Thursday, May 7, 2009

Surfs Up/Back from Tofino

About 5 & a half hours travel time from Vancouver, Tofino and the surrounding area are extraordinarily beautiful. It is not by accident that Pacific Rim National Park and the Clayaquot UNESCO Biosphere Reserve have been created as examples of British Columbia's great temperate rainforests. The geography showcases a series of sweeping ocean beaches and offshore rocky islands, magnificent coastal forests, first nations's people and their ancient culture. Add in migratory grey whales, sea lions, bears, cougars and wolves and you have the place for a wild getaway.

At either end of the series of Pacific beaches lie the lively small towns of Tofino and Ucluelet. The former has become a tree-hugging, eco-everything base camp for whalewatching, ocean kayaking, wilderness education and exploration. Bed and breakfasts, gift shops, gourmet restaurants and multi-million dollar homes rub shoulders with hostels, youth culture and surf schools. In fact, the tides, winds & coldwater waves of Long Beach and Chesterman Beach draw surfer dudes from Australia and Hawaii to test their skills against BC's rip and curl.

Wetsuits, boots and gloves are required year round. Winter storms are so ferocious along this coast that they have become a selling point for winter tourism. No snow here - simply enormous waves and the awesome force of nature.

When we were not running with Ozzie, our Cairn Terrier, on the wet and spring-rainy beaches, we stayed warm and woodsy in a comfortable vacation cottage, called "Shipwreck", at the Gold Coast Retreat. We especially loved the Finnish-style sauna and yes, since it's been a very long time, the sound of frogs every evening. Fresh air, exercise and sweet rest.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We love comments!