Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Prince Rupert

It's ironic that we had to go this far north to enjoy some of the most conventional comfort for almost a week. Our hosts, Al and Rachael, are among the friendliest and hospitable people we've ever met: they gave us free range in their kitchen, Rachael drove us around town, and they are simply great souls.
Their back deck faces almost directly West,
and the view is breathtaking any time of the day.
They have a hot tub (with bubbles!) out on the deck, and we were in it twice!
Al and Rachael are leaving on a cross-country bike trip in two days, and their bike is going to touch both oceans:
There are a lot of totem poles around town:
Smithers is next, where we'll stay on Rachael's sister's organic farm, sounds like it'll be good times!

P.S. Consider this: We came to know Al and Rachael through Bret, Tara's brother, whom we met in Winnipeg Beach this summer, and we met Tara last year when Eugene and George hitch-hiked through Winnipeg. A long-reaching chain of friends, eh?

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Because the ferry to Prince Rupert runs only every other day we had to stay in Port Hardy for a day and catch it 5-30 Saturday morning. In Port we found a nice municipal park where we ate our supper and then went into the bushes in search for a place to sleep - nice, dry and comfortable riverbed was there for us!!!
Next day we've met Steve, local farmer who kindly offered to take us to the beach and showed quite a variety of marine life. Besides mussels of different kind, sea urchins and stars there was one we had never seen before - Louis Moon Snail - huge thing , with 15 cm shell and the foot twice as big. Its mainly diet are mussels that she surrounds with its leg and sucks it out of the shell through a small tube. Quite amazing to observe!
There was not so much to do in Port itself and the local hikes are too far to go on the logging roads. So we have decided to spend the day in the library, reading about local aboriginal art and culture and marking places on the map where we would like to go. Lots of pencil on the map now!!!
With lots of impressions and good feelings we left Vancouver Island. Fifteen hour boat ride was amazing , truly beautiful landscapes, whales, abandoned canneries and over 2000m peaks of the coastal BC.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Comox Valley to Port Hardy

After a long 7 hour wait on the side of the road that reminded us a lot about north-western Ontario (brrr) we have finally got to Port Hardy, a very small town on the northern tip of Vancouver Island.
It is so picturesque here-calm ocean bay, distant islands on the horizon covered with fog and beautiful mountain peaks bathing in the evening sun. I promise to post some photos...
Tomorrow we are hoping to catch a 5 am ferry to Prince Rupert the journey that would take us 15 hours to get there.The other amazing thing is that the weather is staying quite unusual for the local climate. It has been very sunny and dry for the last couple of weeks we've been on the island compared to the rain and fog that on the west coast adds up to three meters of precipitation a year!! We are lucky to be able to watch beautiful purple sunsets almost every day!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Got into Uki late at night, camped in the rainforesty bushes. Went to Tofino the next day, looked around. Found this unofficial hippie-run camping area just outside of the village, with boardwalks through the forest and a lot of camping trailers. You can either pay $10 per person or work for two hours a day. We stayed there for two days, and then heard about this organic farm, so we called the guy up and went there. The farm turned out to be a salad farm, with primitive accommodations and no showers. It's location was quite scenic - it occupies a clear-cut area in the middle of the forest, and you have to travel for 10 km on logging roads to get to it. Total silence, mountains on the horizon and eagles soaring overhead. The head honcho is a surf maniac, so it was imperative that we all went to the beach with him and got our surfing time in every day. A week of surfing culture and salad picking was enough for us, so now we are going to Port Hardy, in hopes of catching a ferry to Prince Rupert, allegedly the most scenic ferry ride in the province.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Out of the woods

Juan de Fuca was very, very spectacular, beautiful purple sunsets, misty sunrises, wild beaches and lots of salmon berries that we consumed in large quantities!! The trail itself was a bit hard for my endurance- lots of mud, extremely long staircases where you have to raise your foot to the chin, however I am feeling pretty good about completing its full length!!! First long trail completely hiked, yay!
People we talked to have mostly done it in three days, but we took it a bit slower-in four days during which we had our old tent give up on us-three of the nine fiberglass poles have disintegrated within seconds from each other. With some fixing (rope and some flexible wood) we managed to stay dry-ish for the next two rainy days.
So our recent plans to go to Ucluelet have been postponed by a detour back to Victoria to fix the broken parts of our old LightStar2 Outbound tent that we have bought at MEC gear swap for 25 dollars. Turned out that it would cost about 70 dollars to return it to working condition. Instead, we decided to retire it and invest into something more modern, durable and waterproof. Enters MEC Tarn 2. Shiny.
Heading out of Victoria, we were hoping to go to Ucluelet, but the ride was going to Comox. Joel Fox, a friend of our Montrealais friend Courtis, lives there. Given the chance, we went to see him. And luckily for us that we did! Joel and his family are wonderful folks, kind and very hospitable. The night when we arrived, an awesome Mexican Reggae band was in town, Los Rastrillos. Lot's of positivo in their music, ya!
Having spent two days at Joel's recovering from the road and resting in general, we're heading to Ucluelet once more :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009


A lot happened since our last post here:)
Alors. After visiting our old friend Cameron in Vancouver, we went to Pemberton, as we were told there will be a bush party, burning a wooden truck.It was raining hard, but the Pembertonians did not seem to mind at all. The truck did not burn, however :(
Tara and Jim invited us to stay at their camping trailer, the Silver Bullet, and we slept in it for three nights. The next day we were royally entertained by our hosts: we shot shotguns, small and very large (30-06) rifles, went down the Ryan creek on a canoe, drinking merrily all the way. The paddle was so good that we even entertained an idea of floating all the way down to Vancouver. Unfortunately, there are class 5 rapids on the way, so we bailed out.
The next day, Tara was very kind to lend us her car to go check out Jeoffre Lakes. The hike was only 10 km return and turned out to be very nice, the lakes with stunningly blue water were super cold and the glacier was majestic.
We so much enjoyed staying in this town, people are super kind and caring and you can feel a strong community here. We might come back there one day!
Having said goodbye, we headed to Victoria. The ride to the ferry was timed so well that when we stepped on the boat, the gates closed right behind us! Open possibilities rule!
The boat took us to Nanaimo, and the next day we found ourselves in Victoria, right in time for Canada day's fireworks that we decided to enjoy from the top of the hill away from the crowds.
All the three nights in Victoria we camped in the central park again-so easy to find secluded spots in there.
Next stop: Juan de Fuca Marine Trail that runs along the south western coast of the Island for about 50 km and then joins with the West Coast Trail, but we'll see about that one.