Rough Draft

Tofino Travel Blog

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     I'm not a good blogger, so I'm just going to write about my experience, and probably leave some things out by mistake.  Leaving for Tofino was an adventure.  I got to Kenmore Aire and found out that the Cessna wheeled craft I was supposed to take was still in maintenence.  I was being put on a sea plane instead; an upgrade seeing as how a one-way trip aboard one of these planes is $2,000.  It was a lot of fun and I was glad for the experience.  We landed in Nainamo for customs, which was intimidating because I had never had to explain my reasons for going anywhere before to someone dressed in a uniform looking at me in a stern manner, as if they were expecting me to rob the first bank I came to. 

     Well our plane landed at a dock, which I didn't take a picture of, but it was as "rustic" as one could get.

  It looked more like someone had done the wrong measurements for their porch and accidentally extended it out into the water.  But I got to land and one of my professors met me there.  We hopped in his car and drove around town trying to locate the other two teachers.  The town is a lot like Seaside, in Oregon, if you've ever been there.  There's the same atmosphere about it, and they look very similar, but Tofino is very small.  It's also very touristy, which was fine by me; very bohemian. 

     We at lunch, as I did frequently throughout the week, at SoBo.  Oh... my... god... this place makes amazing food.  AMAZING!  The gringo chicken burrito filled my stomach at least 4 times while i was there.

  They have these pollenta fries...  Yum.  The town is an eco-tourist's dream.  There is whale watching, bird watching, bear watching, tours to Meares Island, hot springs tours, canoe tours.  You name it they probably have a company to make it happen.

     We stayed at the Tofino Bottanical Gardens in the Field House, which is like staying in a hostel.  There are 4 beds to a room with communal girl and boy showers on each level.  The gardens were several acres and reached out all the way to the mudflats.  It was just so beautiful that I spend a lot of my free time walking around them.

     A fun thing they had going on was that the day we got there two of the Tall Ships (the Lady Washington and one I didn't know the name of) for the first time in history sailed into Tofino Harbour.

  As they sailed in, First Nations tribes sailed out in authentic canoes to meet them as they did when outsiders first visited the area.  It was a lot of fun to watch.  That night a Joe Martin came to the Field Station to welcome us to the place by singing a chant and asking for the ancestors approval and blessing.

     The whole week was quite a blurr because we went to be around 12am and had to wake up at between 6 and 7 every morning.  Of the things I can remember off the top of my head, here they are:  We went to Chesterman Beach, the site of a deadly massacre between native people's and Spanish occupation.  We went to the mud flats and tide pools.  Taking hand-made canoes and paddling out to the island of Opitsat, Carl Martin prepared an authentic salmon feast on the beach while Giselle took us around the island to show us which plants can be eaten and their benefits.

  We saw the site believed to be the resting place of the Tonquin, an American vessel that had been sunk just off shore in Clayoquot Sound.  We went to an art gallery to see a fusion of modern and classic Native American artwork created by a man who has been ridiculed for his talent.  The class was also given the opportunity to see a memorial pole being raised and a young First Nations name of the Nuh-Chuh-Nulth tribe being given his "real" name. 

     The trip was amazing and we learnt so much.  I had such an amazing time I will definitely be going back.

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photo by: Vikram