There are several ferries between the mainland and Vancouver Island. We choose the one from Horseshoe Bay (West Vancouver) to Nanaimo because we first want to go over to the west coast.
We only have little over one hour drive left to the ferry so we do not hurry too much in the morning. But maybe we should have looked for the ferry schedule before, because on our arrival one has left 20 minutes before and the next one is due in two hours. The tickets are $136 one way (the motorhome 100, two people 30 plus 6 fuel surcharge), and the passage takes 90 minutes.
As we do not want to drive far in the afternoon from Nanaimo we head to the first provincial park northbound, Rathtrevor Beach P.P. in Parksville. As almost expected the campground is full, but they have an overflow. This overflow is a parking lot in the middle of the forest with nothing at all, one third of a mile away from the campground, but they charge $30 anyway.
So we rather go to the small private campground one quarter mile down the road, pay two dollars more and have an electric and water site, everything else across the lawn and a small river right behind us. And in the evening we take the bicycles, enter the park through a small side entrance, ride along the beach and are glad we are not in the park campground on one of the secluded sites back in the dark woods.