We survived to this night in hostile territory: no wolves, cougars nor bear came to visit us, up to you to decide if it had been by luck or unluck!

We wake up in the utmost silence of the Pacific Rim National Reserve Park, this huge park which runs all along Vancouver Island western shoreline. This area is actually known by many people which do not know that those creepy foggy beaches filmed in many movies, are actually these ones! – or the Olympic Peninsula ones, in front of Seattle.

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Classic Pacific Rim goodmorning…a clear blue sky one of a kind here around

We enjoy this landscape which was just a deep black hole up to some hours ago, plunged in the dark silent night: now it continue to be a very silent place, only nature’s noises can be heard, but at least now we can see around us. We continue on the road we drove into yesterday night and we end up at a Visitor Center, which name is really native indian, the Kwisitis Wickaninnish Visitor Centre.

It is a building partially hidden in the forest which grants access to an endless beach, full with salt whitened trunks. It’s such a magical places: it reminds of old legends and tales and dance around the fire, of Native Indians and tepees. We let our minds follow the flow and sink into this gone world.

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Thoughts runs to gone times, sit on salt whitened trunks

We are just a dot in this land of sand which marks the canadian western border with the Pacific Ocean, a place where the wood almost dive into the cold white waters.

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The silence of the Pacific Rim

We go back again to our car and drive for the few kilometers which miss toTofino, the northernmost point we will touch in our Vancouver Island trip.

First of all, we stop for a long, nice breakfast at Rhino Coffee House Tofino. It’s a very nice place, really local: surf, surf and more surf, where thanks to the great wi-fi connection, we have a quick call home.

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Rhino Coffee House Tofino, between a surf shop and a surf school

After breakfast, we have a short walk in the tiny but cute Tofino. It only has a long road crossing it, cut by many narrow roads, it is impossible to get lost. Just a minute and a half after, we are at the dock. Walking around, we daydream to have all the time we would need to have a kayak tour or a trip on one of those fascinating float planes, time we don’t have.

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On the dock’s poles, sea star play hide and seek out of the water, with the low tide

We stay on the beach, under the dock, slowly walking around, attracted by a particular phenomenon: this beach sprinkles! No, we are not under drug effects, but water do really comes out of the sand in spurts, we can only think of the low tide pushing it through the porous ground. It’s so strange and at the same time really funny, mostly when Attilio is totally soaked by it.

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Such a shame we don’t have time to better visit these places, hopefully from a different point of view

We move again, getting to onquin Trail parking lot, where we leave our car and get into the woods, on the boardwalk which leads us to a mesmerizing beach. It even comes out a shy sun and almost a clear blue sky, should we ask for more?

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Tonquin Beach, a mesmerizing beach

We are totally shocked by the beauty of this place, it’s Paradise. White sand, calm waters, forests which literally dive into the sea, lush islands here and there. We would stay here, if we should not be on the mainland within tonight.

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Tonquin Beach and the Pacific Rim National Reserve, exciting bautiful place which we leave with the biggest sadness

Once again at the car, we realize we have already miss the 12.40 ferry: it’s late morning and more than two hours drive divide us from the harbour.

So we decide to enjoy another hour in this stunning natural reserve and we go have a walk at the Rain Forest Trail Loop B – there is a Loop A also, right in front of this one, but we decide for the B because the guide we have taken at the visitor center tell us that the interpreters are talking about the forest cycle here, while at Loop A they get into structure and inhabitants of the forest, something we have already seen.

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Boardwalk and steps: that’s Rainforest Traila full-immersion in Vancouver Island’s rainforest

Again at the car, we still have some time to spare, so we decide, following the hint from our loyal Lonely Planet guide, full of interesting infos, that we cannot be here and not have a look at the nice little town of Ucluelet, another town signaled as worth a visit, more “real” than the others and less touched by tourism.

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One of those hikes we signed on our wishlist: less known, it should be really nice

Ucluelet, we only have a sight from the car window of it. We get out just a couple minutes at Amphitrite Lighthouse, another of those places signaled as worth a visit, and actually it really is.

We also discover that there is a trail starting from the lighthouse, the Wild Pacific Trail, a 8 km path which goes in and out of the jagged coastline around Ucluelet, something we write down for our future vacations!

Then it’s arrived the time to get in the car for good and head East, towards Nanaimo’s harbour and then to Horseshoe Bay, back again on the mainland. We drive for around two hours and a half and get to the harbour well in advance, just to discover we will not get onto the 3.10 ferry. The line is very, very long, so long we dont’t even get onto the 5.40 ferry, but on the next one. So finally at 7.30, we board it.

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Sunset from the ferry: not what we were wishing, terrible travellers’ problems

We enjoy a long sunset while we slowly get closer to the mainland. Tomorrow Squamish and Whistler are up for us, and the up North, beginning our long way back home.

AP

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2016-10-13T13:33:26+00:00