Moose Bus to Tofino

Trip Start Sep 10, 2009
Trip End Oct 22, 2009

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Saturday, September 19, 2009

Yesterday I joined the Moose bus and we drove from Vancouver to Tofino on Vancouver Island - we used the ferry to get across the watery bit.  Good group on the bus, three Aussies, three from UK, one German woman and a Korean girl.  The trip on the ferry and then across Vancouver Island is very pretty.    We stopped at Cameron Lake for lunch and passed two other huge lakes on the way to Tofino.  There are mountains in the middle of the island which we had to drive through so the drive was pretty windy in places.  Lots of temperate rainforest and the leaves are starting to turn yellow, gold and red.

Late in the afternoon we stopped at Long Beach in the Pacific Rim National Reserve.  This is a west coast beach and they get a lot of storms here as you can see by all the driftwood piled up. There weren't a lot of people around and the whole place just looks wild.  There were signs up warning of black bear activity and also wolves in the area but we didn't see any.  I'm not sure I would want to be that close to either a wolf or a black bear anyway.  I think I'd rather watch them from the safety of a boat or a car.

I'm staying at HI Whalers on the Point which is another hostel but a lot more attractive than the one in Vancouver.  Last night we had a group dinner - we all helped cook and ate together which was a lot of fun.  The rest of the group went out to the pub about 10pm but I was too tired so stayed in and went to bed.

This morning I got up early and went for a walk around Tofino.  This is a fishing village but I think most of the money now comes from tourists.  The permanent population is about 2,000 people; this swells a lot in the summer but is getting back to normal now.  After my walk I went out whale watching.  This was wonderful, although it was very cold.

We saw a humpback and several gray whales.  These are all migrating whales and we were particularly lucky to see the humpback because the season for these whales is almost over.  I didn't get any pictures of the humpback - they come up and go down fast and if you are looking through a camera you might miss the whale altogether. It was pretty amazing though, only about 50 metres away.  I got a couple of pictures of the gray whales' tails as they were diving.

We also saw a sea otter really close; apparently this doesn't happen all the time here as they are a bit shy.   But this little guy was just floating along and didn't seem all that worried.  After that we went to a Stellar Sea Lion colony.  These are the biggest sea lions in the world.

Tomorrow I have to up about 6am as I'm going black bear watching along the shore.  The bears come down to the shore to eat mussels and crabs.  I should see at least one or two, although the bears have been a bit scarce so far this year.  When I was in Bella Coola, Frazer said he thought that because the summer had been longer and hotter than usual, the bears had more food up in the mountains and were later coming down.

Thanks for all the emails, it's nice to hear from home and to know that you are enjoying the blog.  Next edition after the bears and whatever else I get up to in Tofino.
Slideshow Report as Spam
Where I stayed
HI Whalers on the Point, Tofino
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