A Walk On The Wild Side

Boardwalk in the rainforest of Long Beach Nat. Park, Tofino BC
Boardwalk in the rainforest of Long Beach Nat. Park, Tofino BC

With all four books in different stages rattling around in my head this week I felt ready to explode. Or maybe melt down is a more appropriate analogy. So we decided to head for the wild west coast of Vancouver Island for a short respite.

How can it be that on an island that is only 30 miles wide, it can take so to get from here to there? It’s the mountains and the inlets. And the road. When we were finally sitting in a restaurant in Tofino, road weary German tourists collapsed into seats nearby and said, as if no explanation was necessary, that they had  Just driven up from Victoria. Only 200 miles, it’s all winding roads that get progressively narrower and windier. From 120 km/hr on the Island Highway near Nanaimo, it drops to 90, then 80, then 60 on the curves, which are pretty well non stop, then 50, 40 and finally 30 with the wiggly road signs.

Then you get to Kennedy lake, where the road snakes along the cliff side, and there in the middle of friggin’ NO WHERE is a big overhead sign that’s lit up (where did the power coming from?) that says DRIVE CAREFULLY – NARROW ROAD AHEAD. That’s where they’ve cut right into the rock enough that cars can get under. There is another thoughtful sign that warns that trucks can’t make it and will be swinging out into your lane on the curve up ahead so – you’ve guessed it – drive carefully.

But then suddenly you’re there, and it is worth it. Tofino and Ucluelet at the two ends of the 44 km beach, with Long Beach National Park in between. Both towns are a combination of fishing village and tourist town, Tofino being the more established in the tourism trade. I p

refer to stay in quieter Ucluelet, which is what we did.

Followed were two days of great food, Norwood’s In Uclelet with it’s Asian inspired

Now playing at Wolf in the Fog
Now playing at Wolf in the Fog

decor and presentation and interesting menu of locally sourced produce and seafood, and BC wine’s. In Tofino we ate at Wolf in the Fog, named no doubt for the wolves that have lately started following joggers on the foggy beach. Named best new restaurant in Canada in 2014 by Air Canada’s enroute magazine, it is also famous for serving locally grown, fished and foraged foods on their menu.

But it’s the landscape you come for, so I’ll let a few photos speak for themselves.

 

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Wild off the Pacific at Long Beach National Park.
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Photographing a cedar at the Giant Cedars stop on Hwy. 4.

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