Hope someone can help?

We are planning to come out to the Island in August for a month to have a good look around with a view to making a decision about maybe giving BC another go later next year?

Being honest about this, it will be our 2nd attempt at emigrating i.e. we moved over to BC (Van Mainland / Okanagan) in Spring 2003 with our eldest (then just 12 mths old) and it fell apart horribly.

I won't go into the reasons for fear of boring you, but funnily enough we made exactly the mistake that I've just been reading about in the 'I'm so sad' thread - we sold up everything and as a result it took us a good 2/3 years to get settled back in Chester.

Long story short, but life moves on so quickly and by the time No. 2 and No. 3 appeared we now realise that its been nearly 5 years since we came back and the irony is now that we have kids, we want to bring them up anywhere other than the UK - though no doubt when they are teenagers they will hate us for it

Hence the trip.

We are looking to spend a week or so looking around Victoria (Sannitch Peninsula, Western Communities etc.) and another week looking around Cowichan i.e. Cow Bay, Cobble Hill, Ladysmith up to Naniamo etc.

That will leave us with 2 weeks to do a bit more digging in any locations / communities that give good first impressions and / or maybe travel further up the East Coast if worthwhile?

In terms of advice, we'd would really appreciate comments about where might be a good central place to base ourselves in respect to looking around Victoria and its communities and equally a good base for looking around Cowichan.

Obviously with the kids, we can't just be a car each day driving from one place to another (doing the adult research bit) without a break so we need to try and find a happy mix where perhaps one day we can kick back and relax (as far as the kids are concerned this is a holiday and given the last 3 years of UK summer weather they're actually very excited about doing stuff 'outside') but equally when we do get out & about to look around (adult time - but again with kids) we are not in for a 5 hour road trip each day.

If anyone could help with suggestion for the 2x bases we're looking for / offer any other practical advice (nice places you've found to live / places you would avoid like the plague) we'd really appreciate it.

We're bit older and wiser than we were 5 years ago but we could still learn a hell of a lot from people who have ' ... been there and done it ...'