In a pinch and in a pandemic you have to make your own Camino.
In our case we decided to do Camino Victoria from Nanaimo to victoria. We all live on Protection Island in Nanaimo Harbour, so we deicded to start from downtown Nanaimo.
We had two options well I suppose three:
Option 1: we could walk along the TransCanada highway. Stupid option.
Option 2: we could follow the TransCanada trail now renamed The Great Trail from the Nanaimo harbour front up towards the university, in behind the parkway through The Abyss (got lost there once with Dr Bill Pennel and Dr. Tim Goater which is another story) which is a beautiful area following a crack in the earth, to Extension on through to the Nanaimo River where, if you look at a map, the trail continues on the other side of the river. The only problem is there is no bridge to cross the river. Instead you have to walk along the road following the river all the way to the highway across the river at the highway bridge and then come back up the river all the way back to where there is no bridge and then continue South which eventually leads you to Ladysmith. However, when we calculated the kilometers we got counts of upwards of 37 km this didn’t seem like a good idea.
Option 3: Head south from downtown Nanaimo along the waterfront along the estuary, east on Maki road, south past Living Forest campground through a trail that joins up to a small subdivision road, that joins up to Cedar Road, then cross Cedar road to go along Fielding road that goes in behind the garbage dump (note: this proved impossible) back on to Cedar Rd, then Haslam Rd, onto Adshead, back onto Cedar Rd, cross the highway, take a few backroads, go behind Oyster Bay, take a hike on a trail which would get us onto Christie Rd in north Ladysmith. Luckily I checked this route the day before to find that a key road had been blocked by a gate, threatening No Trespassing signs and an overgrown, impossible to follow, trail. This gave us Option 3, plan B: from Adshead, cross Cedar Rd onto Code Rd and take a right onto Brenton Page Rd to Highway #1. And pray while we did a quick 600 meters along the highway until we got past the ocean-frontage and could join a trail paralleling the highway and then take the lower road into Ladysmith.
And that, more or less, is what we did.
Our original plan was to camp along the way, using road support to transport the luggage and set up camp. Somehow that idea ended up morphing into hotels and AirBnBs and road support. A few days before we left we had two people drop out for health reasons. That left myself, Linda J, my sister Cathy as walkers and Linda’s husband Gary as road crew. Gary would pick us up at the end of the day and the next morning drop us off where we needed to start walking. Having road crew solved a lot of problems!