Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Northwest Vancouver Island, BC

Vancouver Island has so much to offer!  It is difficult to decide what to do next when you have only few days to go around but thanks to Joane Moran, a local Artist, we took two days to explore the towns of Port Alberni, Ucluelet, Tofino, and Nanaimo.

The trip to Tofino took around 6 1/2 hours on the Trans Canada Hwy.  We were lucky to find accommodations since most of the  hotels in town were fully booked.  We settled just across the Bay in a cozy hotel with a beautiful view to the inner harbour and seaplanes, and inmediately went for a stroll around town.   It is a tranquil and beautiful destination. People were very friendly and helpful.  Tofino ia a very small town but it is full of adventure opportunities for the whole family.  From kayaking, surfing, sport fishing, whale watching, scuba diving, to strolling the forest trails or the beaches;  you will always find something special to do in Tofino (like taking a seaplane tour).  We had excellent restaurants and gift shops on the same street we stayed.   Everything was within walking distance, which felt great after being all those hours on the bike!  That first night we had a rainstorm which brought the temperature down a little...  thanks God for those warm clothes!

Next morning, after having breakfast at a nearby restaurant, we visited Ucluelet and Port Alberni.

Ucluelet is a beautiful community that offers a sheltered inner harbour and beautiful vistas of the Pacific Ocean.  In Ucluelet, we visited the Aquarium and various galleries and gift shops that are located right around the harbour, and drove around town.  We had a good time!

Since we didn't have too much time left, we stopped for lunch on our way to Port Alberni.  In Port Alberni we drove through the Victoria Quay area, at the bottom of Johnston Road (the main road through town on the way to Tofino and Ucluelet) which features boutiques, restaurants, and coffee houses.  This is a beautiful town and just like Tofino and Ucluelet, it offers many attractions and outdoor activities as well.  Traveling on a motorcycle give us the opportunity to see things from a different perspective.  Some times we feel like we are enjoying the surroundings even more than those on tour buses or walking groups.  It is a beautiful and unique experience to travel to these places on "OUR BMW".  And even better when I have a pair of charged batteries at hand!J

                                                               Clam bucket... no kidding!

Back in Tofino, we celebrated our trip to the northwestern part of Vancouver Island with a delicious dinner at SOBO Restaurant.  Sweet!!!  The next morning we headed to Nanaimo in route to Vancouver via BC Ferries.  The weather was not nice at all... rainy and cold!

Cold and rainy morning
Getting better!
Nanaimo is the 6th largest city of British Columbia.  The harbour, where you can see all kind of activities like boating, kayaking, biking, scuba diving, snorkeling, seaplane travel, etc., is right in the center of town.  We did not have time to do much in Nanaimo due to the fact that we did not want to miss the ferry to Vancouver.  The amount of traffic in route to Vancouver from this port is incredible!  So, we will leave this stop for next time because it is definitely a beautiful place worth of visiting and explore.

Once in Vancouver we checked in at the hotel and headed to the city because it was still early and we wanted to see as much as we could.  Vancouver is known as one of the most spectacular cities in the world. Wonderful shopping and restaurants, beautiful waterfront museums and galleries.  Walking around is an experience in itself.  We drove around downtown, Chinatown, and the harbour.  Even though we came back to the city next day, we realized there is so much to see that we decided to come back again with more time to explore, and visit some of the many attractions they have to offer.


Our time in Vancouver Island and Vancouver was awesome!  We are planning to come back again.  We met so many wonderful people and enjoyed a lot their hospitality, food and attractions.  Another visit is on the horizon!J