Note: We're prepping for a road trip to the East Coast, so I better get this post out before new adventures eclipse our recent visit to Vancouver Island, which was agreeable on many levels.
Ok, so Tofino is touristy. But we are tourists.....and sometimes it's good to enjoy briny air, whales, eagles, beautiful beaches--some with wave-crazed surfers--great food and bike paths, even if others are in close proximity. Many others.
|Tofino's harbor with at least five islands visible.You could swim over for a visit.|
|Trendy Tofino, just outside the wonderful Wolf in the Fog restaurant, which Tripadvisor ranks as only the fifth most|
popular in Tofino out of 36.. Number one? Chocolate Tofino. Ice cream.
|Paul, a guy who doesn't like clams, oysters, shrimp etc, surprised me by ordering this lunch from Wolf in the Fog's menu:cod cheeks and clams!!!! We shared a seaweed and shiitake salad. |
|The well-stocked bar at Wolf in the Fog bar. We chose this restaurant the best possible way; riding our bikes to town from our campground, I stopped to ask a dog-walking local his recommendation.|
|Big fat jellyfish doing a raw egg imitation in Tofino's harbor|
|Big guy seal with attitude oversees a bored harem, seen from the whale-sighting cruise, which lasted about 3 hours.|
|We didn't get to this restaurant, but you can't argue with the location.|
|Tofino appears to be an active fishing port.|
We inquired too late to get into the Grass Point National Park campground not far out of town, and instead settled for a private campground that crammed 181 sites into prime beachfront property. Numerous spaces are on the beach, or have ocean views, but that was not the case with us, parked several tiers back, not far from one of the THREE restrooms serving the entire park. Canadians call them "washrooms". If you ask for a restroom, they think maybe you're looking for a quiet place to nap.
The one closest to us had two working toilets (out of three) and the one and only shower was out of order. And the cleaning crew was apparently on vacation. This is why boondocking - camping in free but legal places - is a growing phenomenon. We paid $40+ for this? But I quibble. We did have electricity, which we don't really need, and access to a great beach during beautiful weather. On to the good stuff.
A bike path runs several miles paralleling the main road, and was accessible from our campground. We've hauled our bikes on too many trips where we didn't ride them enough to warrant the trouble. On Vancouver Island the bikes saw a lot of action.
|Ahhh, a bike path! Just under 4 miles long, it allows visitors and residents to get around without driving.|
Eagle portrait captured in the Tofino harbor as we departed on a
whale watching tour. Guides said that 140 nesting pairs make
their home around Tofino. It was a joy to see a few.
The drive to this peninsula is also noteworthy. Hwy. 4 passes the MacMillan Cathedral Grove, which somehow rivals a redwood forest, and includes a twisting narrow section through dramatic peaks and valleys with grades of 11 percent to 18 percent. Needless to say, but I will anyway, do not ride your bike to Tofino!
|Part of the lush understory of the MacMillan Cathedral Grove.|
|Yet another opportunity for awe. Or ahhh. En route to Tofino.|