the Island Highway was upgraded to mostly four lanes.
Then came the Inland Island Highway – a controlled access, four lane divided highway connecting first Nanaimo and Courtenay, and more recently, Campbell River.
The drive became faster and safer, but in some ways less scenic as the old Island Highway followed the coast line past Parksville, Qualicum Bay, Fanny Bay and many other wonderful places. On the other hand, the new Inland Island Highway makes it a bit easier to visit Horne Lake and Spider Lake Provincial Parks, Tribune Bay Provincial Park on Hornby Island, and it has exposed some pretty cool fossil beds.
It also makes it a bit easier to visit some special beaches on the west coast of Vancouver Island…
All images © 2012 CKB