I’ve always wanted to see Tofino and Long Beach, so Leon indulged me yet again. We left Leon’s sister’s campsite in Becher Bay with plenty of salmon in our belly and the second salmon Leon had caught chilling in the fridge, waiting for us to grill it that night. We stayed at Sproat Lake, just past Port Alberni, in the provincial park. We parked for the night, headed to the showers on our bikes and came back to bbq some fish and have a quiet evening in a very nice wooded area. Our neighbours were a nice Dutch couple who we met again the following night in the next campground. Dinner was on and we were enjoying the evening when I realized the propane had run out. That seemed odd as I had asked Leon the night before if we didn’t need any propane. He thought I was talking about the tank for the camper stove and fridge and said it was ¾ full. I didn’t understand at the time how you could check the level on a 1lbs propane cylinder. Anyway, we laughed and I warmed up some left over hamburgers on the gas stove instead. Haha!!
We woke up late the next morning, have slept so well in the cool fresh night. The drive to Tofino is quite lovely with mountains, a large lake (Kennedy Lake) and a stream or river that follows the road. Some of the peaks still had snow on them. I kept an eye out for bears, but to no avail.
We found a campground in Tofino, which was less than well maintained. It filled up early and most of the campers were rental. Germans and some Dutch were our neighbours. I really felt like I was a tourist now. It was more like our camping times in Australia when we met people from all over. We decided to bike up the path to town and enjoyed some nice views and good exercise. 14km or so, that day. Not bad!
I would have slept well but just after turning out the light at midnight, some boom boom music started. Honestly!!! It wasn’t loud but I think everyone in the camp was too polite to get up and tell those people to turn it off. It wasn’t a very restful sleep, considering we had walked on the beach before and after our bike ride. We saw some bald eagles in a tree while on the beach. There were two of them. I figured they were a large male and a female.
On Tuesday, we left Tofino and drove to Long Beach where we walked and had lunch while watching the surfers. It’s a lovely stretch of beach but it doesn’t match anything we saw in Australia. Still, Leon was wistful about the surfing. I noticed the surfers wore not only wetsuits but also booties. That should give you an idea of how cold the water is. Australian surfers didn’t wear booties. Of course, we saw quite a few broken shells on the beach, so they might be wearing the water shoes to protect their feet from cuts.
We left the beach and headed for Ucluelet, at the other end of the Pacific Rim park. What a lovely, quiet place! Had I known, I think we might have stayed there instead. We looked at the lighthouse, took a few pictures and drove back towards Vancouver to stop for the night in Parksville.