Port Alberni

Port Alberni Travel Blog

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Fat Salmon Backpackers Hostel. www.fatsalmonbackpackers.com Tell them the Kentucky boys say Hi!
I had the pleasure of visiting Port Alberni British Columbia this summer as some friends of mine were looking for a good hike.  We decided on hiking the Della Falls trail, about 12 miles each way to the base of the falls.  Not too terribly hard, but you should be in shape before you attempt it as there are some rough areas and it is a decent distance.
Port Alberni is located about an hour or so drive from Naniamo British Columbia and is accessible from the mainland North America only via BC Ferry. 
Nearing your entry to Port Alberni, you come across a small town called Coombs.  We stopped briefly in Coombs to pick up some additional gear at the army surplus store, plus there is a market that seems to be frequented by a huge throng of tourists.
the Port in Port Alberni
  The main attraction in Coombs is this market as during the warmer months they have a family of goats on the roof of the building.  During our stop, the goats were tired of getting rained on and stayed in their goat house.  Perhaps next time I'll get a chance to see the goats on their roof!
When we entered into Port Alberni we quickly found our hostel as they were going to introduce us to our guide, Ben.  The hostel that we stayed at is named the Fat Salmon Backpacker Hostel and I highly reccomend it.  As soon as we arrived they greeted us with open arms.  They allowed us to park our car in their back lot as we hiked and promisded to keep an eye on it.  I saw a price list on the wall that requested $5 / day for parking, but they refused my money!  After our hike, we opted to spend a night in Port Alberni with the Fat Salmon, and as it turns out, it was the best day of our trip.
  I highly reccomend that you book a room there with Chris, Char, and Angus (the owners, in no particular order) and spend a night sipping beer with Chris.  Ask him to tell you the story about hiking with the deer on his back.
The evening that we were in the Port, we did some laundry at the towns only laundrymat.  Beneath which lies a bar, which is a great place to hang out while you do some laundry!  There I met a nice fisherman who challenged me to a game of pool.  4 games later, he wiped the floor with my horrible billard skills.  Great times!
Near the town you will find the Martin Mars Water Bombers.  These huge aircraft are the planes that you see going over forest fires and dumping 700 gallons of water at a time.  Up close and personal with these planes makes you feel very small as they are wickedly huge!  There is also a small museum dedicated to these firefighting planes that is free, stop by and learn a little!
Also near town is the Stamp River.
The Martin Mars Water Bombers
  This short hike (about a mile) teaches as well as shows you all about the upstream battle that salmon face in order to spawn.  Take an hour out of your day and check it out, well worth my time!
I wish I had a few more days to stay in Port Alberni, enough time to tube down the river and spend more time with my friends at the hostel.  Alas, we had to leave onto other cities, but I will always hold this little town dear to me.

cmwish says:
I'm glad you enjoyed your time here :o) We like it too!
Posted on: Jul 10, 2008
oriel says:
Sounds like Port Alberni showed you a good time. excellent article.
Posted on: Sep 24, 2007
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Fat Salmon Backpackers Hostel.  ww…
Fat Salmon Backpackers Hostel. w…
the Port in Port Alberni
the Port in Port Alberni
The Martin Mars Water Bombers
The Martin Mars Water Bombers
Theyll make you an offer on Cod y…
They'll make you an offer on Cod …
Describing the salmon trek
Describing the salmon trek
Man Made stairs to help the salm…
Man Made "stairs" to help the sal…
Stamp River Falls
Stamp River Falls
Me at Stamp River.
Me at Stamp River.
Port Alberni
Port Alberni
Port Alberni
Port Alberni
Port Alberni
Port Alberni
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Port Alberni
photo by: Vikram