Posted by: Silver | September 12, 2010


Owing to inconvenient ferry schedules and the long distances between hosts in the sparsely populated north of Vancouver Island, I’ve had to make several overnight stops on my journey just recently, and I wanted to take this opportunity to send out some thanks to a couple of special places at which I stayed…

The first was The North Coast Trail Backpackers’ Hostel in Port Hardy. From the minute I first emailed to enquire about vacancies, Anne (the owner) was very helpful, and enthusiastic about my journey. I was met as I disembarked from the ferry (which docks late at night on the other side of the bay from the town itself), and happily given a lift to the hostel, in spite of my sizeable cargo (this is a standard service they offer, and is one of the main reasons I decided to stay there in the first place, but I was very impressed that they were so cool about transporting Ranger as well). Anne then gave me a private room – so I could get a good night’s sleep before my next day of cycling – but only charged me the rate for a dormitory bed, in order to support my fundraising for SOS Children’s Villages; thank you, Anne! The hostel was nothing flash – it is a backpackers’ hostel, after all – but it was clean and comfortable and in good repair. Of course, what makes or breaks any establishment, though, is the staff, and the staff here were fantastic: friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and enthusiastic – I can’t recommend this place highly enough if you need a bed in Port Hardy any time.

Then, a week or so later, I found myself at the Mount H’Kusam View Lodge in Sayward. The owners, Jill & Chris, used to be WWOOF hosts on the mainland, but ‘retired’ to the island a few years ago, swapping thir goat dairy for a B&B and hostel, and giving up the WWOOF hosting. However, as a special one-off to help with my journey, they very kindly agreed to let me stay with them as a ‘WWOOFer’ when I passed through Sayward, even though they no longer have a farm, and even though I was only staying for a single night (a normal WWOOF placement would never be so short). And so, in return for an embarrassingly small amount of work helping to tidy things up around the lodge, Chris provided me with a delicious supper, one of the lodge’s private rooms for the night, and a hearty breakfast to set me up for the rainy day of cycling ahead: thank you, Chris! The lodge itself is lovely: very nicely appointed and yes, the rooms along the front (of which mine was one) do have a view of Mount H’Kusam. The surrounding area is gorgeous too, so take a break in the north island and stay with Chris and Jill and their adorable dogs!



  1. If you are on Vancouver Island, hope you have visited the parliament buildings in Victoria…architect was my great uncle John Rattenbury.
    Sounds like you are having a wonderful time…

    • Hi Judith,

      Yes, I hadn’t forgotten your illustrious relative: I’m working my way down towards Victoria at the moment, so I will be sure to visit the parliament buildings when I get there!
      And yes, I am indeed having an extremely wonderful time 🙂

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