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Posts Tagged ‘tofino’

Day 16

In the previous post, I briefly described the first part our drive from Pacific Rim National Park to Victoria: the part from Tofino to Cathedral Grove near Port Alberni. But I missed the above picture of Cuppa in the Grove; I like it and wanted to include it somewhere, so there you have it.

To continue: just as it was slow going from Pacific Rim to Port Alberni, so it remained slow going for the rest of the way as well. We thought that it would be different, for the map seemed to show an expressway from Nanaimo to Victoria, and the distance was not huge. In fact, in our experience it should only have been about an hour because that’s about how long it takes us to drive an equivalent distance in Ontario. It was different on the Victoria route, however, for there were stoplights every few miles, or so it seemed. We’d get up to highway speeds and then be forced to stop — time and time again.

As a result, we were somewhat travel-weary by the time we hit Victoria, but we found a generic motel easily enough where we also begged for directions to a decent restaurant. As it turns out, we were directed to Irish Times Pub in downtown Victoria. As this poor picture shows, it was a pretty impressive establishment.

Day 16

And Praise Be! for we did have a very decent meal, not the best ever, but it didn’t have to be after the previous night (see below). It was quite good, however, and the atmosphere was great. AC and Cuppa even sampled four Irish beers. Not to fret about us becoming alcoholics though, for as the photo shows, the portions were small which is just as well as neither of us are exactly world class beer drinkers. What led to the sampler was the fact that I had never tried that world famous Guiness, not in my whole life, and my life is moving apace thank you very much, so it seemed to be high time.

Day 16

As it turned out, both of us ranked Guiness as our least favourite, with the much lighter Harp coming out on top. After dinner we toured downtown Victoria. From the outside, we saw the famous Empress Hotel and the Legislature and many other tourists and many touristy shops. It seems that tour ships frequently pull into Victoria, and the stores reflected that as did various conveyances such as the caleche below.

Day 16

All of that being said, however, I have left you hanging just a bit — something about bad food on the previous night in Tofino. Was it ever bad! Judging by the next photo, I must have had a premonition because Cuppa took it even before the food came. We had fancied and ordered fish and chips. I ate two bites (can’t think of why I took the second) and gave up in a state of nauseated disgust. I don’t leave my food very often, particularly at restaurant prices, but this stuff was truly awful. It wasn’t halibut, wasn’t haddock, and wasn’t even cod, but it sure was fishy. Ugh!

Day 15

My goodness! We’re almost done with the trip. In a later post I will share some photos of the famous Butchart Gardens and our return ferry crossing, but that should be close to the end of Rambling and Roving for now.

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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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