The next three days are spent exploring Vancouver Island and relaxing in a hot tub overlooking the water.
One of the most popular spots to visit is “Cathedral Grove”, a forest with very old and tall trees. While it´s nice for a walk and a few pictures, it isn´t very spectacular. “Amphitrite Point Light”, however, is quite spectacular. It´s a lighthouse in Ucluelet that´s especially popular to watch the sunset. From there, the “Wild Pacific Trail” can be attempted. Sadly, most of the path leads through the forest, so you can only enjoy the beautiful view from certain viewpoints. If you´re lucky like us, you might even catch a glimpse of some whales. Just watch out for the whale-watching boats…when they arrive, the whales aren´t far.
Once you´re done exploring, I can highly recommend “Harbour Pizza Factory” in Ucluelet. Their pizza is amazing!
Long Beach is a popular (kite) surf spot and also perfect for looooooooong walks along the Pacific coastline. Toilets and showers are available, but a parking pass is needed. Either you´ve already got a Pacific Rim National Park pass, or you can buy one a the parking lot near the beaches. The hip surfer village Tofino offers an array of cool cafés and restaurants.
While sitting at “Big Daddy´s Fish Fry”, I couldn´t get around listening to the conversation two women at the end of our table. One of them had just finished her last yoga course at the beach and was on her way to go standup paddleboarding. Isn´t that a shining example of how you´d imagine your life at the beach to be like? If pizza isn´t your thing, “Hanks Untraditional Bbq” in Ucluelet is a great alternative. As it´s very well-known and there are few restaurants in the area, be prepared for waiting to wait in line for quite some time. While you´re waiting, check out the harbour and maybe you´ll see some seals like we did. Soooo cute!
If you´re looking for a light hike and a beautiful beach, “Tonquin Park” is the place for you. As there are spots that are shielded from the wind, sunbathing is much more pleasant here than on Long Beach. Beware of the limited parking possibilities! There´s also a loop-trail, but it´s very similar to the “Wild Pacific Trail”. Many trees, constant shade, few viewpoints.
The same is true for “Radar Hill”. This viewpoint offers little to no view of nothing and, in my opinion, doesn´t really deserve the name viewpoint. Again: trees and the ocean in the distance. A slightly depressing sight, especially when you could be laying at the beautiful beach watching surfers and kite-surfers.
(Tonquin Park beach)
(Another Ucluelet lighthouse sunset)
Our days at the ocean were beautiful. It reminds me of when we went to the Hamptons a few years ago. Somehow, I´m always sceptical when it comes to spending my holidays at a beach where it´s basically to cold to swim. In the end, I´m always glad we went there. It´s so refreshing, cleansing, calming…
4th, 5th & 6th September
Our last days in Canada were rather eventful. I tried my first pumpkin spice latte, we barely made the ferry back to Vancouver, we went to a sushi restaurant where my mum didn´t want to eat “something cold” (seriously?), my dad took us on a “hop on, don´t hop off”-tour through Stanley Park (because my brother and me are freakin´ lazy) and, most importantly, we got my brother to buy new pants.
That concludes our family vacation 2018. Time to get my dad to plan next year´s trip!
(Lions Gate Bridge)