Pacific Rim National Park and Tofino, Vancouver Island

We woke early the next morning after arriving in Ucluelet – partly to enjoy the roaring ocean lapping at the hotel’s black, jagged rocks; and partly to make the most of a day to explore this wonderful part of the world.

I mean, the view always makes getting up that little bit easier.

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A must-do if you’re staying in Ucluelet or Tofino is a decent hike along the Pacific Rim National Park – literally, the end of earth! But the foggy views and fir trees are something pretty special and iconic. I can instantly recognise a place on the island, and I’m sure you would too!

Just a short drive from the hotel, we jumped into the Jeep and headed for our first beach – Half Moon Bay.

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Is there really anything better than having a beach all to yourselves? It was so mysterious and special, thanks to the fog and drizzle.

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Every beach along this area of the Island is covered in the craziest seaweed – I couldn’t stop jumping on the seaweed tubes and bursting them, kinda gross but super satisfying. They also creepily look like snakes, don’t you think?

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One lengthy beach walk and two coffees later, it was time to dodge the drizzle and head further down the coast. This time, the famous Long Beach – known for its epic waves and surfers to match.

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If you’re visiting, don’t forget to pop into the visitor centre – you’ll learn a little more about the First Nations who lived off the whale in this part of the world. Always good to learn a few facts along the way!

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Of course, the super cold temperatures and rain didn’t stop the surfers. I’d love to have had another surf lesson at the school here, but even I wasn’t that brave!

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…yes, that’s an umbrella on the beach. I haven’t quite forgotten my British roots yet!

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Having worked up an appetite from our long morning walks, it was time to eat. And, if you know anything about Vancouver’s obsession with Tacofino, you’ll see where this is heading. Having been born out of Tofino – hence T-ac-ofino (geddit?), the Canadian take on the Mexican favourite is simply delish, having visited as a Yaletown regular.

I’d heard a lot of good things about the original taco truck, so it was our first stop en route to Tofino. It serves additional menu items to any of the Vancouver eateries, so frankly, I was ready to make the most of it! Make sure to have a gringa – my whole life since has been a desperate attempt to have another!

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The only downside is there isn’t anywhere inside to eat if it’s cold and rainy like the day we visited. But hey ho, the food will keep you distracted. Onto another beach. This time, Chesterman…

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Isn’t there something quite distinct and amazing about these grey, gloomy beaches? So different to the blue ocean of Vancouver.

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Feeling pretty jaded by the freezing cold rain, we admitted defeat and headed back to the car. One more stop along our way back to Ucluelet: Radar Hill. Aptly named thanks to its history back to 1954 and the beginning of the Cold War, the hill was one of the radar stations built to provide warning of attack from long range bombers.

Apparently, the views are incredible from this point with spectacular scenery, lakes, and mountains. Unfortunately, the fog wasn’t quite on our side, but this is what we could see…

 

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Feeling the need to defrost, we jumped into our robes, cracked on the fire, and opened a bottle of red before having a delicious seafood spaghetti in the hotel restaurant. Enough exploring done for one day, we relished in the fact that the clocks would be going back that evening, allowing a bonus hour of beautiful beaches and coastline of this awesome place.

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Night!

 

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