Hikin’ and Surfin’

Next stop was Combers beach with a trail through a mature Sitka spruce forest to the beach. Near the beach the dramatic effect of the ocean’s salt and winds can be seen on the stunted trees. Beach access can be tricky due to shifting logs on the fringe of the beach, but well worth the effort as we watched flocks of seagulls rise and dive into the shallow streams for fish. As we left the wind rose and the whole beach appeared to move as the sand shimmered and turned into a flowing river. I have never seen anything like it.

Final stop was Radar Hill with panoramic views over Tofino and the Clayoquot Sound and where we saw our first and only beautiful blue Steller’s Jay.

The evening ended at Shelter for a special meal. Started with a glass of prosecco for me and a cocktail containing Manuka honey vodka for OH who had creamy chowder with mussels followed by chicken breast on lentils, green beans and capers. I had an arugula salad with rocket, green leaves, arugula cheese, blue cheese finely diced, caramelised onions, cranberries and pomegranate followed by a rib-eye steak, yams, green beans and a pepper type sauce and a glass of Bulldog Shiraz from Australia.

The restaurant is very informal and has a large popular bar and TV sets. There was a baseball game happening on one set, but the one closest to us was showing a program about a group of surfers on tour in South Africa! How unreal to be sitting in Canada and following this group of lads on their tour from Cape Town and my beloved Muizenberg to Jeffrey’s Bay, St John’s on the Wild Coast and finally Durban, all with fabulous photography of the beaches and surrounding areas – if only it had sound! The O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada surf competition in Chesterman Beach was due to be held over the following weekend – a pity we would be gone by then as I would have loved to have watched it.

A great day and a lovely meal to end it with. Tomorrow we leave this part of the island, but have one last walk to do before finally saying goodbye.

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

14 thoughts on “Hikin’ and Surfin’”

  1. I like the sound of the shifting sands! Very evocative piece. You are making Canada sound like a real ‘destination’. I doubt that I will ever see it, so I am doubly pleased to read your memories, and to travel vicariously through them. Regards from Norfolk. Pete. x

    1. The west coast is really lovely, very wild but we have been lucky with the weather on both occasions. We want to try the eastern provinces next time! And unlike the USA the food is really good 😉

  2. I visited Vancouver island a few summers ago and unfortunately never left Victoria. I’ve heard Tofino is incredibly rugged and beautiful. Your pictures do it justice!

    1. Thanks Nathan, the west coast is my favourite part of the island, though going north is also pretty wild, just not the same beaches. Good luck with your travelling, I wish you well.

    1. They are gorgeous, wish they were in the UK but sadly not. I have seen them in Sedona, Arizona too, such a lovely blue.

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