The destination of our road trip was Tofino. We’d heard lots about the natural beauty of the area, the beautiful beaches, the waves…. and it did not disappoint.
We got to Tofino by driving through Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, which was gorgeous. The park runs along the highway for about 30km between the turnoff to Ucluelet and the town of Tofino, and there’s beaches all the way. We stopped many times.
Surfers at Long Beach:
When we finally made it to Tofino, we got ourselves a lucky campsite at Bella Pacifica Campground. Our site was about twenty feet from Mackenzie Beach.
That’s our tent, that’s the beach, that’s the ocean:
We spent our first night watching the sunset on Mackenzie Beach:
Our first day, we had the quintessential Tofino experience: we went surfing and then ate at Tacofino.
We signed up for a group surf lesson but it ended up being just the three of us (for some reasons, most tourists don’t go for surf lessons in October. The fools!). It was my first time ever surfing and there were definitely some nerves, but we had two instructors all to ourselves: with a 2 to 3 ratio, we joked, surely we could make it out alive.
I was worried it would be cold, but as it turned out, with the wetsuits on, the ocean was the absolute perfect temperature.
We had a short lesson on the beach, where we practiced “popping up” on drawn-in-sand surfboards. Then we hit the water for the real thing.
It was insanely fun.
It seemed kind of crazy at first, to run out into the waves and hope that they’d carry you in, but it was amazing. I loved the feeling of ocean, how powerful it was, rushing all around, and I loved the feeling when you caught a wave and could coast all the way into shore. By the end of two hours in the water, I even managed to stand up a couple of times on the board! (I toppled over within seconds. But it was a heck of a lot of fun).
After surfing, we got tacos at the food truck “Tacofino”. After that we had some delicious ice cream at Chocolate Tofino; mine was lavender honey and probably the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted (we’ve been having seriously good food on this trip). Then we headed up to Radar Hill, one of the highest points in Tofino, to watch another beautiful sunset.
I heard someone call Tofino the “Hawaii of Canada”. I’ve never been to Hawaii, but from what I’ve seen in pictures, there’s definitely a resemblance.
Views from Radar Hill:
The next day, we woke up early and went sea kayaking!
I’ve kayaked a fair bit, but never on the sea; it turned out to be almost as fun as surfing. (But in a very peaceful, rather than adrenaline-y, way).
Our group consisted of the three of us, a nice couple from Oregon, and our guide Alex. The water was unusually calm, making our paddling a little easier. Alex guided us across the harbour and through ocean inlets. We saw bald eagles and seals, popping their heads up to watch us from the water. Our guide knew a ton about marine life and showed us crabs, starfish, anemones, and seabirds. It was amazing.
Sea kayaking, mountains in the background:
We paddled back, had some really good surf bowls at Shelter, a restaurant, and then very sadly got back in the car. We loved Tofino, but our time was up. We drove the rest of the evening, back to Victoria.
Bye Tofino, you were heaps of fun.