What it hadn’t sounded like – until last week’s road trip to British Columbia’s Vancouver Island – was, Canada! If you’ve followed along on Facebook or Tuesday’s Travel post, you know we headed north on a whim last week; our last chance to squeeze in a summer road trip.
|Long Beach, British Columbia|
Tofino, on the island’s West Coast mid-section was our ultimate destination; one that is a great place to watch the churning Pacific Ocean surf attack the coastline during winter storms. Having never been here before, we assumed September was mid- to low- season, hoped for reasonable hotel prices and prepared for unsettled weather.
|Monday to the left and Tuesday to the right|
The beach surface
The beach surface was a mixture of fine sand pebbles and hard pack (photos above) – and felt much like walking on a cobbled-street.
This portion of the Reserve with its scattered campgrounds and picnic areas, spans the forest and coast on Wickanninish Bay between the small towns of Tofino (toe-fin-oh) and Ucluelet (U-clue-let or Ukee, for short). It is one of the most popular surfing locations in Canada.
While Long Beach required a user’s fee for everyone on the beach, (self-service,‘credit/debit card only’ machines were in the parking lot and security officers checked vehicle’s dashboards for the permits), we almost preferred no-cost MacKenzie Beach, a bit further north, on which our resort was located. You can probably tell why from the photos below. . .
|MacKenzie Beach, Vancouver Island|
|Sunset MacKenzie Beach, Vancouver Island|
For those who have images of the Pacific Northwest being mountains and towering fir trees – don’t despair. Come back next Thursday when we’ll take you across Vancouver Island on the Pacific Rim Highway and later this month we'll take you on a tour of the resort where we stayed.
If You Go:
The push pins show MacKenzie Beach (near Tofino, where we stayed) and Long Beach, which is within the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
Hotel prices: Mid-September hotel prices were so high, they took our breath away. Most hotels had “No Vacancy” signs on display and we stopped at two resorts to inquire about rooms: one quoted $399CAD for a room overlooking the parking lot behind the hotel away from the water and another offered a partial view room at $420 and $460CAD for a beach view. By the time we got to a Best Western and were quoted – at first – $299CAD a night, it sounded, downright cheap! There’ll be more on where we ended up in a future post.
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve – user fees and other information about the reserve can be found at: http://www.longbeachmaps.com/parks.html
That’s it for this week’s Travel Photo Thursday. Head over to Budget Travelers Sandbox for more travels around the world! On Friday check out The Tablescraper's Oh, The Places I have been"
‘Hang Ten!’ as they say in the surfing world and see you soon. . .