Here we go on our way down to Tofino
Maybe we can catch some waves
All I know, I love to feel the sand between my toes
And the sun upon my face
Old Man`s Beard is a bit weird name for a band but hey, they make a great music :happy: San has downloaded their album about a month or two before we took that trip, and was saving it for us to sing :sing: in a car as we were heading our way through the woods and mountains of Vancouver Island. And we sang it out loud 😆
We stopped at Port Alberni, a small town in the middle of island who was important point for fur traders in 19th century. Now, it looks a bit forgotten, a place where one would stop to buy a fuel (as we actually did), have a lunch and go east or west, toward its final destination. I guess it was my impression because of a rainy day and a winter; it probably looks much greener and better during summer. I don`t think they call it Salmon Capital of the World for nothing :up:
About ten kilometers later a mountain pass (I think it is called Sutton Pass) starts and I met my first Canadian snow. If I don`t count a snow I saw from the airplane but back then (only two days ago :doh: ) I had terrible headache and was completely exhausted because of The Longest Day, that I didn`t pay attention to a white stuff down there.
It was raining since we left Cathedral Grow and, with higher altitude, it suddenly turned into snow. And suddenly there was a lot of it around :eyes:
Also, I remember numerous rivers and springs with weirdest names impossible to remember. I think I laughed the most at one called Left Boot Creek or Left Shoe Creek; maybe San will correct me later. There was almost no traffic along the way and those who we met were rather careful, driving slowly and cautiously. If you are smart, mountain pass is not a place to show off…
As fast as it appeared, snow turned back to rain and it was sure sign we are in lower altitude and close to ocean. After we turned right at Pacific Rim Visitor Centre, there was a table by the road saying: Tsunami Escape Route, pointing somewhere right, through rainforest :eyes: Later I`ve found that in 1964. after a big earthquake hit Anchorage area in Alaska, two tsunamis hit Vancouver island, reaching even Port Alberni… More than 300 demolished houses, luckily no human casualties. Lesson was learnt and now, if warning come in time, there are safe routes every few kilometers.
Our hotel was Pacific Sands Beach Resort in a Cox Bay – after we finished formalities, there was magnifficent view awaiting for us…
Pacific Sands Beach
And endless sound of waves. No matter when, day or night, that sound is the first thing you would hear in the morning and the last before you fall asleep. You know there is nothing between you and Asia now, except a big deep blue ocean. And waves.
When San told me that hotels in Tofino area has 3 seasons – summer, winter and storm season – between November and February – and that the storm one has very high prices, I was in disbelief. Ok, this is not Australia, down there they have really BIG waves, so why would one pay 170 CAD for night in a resort :left: And that was cheap. In some hotels 250 CAD is considered a savings :faint: Nearby hotel has unbeliveable prices, up to 1000 CAD per day in a suite :ko:
But there is something in this place that make you wish to stay there. Forever. Rain forests? Sandy beches? Waves? Probably all of them. Life seem so perfect there. One can find piece despite storm and rain and waves. All that rage actually calms down…
Weather forecast for the next day was, no surprise, storm with a lot of rain. As for mountain pass, the advice was to avoid driving. Not that we wanted. After all, it was a time to relax. Sleep, walk by the beach, enjoy local food, listen the ocean…
Those and some more photos here;