Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Tina and I took a week off at the end of August and headed north to Tofino, BC. We turn 30 at the end of the year and wanted to celebrate with an adventurous outing. We couldn't get our boys to come with us, so it was a girls get away--Thelma and Louise sans Brad Pitt character.
We started off our trip with little sleep and hit the road at 5:30 AM for the drive to Anacortes for an 8:30 ferry. Turns out we really didn't have to be there an hour early like they told us. Grrrr. Tina had never been on a ferry before (next time she's in town we'll go to the San Juan Islands). We tried to avoid the screaming children and I even steered the ship for a while. It was during this voyage I purchased a big ass bottle of vodka and box of wine gums (yay, duty free!) in preparation of the week alone with Tina. We land in Victoria and spend the afternoon being tousits--checked out the Empress (only the outside as they only let paying customers and guests inside), the Capitol Building, the harbor with all it's craft booths, then high tea at this little restaurant which must have been right down the street from a senior center--there were little old ladies in their wheelchairs, walkers, jazzy 5000's zooming by the whole time we were there. Finally, we head out for our our final destination. 5 hours later, we arrive at the Surf Junction campground. We find out we're 'stuck' in an RV spot all week--I think it was all a scam, telling us over the phone we could move into a camp spot after the 1st night--extra bucks in their pocket. Really we were happy to have a place at all--next time book further in advance!
A bit of exploring: we head south to Ucluelet area (it took us a few days to figure out how to pronounce this). We hiked part of the Wild Pacific Trail where we saw Orcas playing in the distance and did a bit of yoga on the rocks. Head north to Tofino where we had a tasty lunch with views of the busy water front.
Kayaking Barkley Sound: Whales, bears, and seals, oh my! We saw grey whales feeding in the distance, harbor seals sunning themselves, eagles, and we surprised a family of river otters who were playing with a big fish. Next time I visit I want to kayak the Broken Group!
Hot Springs: Boat ride to the hot springs (more harbor seals and bears!). Tina was disappointed we didn't take the zodiacs--she wanted to wear the bright orange suit (I think she got this idea from the ferry), a quick hike along a boardwalk through the rainforest, time spent with a homeless pup and scantily clad tourists. The actual hot springs area is much smaller than I was expecting. Luckily we arrived early enough to have the place to ourselves (and the rest of our group). By the time we left, a couple more large groups were crowding the springs. We took a quick float plane ride back and saw wonderful views of the island (and another whale!)
Cox Bay: We only spent a couple hours surfing Cox Beach. Originally I had thought we'd spend a lot more time surfing during this trip, but there was so many other things to do (my baguettes get tired easily plus Tina has horrible blood circulation. She complained about being cold this whole trip, so my next present to her will be a full body insulated suit she can wear underneath her clothes). The waves were a bit mushy while we were out, but as I suck at surfing this is okay with me. So we played for a bit, then continued to play on the beach taking pics of the scenery.
Pampering: Tina and I experienced our 1st facials at a little day spa. I think it's fun getting pampered while Tina thinks it's hilarious having someone slap, massage, steam, oil, and pull at your face. Okay, so she looked hilarious with her hair all greased up after she was done, but other than that, pamper away. We also pampered ourselves by doing a bit o' shopping. Postcards, art, and hemp/organic clothing. What is it with US's restrictive policies against hemp. So silly! One night we had a nice dinner at Wickaninnish Inn. A fancy place with a 360 view of the beach, and we didn't even have to sit in the 'dining' section.
Camping: We roughed it with an air mattress, sun shade (NOT waterproof), showers, fires, and tasty meals. The weather stayed true to my (and every web sites) prediction of rain. It's a rainforest for goodness sakes. Even those days it didn't rain, everything left out gets a nice covering of dew by morning. No wonder we saw so many folks in RV's.
I need to stop now...too much typing. Sorry this post was so long winded. If you want to read more about it, check out Tina's version.