Wednesday August 22, 2018 – approx. 251 km today – approx. 3.381 km total
I did not sleep that well on my hidden “campground” in the wilderness. But I don’t know why. It was surely not because of noise or disturbances since the place was fairly quiet.
However, at around 7 am I woke up and noticed some cars already passing me. So I eventually also got up and drove back to Long Beach since I knew there were some good washrooms. There I also enjoyed breakfast and had a wonderful encounter with an older couple from Victoria. They are around in that region quite often for surfing and are also staying in the wilderness in their modified camper van. They knew the meetings happening here on the parking lot of Long Beach for using the washrooms and having breakfast already well. And surprisingly, Paul had also been into computer science before retiring! In addition, they have been traveling a couple of times already to South America. I chattet a bit with them while enjoying breakfast – it was really a nice conversation. This is what I like about traveling: You meet different people from different places and have a lot of short conversations about a variety of topics. I already know that from my backpacking trip back then to Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.
Since the weather was really not good today, I stayed a couple of hours here on the parking lot in my SUV waiting for it to clear up. It was quite foggy which apparently is known for this beach. In the meantime, I updated my blog and the map.
At around noon I drove up to Tofino again to walk a little bit around the town. And the funny thing is that up here – just a couple of kilometers away – the weather was much better. No fog, just the omnipresent smoke in the air, but at least some sun. I strolled around a bit in the town. As already said, it’s mainly a tourist spot. But the houses and the view to the surrounding islands was quite nice.
After about an hour or so, I decided to drive down to Ucluelet again and try another part of the Wild Pacific Trail. However, already on the drive down there, I realized that the weather had not cleared up yet in the southern part of the peninsula. I still started walking a bit on the trail, but eventually cancelled it since the view was quite limited.
Since my time was limited on Vancouver Island by the already scheduled ferry ride up to Prince Rupert, I decided to move on and make my way back to the east coast of the island. There, I wanted to follow a hint of one of the guys in the Atmosphere shop in Vancouver who was sending me to the Hornby Island just offshore of the Vancouver Island east coast. To get there, you first have to get to Denman Island by a 10 minute ferry ride and from there use another ferry to get to Hornby Island. So I started driving back along the Pacific Rim highway. On the way, I just stopped for a coffee break in the Sproat Lake Provincial Park and for filling up some supplies in the Walmart of Port Albani.
Arriving at the Buckley Bay ferry terminal, I just saw the unloading process starting. Since there was a cheap gas station right next to the ferry terminal, I decided to fill up quickly – and almost missed the ferry because of that. But the attendee let me hop on as the last vehicle and so I was on my way to Denman Island without any waiting time :-).
Since the last ferry to Hornby Island already left, I directly drove to the only campground on the island, the Fillongley Provincial Park campground. Of course all sites there were already full. Just when I wanted to use the washroom quickly before leaving on my search for another spot in the wilderness to spend the night, the manager of the campground came along to collect the fees. I talked to him and he adviced me to stay on the overflow area which was the turnaround of the campground. Of course, I still had to pay the regular fee. But I had checked the campground already and it is really nicely situated directly at the waterfront, so I decided to pay for it this time.
As always, the Provincial Park was nicely prepared and I could even gather a bench right at the waterfront to write these lines. Again, I had the best spot of all visitors here even though I was staying on the overflow area ;-).