Overslept! From waking to bus in 10 minutes, a record for me. Ok except no breakfast or coffee. Geoff and Steph gave me an Alpen bar to keep me going. Very wet, it is rainforest after all and a Tsunami evacuation zone. We drove direct to Tofino to Remote Passages (!) Zodiac boat company and organised chaos of about 30 people who all had to simulataneously pay, listen to safety talk and get togged up in a too small space. I was already wearing 2 shirts, a Pertex jacket and waterproofs. To this was added a red snowmobile type all in one, very thick and then a yellow oilskin type jacket plus woolly hat and gloves. By then it was hard to move.

We boarded the Zodiac with Alex from the Clayoquot tribe to drive us. We went really fast and saw a lot of bears on the shore, also harbour seals and 2 eagles. The best for me was baby bear, 3 weeks old who was with mum. Alex was funny and informative. Great trip. Awful weather. Wet in and out, was glad to have all the gear on.

Lunch with Steph, Geoff, Chris and Jo in the Schooner. I had a tostada of tacos, eggs, avocado, refried beans and salad. Probably my best meal here. And a very good plunger coffee.

Mireille took those of us not on the Zodiac whale trip to the Kwistis First Nation centre in the Pacific Rim National Park because it was too wet for walking. I learnt a bit about the recent treaty between First Nations and the Canadian government and would like to know more. Sully, 83 told us he had lived in Ucluelet for thousands of years.

Then M took us back to Tofino to the Tofino Brew Co. a pub in a brewery that was very loud. I had a tasting flight of 4 small beers including Spruce tree beer. They were all good and the Blonde was best.

M returned with the rest of the party who were all wet after the whales. Back to hotel and out to nice local resto, Mattersons. I had a steak sandwich with potato salad and a bottle of Blonde Tofino. Joy bought me pecan pie which came a la mode, this means with ice cream, it was great.  Almost no exercise today!

A flight of beer
At Kwistis First Nation centre
From Zodiac boat
From Zodiac boat
I have become very fat

To Vancouver Island

May 30th

Up early and left Whistler just after 7.30. Drove to the ferry at Horseshoe Bay. We didn’t know what to expect as ferry can mean so many things but the Queen of Oak Bay was a huge ro ro. Spacious inside. I rang home while we waited to embark. After an hour and a half in the mist and rain we arrived at Nanaimo.

The Island is surprisingly big! We stopped to look at Cathedral Grove which is a tourist stop full of very old and large Douglas Firs and cedars. Despite being near the road and popular, it was peaceful in the old forest.

On to Ucluelet where we first bimbled about on Wya beach, the first time I’ve seen the Pacific Ocean. The sun came out for us. We are staying at the Canadian Princess. My room looks onto the harbour, nice boaty view. But it smells a bit damp.

Up the road on foot to a posh fish and chip van so that’s what I had. It was nice but the guy was oddly grumpy because I didn’t want 2 pieces of fish. It came with tartare sauce and some salad. I tried a root beer but it was so vile I had to tip it out. Back to the hotel where I hopped over my balcony and into Sally and Joy’s for a quick regular beer.

Wya Beach, the Pacific Ocean
Wolf paw print
Being arty farty
It’s a maple leaf
It’s this big, in Cathedral Grove
Ucluelet harbour
Can’t imagine a lot of crime here
Mountain behind Ucluelet
Wolf tracks