To Tofino

Trip Start Sep 13, 2008
Trip End Oct 04, 2008

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We left Victoria early as the drive to Tofino is likely to take around 5 hours. Navigating out of Victoria was fairly easy as Highway 1 heading north starts in the downtown area.

On the way to Tofino we stopped at a town called Duncan the self proclaimed 'City of Totems'.  Native carvers, many from the local Cowichan band, have created 80 colourful and intricate totem poles. We followed the totem pole route (which consisted of footprints on the ground) through the town.
We then continued on our way north on highway 1. Our next stop was the Petroglyph Provincial Park just south of Nanaimo. A trial leads through the park to a series of ancient petroglyphs (rock carvings). The designs were carved thousands of years ago and are believed to represent Human Beings, animals and fish. Due to the age of the carvings some were pretty faint and difficult to make out.

Continuing north on highway 1 took us into Nanaimo. Nanaimo sprawls up and down a hilly terrain between the harbour and Mount Benson, and is Vancouver Island's second largest city. We stopped and ate our lunch overlooking the harbour. After lunch we wondered through Nanaimo and headed to the SWY-A-LANA Lagoon, which is a unique tidal lagoon full of interesting marine life such as Crabs, Starfish and other small fish.
Our next stop on the way to Tofino was in Coombs at the Old Country Market on Highway 4. The roof of the building is covered in grass and there are a number of goats grazing on the roof. Inside the building was just as impressive. The market sells an array of goods ranging from household and gifts to fresh groceries, many made on site.

We continued on Highway 4 to Port Alberni. This industrial / fishing town has little to offer the tourist and after having a brief look around we moved on. Before reaching Tofino we drove through the Pacific Rim National Park, named for its location on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.  Due to the Vancouver Island Ranges there is a high level of precipitation on the west coast of the Island, which has led to the growth of the dense rain forest on the west coast.

We finally arrived at our Bed and Breakfast. For the next two nights we will be staying at the Harvey House B&B on Lynn Road. The owners Chris and Nikki are originally from Britain and have been in Tofino for the past three years. They made us feel welcome and every need was catered for, a first class B&B. Just across the road from the B&B was Chesterman Beach. It was low tide and we were able to stroll along the beach and out to a small Island called Frank Island. WE sat on the beach and watched the sunset across the Pacific Ocean. After sunset we headed into town for dinner at the Shelter restaurant which is situated on the main road into town, the food was good but a little pricey.

Distance Travelled - 543Km
Time Taken - Approx 6 Hours
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lobo on

Hello James

Greetings from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I am still on my grand Americas tour.

Congratulations on getting your trip and travelogue started. I enjoyed reading your reports and you have even taught me a few things about my own backyard - BC.

Have a great trip. I will be back in Prince George by the end of the month should you be passing through there let me know.


jms79 on

Re: Congratulations
Hi Lobo,

Good to hear from you. I'm glad you like the reports. I can confirm that Hwy 37 to Iskut is the best so far. Amazing Sceanery!! Also I agree with your description of 'Bear Alley' we saw a number of black and one grizzly one this route.

Have fun in Wyoming, I look forward to reading your blog on your return.

All the best.


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