Showing posts with label BC beaches. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BC beaches. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Beach bummin’ and Bare footin’ in B.C. Canada

Surfers, ocean waves, sandy beaches, blue skies, high hotel prices – sounds pretty much like Hawaii, doesn’t it?

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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. 

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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. 

PicMonkey Collage
Monday to the left and Tuesday to the right
Those who live in the Pacific Northwest know ‘what a difference a day makes', and that was certainly illustrated during our brief visit. The photos on the left were taken Monday afternoon and those on the right on Tuesday.

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Long Beach, just a few miles south of Tofino is the largest and longest beach in the island’s Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

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The beach surface

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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. . .

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MacKenzie Beach, Vancouver Island

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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:

Map picture

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.

VancouverIs2013 265Pacific Rim National Park Reserve user fees and other information about the reserve can be found at:

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. . .


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