Ucluelet, Pacific Rim National Park and Tofino

I had breakfast with the other guest and my hosts. We got some real Chinese tea imported from China and she kept refilling our glasses all the time and told us stories of her life. Back in China she was a professor with several degrees, but in Canada they are worth nothing. So she is working as a teacher for Mandarin in a small local school. It was like 10:30 when I finally left in the direction of Ucluelet. After all this tea I had to stop quite often for a toilet break. First stop was at Englishman River Falls Park where I did the short round trail to the falls. Very nice there!

Only a few kilometers further I stopped again, this time in Coombs. It´s a funny kind of art and shopping center there, with lots of wood and stone carvings, a few clothes stores, a fudge store, a second hand book store, a toy car store and of course ice cream.

I managed to get to the visitor center of the Pacific Rim National Park without another stop, but the road there is very narrow and winding, a lot of up and down and no good view. Really tiring to drive there, definitely no road where you can set the cruise control and just go. Most of the time it is only one lane anyway and many RVs and trucks around. I had to move to the side twice due to police coming with flashing lights and sirens and I saw two accidents. I got some trail maps and stuff in the visitor center and then set off for the last 8 kilometers of the trip to my hostel in Ucluelet. It was pretty hot again and I was quite tired when I arrived at the C&N Backpackers Hostel. I arrived shortly after 4 pm, but check in is only from 1 to 3 and from 6 to 9. So I just put my food out of the hot car and into the kitchen and heated up the leftovers Daniel had packed for me. After my late lunch I checked out the nice garden of the hostel, IMAG0622 (FILEminimizer)

secured some pictures and got some computer work done. When it was time to check in I put my stuff into the dorm and then went for a little walk around Ucluelet.

When I came back I cooked some noodle soup and blogged until I went to bed. Next day I took it easy in the morning before I took off to the Pacific Rim National Park. I did the Nuu-cha-nulth Trail (2.5 km one way) and South Beach Trail. After I did the Combers Beach Trail and had my Sandwiches for lunch at the beach.

Then I drove all the way up to Tofino where I walked around the town and had some nice smoothie.

When I was done visiting Tofino – which is a really nice little town but more touristy than Ucluelet – I drove to the Mackenzie Beach Resort where Daniel with his friend Kenan and Kenan´s brother Adnan where camping for the night. Haley was there too, she was also on the kayak tour in Ladysmith. I hang out with them for a while at the beach before I drove back to my hostel, had dinner and wrote my journal. IMAG0620 (FILEminimizer) Next morning Daniel and his friends came to Ucluelet. They picked me up at the hostel and we went to the lighthouse where we took some pictures on the rocks and did a tiny part of the trail before Kenan, Adnan and Haley decided they don’t want to walk but they are hungry.

So we went to get some Fish´n´Chips. Their famous place for that which is apparently quite famous was closed unfortunately since the truck was in repair. So we went to Howlers. They had very good ones too. After Lunch they drove back to Nanaimo. I got some information at the surf shop and went quickly back to the hostel to book my kayak tour for the next day before walking to the start of the Wild Pacific Trail. Did the whole trail including the round trail around the lighthouse, in total about 10 km.

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On the loop around the lighthouse I ran into a Dutch couple and she was very keen on practicing her German. So I walked with them and she offered me to give me a ride back to the hostel. I was quite happy about that, since I was not really looking forward to the boring way back through town. I went to Coop to get some breakfast stuff. After I had cooked and eaten dinner I worked on a puzzle with 4 other people from the hostel and we had some Bourbon with it that I offered. Next morning I blogged a bit and prepared some lunch before setting off to the national park again. I did both Rainforest trails (two 1 km loops). They are boardwalks, partly in pretty bad shape so you have to look where you step. But they are really beautiful, the nature is just amazing. It´s a temperate rainforest, pretty rare nowadays and there are loads of information plates about the ecosystem, the life cycle and how everything works together, with fallen trees acting as nurse logs for other trees and also for many animals and stuff. Nature is just amazing!

I had a lunch break at Long Beach. Unfortunately it was still pretty cold (14°C) and no sun, but so far it was always bad weather in the morning and cleared up and got really nice in the afternoon. I quickly did the Schooner Trail before driving up to Tofino again where I had to be at 2:30 at Paddling West Kayak. It was 3 hours of paddling and one hour of hiking the Big Tree Trail on Meares Island. Was amazing!

We were back at 7:20. I drove back to Ucluelet right after, had a shower and dinner before sitting down at the puzzle again for a bit. Then I went with a bunch of people from the hostel to the Eagles Nest where there was a Jam Night. Wednesdays is obviously the big night out in Ucee (like the locals say). When we returned I basically fell into my bed and slept like a stone. Next day I wanted to go SUPing, but since I knew the weather wouldn´t be nice until midday I used the morning to get some bookings done for Hawaii. I had some noodle soup before I finally set off to the surf shop at 2:30 to get my SUP. Looked pretty funny to have this big board on my tiny little car, but it worked. So I went to the next kayak launch and paddled around the inlet for a bit more than 2 hours. I did like 4 to 5 km mostly against wind and current. Was pretty exhausting but a great workout and most of the time I was completely alone. Was very beautiful and I definitely enjoyed it.

After returning the board I put $10 worth of petrol in my car and went back to the hostel where I had a shower, cooked and had dinner and went back to my computer for securing pictures, blogging and some accommodation search. The next morning I left Ucee at about 11 am to drive back to Nanaimo. I stopped on the way at Cathedral Grove. This is another temperate rainforest there with really huge trees. The tallest tree there is higher than the leaning tower of Pisa. Pretty amazing nature that´s hard to capture in pictures.

In Nanaimo I went to Daniel´s place since he had offered to host me for that night. I urgently had to do my laundry, I didn´t have anything clean anymore. Even had to borrow a T-Shirt and pants for the time being. Had the leftovers from dinner quickly as a super late lunch. It was a lot warmer in Nanaimo than in Ucee where the morning was pretty cold and foggy and it looked like it would start to rain every morning. In Nanaimo it was sunny and 28°C. We hang out inside while my laundry was washing. I worked a bit on my blog while Daniel put a movie on, Jaclyn – his flat mate – worked on her computer. When the laundry was finally done we went out for a short hike at Westwood Lake. The trail is just 6 km, but nice and with this temperature it was just about right.

Back home I tended to my laundry and packing while Daniel cooked some dinner. After dinner we played cards, chatted and watched another movie. He let me have his bed and slept on the couch. Very nice of him!

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