Our 32nd day of the trip was basically a driving day. Google maps showed us a 8.5 (net) hours drive from Hinton (where we stayed, near Jasper) to Abbotsford. I’ve never driven so much in my life. It was challenging, but we made it with a few stops along the way, such as one near Mount Robson.
At the end of the day we arrived in Abbotsford to a wonderful Couch Surfing host, a Jewish Canadian that has been to Israel a few times so we couldn’t surprise her much. She went to a party and asked us to arrive later than that, so instead of cooking dinner for her like we usually do, we cooked breakfast and had some time together in the morning. It was interesting to hear from her what it’s like to be an elementary school teacher in Canada. We then headed to Vancouver and took a ferry to Vancouver Island.
We got off in Nanaimo, and drove to Cathedral Grove, a nice trail in a forest.
We then drove to Ucluelet, located on the western coast of Vancouver Island. The way there is quite tricky – there’s essentially a single road that goes up and down the entire time. We arrived quite late to our guest house, so we went to sleep.
The next day we went to the lighthouse loop trail in the southern part of Ucluelet. It was a nice walk, going through trees and provides peaks to the ocean. It was really cloudy though, and it seemed as if a huge blanket of clouds was covering the skies.
From there we went to Ancient Cedar Loop, a really short trail that goes through the forest.
We came back to Ucluelet to do a whale watch tour. After putting on our glimmering suits we boarded our Zodiac ship.
We didn’t get to see any whales. Perhaps just a glimpse of some part of one whale, pretty far away. Our guide was really cool though, tried hard and showed us a few other things, such as this sea lion getting tanned.
We also saw lots of seals, who suddenly got scared by something unclear and jumped to the water.
I actually got a bad feeling towards the end of the tour.
We then went to Tofino to have dinner by the port in a place called 1909. We had a delicious wild salmon (fresh from the ocean) and a beautiful sunset view.
On the next day we went to the shirt yet pretty Rainforest trails (A & B), that go through a quite messy forest.
We then drove to Long Beach, which is… Well, a long beach. It was beautiful and nice to walk on.
We then drove back to Ucluelet for a Bear Watch. The ride was much more relaxed than the previous one, and we did get to see two bears looking for food after the tide.
We then had an early dinner at Heartwood, a new restaurant that our host had recommended. We had another delicious, fresh wild salmon.
We went back to our room to get some rest, but our host surprised us with offering us to take his canoe for a bit. We floated around the guest house, and then departed to the light house again, this time to see the sunset. That was a great goodbye from Ucluelet.
The next morning we set off to Victoria, which took us around 4 hours to arrive. The town of Victoria is not that interesting in my opinion, as there isn’t much to do. We walked a bit in the inner harbor area, and then headed towards Fisherman’s Wharf where we saw beautiful floating houses.
We got some fish and chips, walked back to our car and drove to meet our Couch Surfing hosts. Our hostess Tina welcomed us. It was great to meet her, especially as I had sent her the first message on Couch Surfing 8 months ago. We had a really nice time with her and her boyfriend, who recommended us a coffee place to check out.
Coffee? I’m in.
The next day we actually took him to that coffee place 🙂 We also asked the Batista to give us some recommendations for coffee in Vancouver.
After that short stop we went to Butchart Gardens, and had a nice 1.5 hour walk there between the different plants and flowers.
Our next stop was the ferry to Vancouver, but more on that – on the next post.