Tofino…floatplanes, bears and more
After 2 weeks visiting family in Sidney (Vancouver Island), it was time to start our trip around the west side of Canada.
Knowing we have a lot of luggage we arranged a large car…fortunately we can fit everything in the boot (only just). We have a nice big Chev Impala. It is nice having a V6 for the open roads.
Our first stop was 4 days at Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It is a surfing mecca…not that we surf. We stayed at a fantastic lodge. Great views, a nice big room and Glenda’s favourite, a big bathtub.
Two things we really wanted to do in Canada.
- Fly in a float plane
- Go and see some bears
Well – we managed both in Tofino. We arranged a float plane sight-seeing ride. In the morning when we booked the weather was overcast. When it came time to go flying later in the afternoon the weather had cleared and we had nice sunny skies – yay!! We have flown in big jets, cargo planes, small single prop planes, gliders and even hot air balloons – but never a float plane. After donning our life jackets, it was a smooth take off – and WOW – the views.
Just can’t get enough of the waterways flanked by mountains. Having done some exploring on land it was great to fly over the area and see it from the air. We saw that our lodge was very well nestled in the trees and not an eyesore.
The next day we set off in a boat to do some bear watching. We had already seen our first bear walking across the road very soon after arriving in Tofino. In fact it is a little unnerving to see most of the trails with signs saying that there is either bear or wolf activity in the area.
Not long after setting off, we spotted our first bear. It was amazing to be so close seeing it feeding in its natural environment. They are so powerful and easily roll over rocks as they forage for food. Hopefully we will not see a bear as we hike some of the trails.
The other notable thing we did was walking the Wild Pacific Trail. The trail was built over 16 years (and still going) by Oyster Jim and he has received Canada’s Meritorious Service Medal for his efforts. This Trail starts in Ucluelet and continues for about 9km. Ultimately Jim would like to see the trail continue all the way to link up with the Tofino trails.
Leaving Tofino we will continue up island to catch the inside passage ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert. Really looking forward to this part of the trip.