It is now officially Fall. Could there be a more appropriate time to relive my summer vacation? LOL! It was mid July when I was out west, visiting Vancouver Island and, obviously, life and my regular blogging schedule has gotten in the way.
I know. 🙂
Growing up on the island, in Victoria, my family never ventured past Parksville for our vacations. We always stayed at Beach Acres and those memories rank amongst the happiest of my childhood. The trip to Tofino is indeed that: a true road trip that takes a good five hours, along winding roads flanked by cloud topped mountains. I was spoiled to be chauffeured the entire trip by my travelling sisters, Julie and Jenny (they are actual sisters).
I took complete advantage, kicked back and marvelled at the scenery.
Obligatory stops in Coombs to visit their market, complete with grass grazing goats on the roof. Can you see them?
Next up, the Codfather in Port Alberni, which is the fishing capital of the island. Here we collected the fresh seafood that was to be our dinner once we arrived in Tofino. Scallops and a massive tub of shrimp.
And finally, Tofino.
We stayed at the Pacific Sands Resort, which was chosen after careful contemplation. We wanted to be right on the beach and this location delivered that. Right outside our back door was the majestic Pacific Ocean. The spacious suite was filled with the sounds of waves crashing when the door was opened. I chose to sleep in the living room on the pull out couch so I could be rocked to sleep by the ocean currents.
The weather was bright and sunny on our first day, which can be iffy on this remote part of the island. Rain is very commonplace even in the summer months. In the winter, storm watchers flock to Tofino. Proof of this was found in the closet. Most resorts provide you with plush robes. Here, your luxury item is a heavy duty rain slicker.
On the agenda was a bike ride into town to browse the shops. I may look like I know what I’m doing but it’s literally been over twenty years since I’ve been on a bike. I don’t even use the stationary at the gym! I thought it best to don a helmet.
Once we got going I thought to myself “Who the eff came up with the phrase ‘It’s like riding a bike’?” I was feeling awkward to say the least as we pedalled away from our cushy resort and ventured into the unknown. I made it into town without incident and all was good on the return trip until I picked a little too much speed coming down a hill and had trouble getting control of my bike. I took out a couple of little flower gardens at the end of someone’s driveway but luckily regained my balance and was back on track.
It was on the home stretch when things went totally awry. We had to cross over the road to enter the resort and I was the last in our trio (Thankfully! The girls had no idea about my run-in with the flower beds) to cross. Jenny first, then Julie who shouted back to hurry because there were cars coming. I picked up speed and made the right turn. Well, attempted to turn. I saw the cars coming, realized I was not going to be fast enough to beat them, jumped off my bike and rolled into the ditch beside the road … For real!
The ditch was a lot deeper than I thought, too. I tumbled down for what seemed like ages. I finally reached the bottom of the ditch, decided was not hurt and just started to laugh. So typical of my clumsy self. Sorry there was no photo! Julie did joke that the people in cars driving by may have snapped a few shots of me, lumbering out of the ditch thinking it was a Big Foot! 😉
Wisely, I spent the rest of the trip enjoying the stellar weather on a world class beach.
Having a little lunch …
… taking awkward selfies! You thought not knowing how to ride a bike was bad? I have no idea how to take a selfie!! That right there folks, is someone who does not own a cell phone. Complete and utter confusion. 😉
I was endlessly entertained by the surfers. There were so many of them! With their wetsuits mimicking a uniform of sorts they resembled a little aquatic army. I could watch them for hours.
My favourite part of the experience in Tofino was, naturally, the Pacific. Feeling the force of the waves against my feet, sweeping the sand out from under them when the current returned to the ocean.
I would return in a heartbeat. Tofino is peaceful, rugged, beautiful, relaxing, emotional, invigorating, and uplifting all wrapped up into one. Maybe it’s the pull of the ocean tides that creates that magic?
But it is magical.