After months of working long days week after week, this week off was a long awaited getaway. We are visiting the west coast of Vancouver Island's Pacific Rim in Tofino/Ucluelet. We are at Club Intrawest Ucluelet. We are here for 6 nights -- a chance to unwind, unplug and do nothing on a schedule. No agenda. No appointments. We basically wake up and decide what's going to happen on that day as we see fit. If that happens to be stay in all day and read, then so be it. I brought my relaxation tools :)
The days are filled with naps, crocheting, books, and day trips to the local sights here and there. The weather has been very cooperative! Not scorching hot, but not freezing -- extremely conducive to walking in shorts and a t-shirt during the afternoon when the sun is shining. It has been great!
We left Vancouver on Saturday, April 16 and took the BC Ferry from Horsehoe Bay. Ordinarily, we'd take the ferry from Tsawassen which is closer to home, but the ride from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay in Nanaimo is much more scenic than the ride from Tsawassen to Duke Point in Nanaimo.
We had a reservation to ensure we'd get on, though the lines weren't too long. It costs an extra $18 for the reservation but when you're on vacation it's a small price to pay to ensure you get on the ferry you want. Spending another 2 hours in a lineup as you wait for the next ferry is not the way you want to spend your holiday! We rode across on the Queen of Oak Bay.
The ride across took just under 2 hours. The sailing was smooth and the weather was great!
Can you see Vancouver in the distance in the picture below?
We got to Nanaimo around 12:30. We stopped to get some groceries and have lunch then we drove to Port Alberni for a coffee break. We stopped at a cool , quirky coffee place called Steam Punk Cafe. The coffee was delicious and the decor inside was reminiscent of steel ironwork/art deco. Plus the owener was so friendly and came out to talk to us and give us some tips on what places to visit in Ucluelet and Tofino. Friendly service! The decor was unique, like these pipes on the wall :)
They also had Lady Liberty in the cafe to watch us enjoy our coffee :)
The rest of the drive from Port Alberni to Ucluelet took about one and a half hours. The road was windy and the scenery was beautiful. We got to the resort just before dinner. This was our first visit to this resort. The suite was big, airy and beautiful.
We've been here 4 days now and we are thoroughly enjoying this relaxing vacation. Here are some pictures of what we've done and where we've been so far.
We walked the Lighthouse Loop section of this trail. Every bit of it is a magnificent piece of nature at its best. I kept taking picture after picture, not wanting to put my camera away as every step brought us to a new view, another vista overlooking the ocean, another snapshot that needed to be captured. It was so beautiful!
Tofino was only a 40 minute drive away so we spent one day visiting it. Chesterman Beach did not disappoint. It is literally miles and miles of beach as far as you can see. There were surfers out tackling the waves the day we visited.
The Ucluelet Aquarium is a catch and release aquarium. Everything in this place is caught right in the waters around Ucluelet and Clayoquot Sound. Each of the creatures that are caught stay in the aquarim for about 3 months, then they are returned to their natural habitat and new species are brought in. I love this idea! There were lots of interactive tanks that allowed us to touch some of the animals.
I have video of the octupus swimming around in its tank but the wifi here is so slow that I will upload it when we get back home. Can you believe that up until last year this town only had dial up? The mayor finally said enough is enough and they are getting better optics this summer so by the time we come back to visit, wifi access will be far superior!
Well, our week here comes to an end day after tomorrow. It was a very laid back, relaxing holiday. We will be back for sure.