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Archive for the ‘British Columbia 2007’ Category

What with a lack of internet access and a lot of moving about, we’re a little behind our posting times lately, so this post takes us back to Thursday morning.

On Wednesday, we couldn’t quite make up our minds about what to do: stay in Tofino or drive, eventually to Victoria. Once we got up and moving, we opted to drive because once again the weather wasn’t favourable. Am I sounding just a bit like a broken record? In fact, as we began our drive it was pouring, which caused us to exercise caution on a road that was extremely winding and constantly changing its elevation. But, with low clouds drifting along the mountain sides, it was very beautiful in its own way, which the next photo may partially capture.

Day 16

After perhaps almost two hours we began to drive through Cathedral Grove, just west of Port Alberni. There, the trees have been living for three hundred years or even longer.

Day 16

We stopped and took a short walk (in the rain) through the grove, and I posed with this tree, the largest in the area. They know that it’s at least three hundred years old, but it could be even older. In other words, it was here before Captain Cook chanced by and about a hundred years before Simon Fraser crossed over from the east.

Day 16

And I do like the look of these trees and the mood they create.

Day 16

After about six and a half hours of driving, we eventually made it to Victoria, but we’ll leave that for another post.

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I posted about yesterday morning already but not about the afternoon, so here we go — the condensed version, I hope … and you hope too, no doubt.

Tofino is on the northern edge of the Pacific Rim National Park which is part of the UNESCO Clayoquot Sound World Heritage site. Phew! I hope I got all that more or less right. So, we headed back into the park this afternoon. I say back because we did have to drive through it to get to Tofino yesterday.

What we saw was the Pacific Ocean. I mean the beginning of the whole big thing. We’ve been seeing bays and inlets and such ever since we got to the west coast, but not until today were we able to look out and see all of the way across to Japan (ha ha).

The day was cloudy at best and rainy at worst, but I Photoshopped the first photo and brightened it up a bit. It’s part of Long Beach (yes, I know there’s another more famous one about a thousand miles to the south), which is quite long indeed. In fact, all of the photos (except the flower one) are of one part of this Long Beach or another.

Day 15

The next two photos are a little truer to what it actually looked like to us. I didn’t mind the cloudiness too much. It does have a certain atmosphere, and it is pretty darn typical. Guess who that solitary figure is in the second picture.

Day 15

Day 15

We kept driving to the village at the southern end of the park — Ucluelet (as in You-Clue-Let). It’s much the same size as Tofino but less touristy, which is not to say that it isn’t at all touristy. We walked around a bit, and for the umpteenth time in BC I saw splendid Foxgloves, so I took this picture with them in the foreground and the ocean in the background.

Day 15

Finally, on the drive back to Tofino, we made one more stop at Long Beach and took this photo from a lookout point. It was completely overcast and also raining by this time.

Day 15

We enjoyed the day and are now uncertain what to do tomorrow: stay here or head to Victoria and meet up with the A-Team there.

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As promised there was cloud and rain this morning, but not too much rain (a little drizzle) although the ground was certainly wet when we woke up. The Schooner Restaurant provided us with a great breakfast — very tasty hash browns and French toast (made from sourdough bread). The inside actually featured the hull of a ship — real or fake, I don’t know.

Day 15

Day  15

Then it was time to browse and shop. Across the street from the restaurant lay an art gallery, and we found the most amazing art inside —paintings by a native artist, Roy Henry Vickers, much of which seemed to be backlit but wasn’t. So …. I finally fell off my wallet and bought some art cards and a small print. I played with the notion of purchasing the original of the print, but at $12 000, it was a little rich even for my well-heeled, blue blood (ha ha — pure irony there, folks).

Day 15

A native store, The House of Himwitsa, was our next destination, and AC fell even further from grace with the purchase of a T-shirt and native CD featuring flute music etc from Monument Valley, AZ. I know that it sounds strange to purchase an Arizona souvenir way up here, but we actually experienced a most haunting and evocative playing-of -the-flute by a Navajo guide deep in the valley last year, so I’m looking forward to perhaps rekindling that memory just a bit more. Here’s a snap of some of my souvenirs. Cuppa didn’t purchase any today, but she has done quite well for herself on this trip, I assure you. No, don’t feel sorry for Cuppa.

Day 15

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We are quite a distance from Vancouver tonight. This morning we drove to Horseshoe Bay and took the ferry to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. From there we drove about four hours to Tofino. For the first day since we’ve been here, the sun came out and more or less stayed out although we worried over it a few times. Hey, we’ll appreciate what we get because it’s supposed to rain from tomorrow onward. We took many pictures, but I’ll go with these six for now. The first two are taken from the ferry.

Day 14

Day 14

One reason we’re here was because the tour book raved about the drive to Tofino. It wasn’t too far off the mark because it was quite a wonderful drive. One problem we seem to have with BC, however, is the relative scarcity of viewpoints — places where we can pull off the road and drink in the scenery. Hence, Cuppa took many pictures from the moving car as we travelled along, but these two are from actual stops that we made.

Day 14

Day 14

Finally, we arrive in Tofino and secured a nice but not too pricey motel (relatively speaking — it is a tourist town after all!) with a view of the harbour on Clayoquot Sound. Nice eh? The ocean, mountains, flowers and even palm trees. Yes, there are two small palm trees in the motel garden that you can’t see in this photo. There really are palm trees in Canada; there were a few by English Bay in Vancouver as well.

Day 14

Then we walked around the town and took this picture of the Tofino harbour.

Day 14

If it rains tomorrow, there are countless shops where Cuppa can browse. What the heck! It was nice today, and we enjoyed it, so we can take more rain. Sure we can.

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What with the weather and all, we continued to lie low on Sunday, Father’s Day, but it was a fine day. The girls surprised me with a Father’s Day Hat Dance. In fact, I didn’t know what the heck they were doing at first, but the point was to present me with Father’s Day gifts, which were hats. Cuppa took a video clip of the performance, which of course I just had to join in, and I may post that on YouTube later (now posted click here for YouTube or here for my blog, Raindrops). They presented me with not one but two hats, one of which I am wearing in these photos, but I have worn the other already as well.

Not only that, but they spoiled me even more by gifting me with a CD of First Nations music. I had been wanting to get an album of aboriginal music, and Althegal knows some about the style with her academic background. We don’t get to spend much time with these two, so it was very special to be with them on a special day like this, and with the rather stirring native music playing in the background, I lost it for a while and am barely managing to control my emotions in the first photo but am doing better in the second.

Day 12

Day 12

As it turned out, Cuppa was also presented with a hat. She has never felt that she looked good in hats, but she tried on this one of Bug’s and it suited her very well. Since it didn’t fit Bug all that well, it is now Cuppa’s to look cute in.

Day 12

After that the spoiling continued with a brunch in The Common Room, a pub with a fine view of English Bay.

Day 12

After brunch we headed to the campus of the University of British Coumbia where Althegal will be pursuing her Master’s degree in the fall. I have seen some very nice campuses and actually been to school on two of them, but UBC is something else entirely. What a magnificent environment Bug has chosen to further her studies. The first shows the girls in the rose garden with English Bay in the background (the south side of the bay, the opposite side from which all other picture, including the header, have been taken). The second shows some flowers in front of a different building near what will be Althegal’s faculty.

Day 12

Day 12

The Anthropological Museum is located on the campus, and we enjoyed our little tour. Outside, Cuppa took the following picture of the three of us.

Day 12

We were to head to Vancouver Island and Pacific Rim National Park today, but we simply weren’t ready, so we shall remain here for another day. One thing we have to keep an eye on is the front, right tire of our rental. It was almost completely flat when we left the museum yesterday, but we filled it and are trying to monitor whether it is still holding the air. If it’s leaking, it’s very slow.

We also went online to check motel rates in Tofino, and they’re high, so another rent-free day also holds some appeal. Besides, it’s cloudy and cool again today, and we’re happy to pack and blog and spend more time with Althegal while Puff is off to a work-related conference.

Once we do leave, I’m not sure if we’ll be able to post regularly or not. We have time and internet access here, but both of those commodities may be in short supply once we hit the road. Nevertheless, we’ll try to update you briefly if possible.

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It’s true; we have no photos to post from today. If we did, they would show rain — again! What we did do was sleep in a bit, sit around a talk for a bit, go out for a bit of brunch, and shop for a bit. The ladies now have their fair shares of baubles, trinkets, and sundry items. They are happy, and, therefore, so am I. I don’t seem to need to buy a lot of stuff to be happy, but it’s nice to see my loved ones experience pleasure and delight in little things. When I do seem to want to add something to my life, however, it tends to be a purchase that is somewhat grander than a piece of costume jewellry, for example. It’s not by design; it’s just the way of it.

I hope that you are enjoying a fine weekend wherever you may be whether it is hot or cold, sunny or cloudy, dry or rainy there.

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I have already posted (below) that yesterday was pretty uneventful. Perhaps this first photo, taken from the north-facing apartment window, at least partly explains why. Behold the grayness and the clouds on the mountains on North Vancouver.

Day 10

However, come mid-afternoon when we were walking along the bay, the weather changed and suddenly became warm. We actually removed our jackets for almost the first time. Later, I used my telephoto lens for the first time and took the next photo. You can see the mountains much more clearly.

Day 10

Since I had the telephoto on I played around a little. I peeked out of the balcony window, looking south and saw this sailboat passing between the two apartment buildings.

Day 10

Then I looked down and captured this guy cleaning the bus windows. I don’t know why, but I just like this one.

Day 10

In the evening, we walked along Denman Ave and then sat at the bay for a while. As you can see, the sky was quite pretty.

Day 10

In both photos,, above and below, you can see heads turning to the right (of the photo). There was a busker doing his thing. I have seen him three times in all. He has a sardonic, low-key patter that I don’t like, but he always manages to attract a crowd and gather in dollars — a few hundred in my estimation. He’s actually quite good: does aerial stuff with fiery whips and the like. Note: it wasn’t really that dark in the following photo; I stopped it down for effect and drama.

Day 10

Every now and then, I attempt to become arty; hence, the following photo.

Day 10

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