After spending a few sunny days in Whistler and Squamish we got the ferry from Horseshoe Bay over to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Deciding that we wanted to spend the majority of our time in stunning Pacific Rim National Park we headed inland to Port Alberni.
The drive out to the west coast of the island itself is an amazing experience. Our first stop was at Qualicum Falls, a beautiful little park where you can walk along the river and check out the falls. Next up was Cathedral Grove, a stand of old growth cedar and fir.
Still on the hunt to see a bear for Ruth and Pete we’d read that Port Alberni might be the place to spot them. As we drove up to the river we immediately spotted a little black bear on the opposite bank. While we sat and watched 2 more came out and as the sun began to set we saw 5 bears on the beach. Chatting with some locals we heard that they have seen up to 7 bears at one time from this spot. As it was dusk we didn’t get any good pictures but we headed off to our campsite for the night pretty happy.
The next day we made it out to Ucluelet (good luck pronouncing that) and spent a lovely sunny day walking around the coastline and lounging on the beach.
Pacific Rim National Park is a surfers paradise, but is also a place to walk along moss covered boardwalks, hike to expansive beaches, and explore rocky tide pools. We had beautiful sunny days here and loved every minute of our time spent in the park.
We ventured into Tofino to find fish and chips and to check out the quaint little town. It’s a first nations fishing village turned surf town that attracts all kinds of visitors. You can find top quality restaurants and resorts and down to earth backpackers and chip shops, it’s a great place to visit.
Reluctantly leaving the west coast we drove to Victoria where I got dropped off to spend the weekend with my good friend Melissa. Luke headed out of the city with Ruth and Pete towards Sooke where they had a great weekend by the ocean, even spotting a couple of Orcas.
We did spend a nice day sightseeing around Victoria. It is a beautiful city, made even nicer by the sunshine. We visited Fishermans Warf and watched people feed the obese seals, admired the parliament buildings and the Empress Hotel, and of course enjoyed some good people watching.
Saying a sad goodbye to the island we caught the ferry back to Vancouver. There are only a few places to camp near the city, and the one we chose in Delta was questionable at best, but it was a place to park up the truck close enough to explore the city. We started our day at Granville Island and walked as far as our legs would take us into Stanley Park. It was a great way to see the city without really being in it.
After almost a month of travelling together we dropped Ruth and Pete off at the airport and headed back to Grand Forks to pack our bags for our next adventure. Today we fly to Ecuador and start a 15 week trip around South America! Stay tuned.