Beautiful and wild Canada
Tofino Travel Blog› entry 96 of 99 › view all entries
I have spent the last few nights in Tofino, a remote fishing village on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It's on a peninsula on the scenic Clayoquot Sound, an area of snowcapped mountains, small islands, inlets and lots of forest.
The coach ride over there from Nanaimo showcases some very nice scenery too, passing along the coast to Port Alberni and then crossing the mountainous backbone of the island. I stayed in the Whale on the Point hostel, at the far end of town, which is good value and well furnished with a lovely view.
The day I arrived wasn't the most welcoming, it rained all day and it was foggy. I still walked down to one of the beaches and took some photos of the rock pools, full of sea anenomes and starfish. It was a pleasant 40 minutes walking each way and I had an encounter with a raccoon on the way back, hearing a flock of birds screeching and then seeing where they were looking I found I was looking it right in the eyes.
The next day I went for a bear watching tour in the afternoon. We suited up in giant waterproofs and then they took us out in a zodiac class boat, bouncing off the waves until we got into calmer waters in the Lemmon inlet. We skirted several beaches until finally coming across a solitary male black bear, foraging for crabs. They can only consume 10 lbs a day of these because they don't digest them very well, the rest coming from nuts and fruit and other food sources. We also saw a bear sleeping on a rock next to shore, which in daytime is apparently unusual. Maybe it was sick, maybe a change of bear habits.
On the last day I went cycling down to Long Beach, a beautiful sand beach lined with pine forest and a mountain backdrop, that goes on for miles. It was well worth the walk. I also paid a quick visit to Radar Hill, a former early-warning system for North America against soviet nuclear bombers, until continental ballistic missiles rendered it obsolete. It did however afford some great views of the whole national park, and I saw a bald eagle right over head.