It was raining when we broke camp in Tofino. We find it easier to leave a place you love when it is raining (at least emotionally easier). However, packing a wet tent sucks. It causes you to rush and amid the chaos we left behind Isabella’s bike lock. It was the first piece of gear we had “lost” on the trip. If anyone finds it, feel free to use it. The code is 61014.
From Tofino, we made our way to Port Alberni where we would be spending two nights at our first bed and breakfast. We decided on Port Alberni as it was near some sites we wanted to check out before the kids started summer camp in Sidney. It also was one of the few places with accommodation that fit into our budget. We hadn’t booked these days ahead of time and prices on the island were far beyond what we expected.
We stopped at Cathedral Grove on the way and were fortunate that it was quite empty. We had been expecting a hoard of people parked every which way down the highway. But I got a parking spot right at the entrance! We let the kids run around and took the obligatory pictures. We noticed how much things had changed as I distinctly remember being allowed to run and climb in areas that are now off-limits.
Getting into town we quickly took care of some “admin” stuff. Laundry was urgent as we’d been camping for a while and we were just about out of clothes. We had also fallen behind on schooling and found a library we could use as a base for two days. The library was attached to the Echo ’67 community centre which had an amazing aquatic centre for the kids. Swimming pools are a common activity for us and we take advantage of aquatic centres whenever we can. So after library time we ran down the hall to the pool and the kids had a blast. It is funny how much further along they are on the physical education side of their home schooling. At this pool, Isabella successfully jumped off her first diving board and she was hooked. Then Julie floored us all for asking to jump off the starter blocks in the deep end. She was scared but said she wanted to do it. Now she does it all the time. She also swam her first Olympic pool length unaided. Forty days earlier, she couldn’t swim and wouldn’t put her face in the water. Good parenting points on this front.
Since our bed and breakfast was outside of town, we did a hike at nearby Stamp River Falls. It was a short hike to a falls with a fish ladder. We have come across many ladders this trip and for the most part, they had all been closed or too early for the fish. This time we saw two fish using the ladder. Ok, we saw them on a screen showing a live feed but for us, that was good enough.
Up next is camping at Denman Island. We have no idea what to expect.
By the numbers:
- Distance Traveled: 10,821 km
- Price for a triple load of laundry: $4.50 – our cheapest yet
- Mugs of hot chocolate Julie drank eat morning at the bed and breakfast: 2
- Ice Cream: 0 – the kids opted for snacks from Dollarama instead
Where we stayed (five words or less):
- Stamp Falls Bed & Breakfast: Seven salmon options for breakfast
- 8 deer – they were everywhere, actually had to be careful driving
- 2 salmon – on the fish screen at the fish ladder
Ciao for now,
Gosh. Wet tents. These are good memories!!