Wickaninnish

What can I say about the West Pacific Rim? It is as you’d expect: wild and rugged with long sweeping sandy beaches, rolling waves and strong currents, drifting logs and lovely mature rain forests with moss-draped streams, hanging gardens of moss and ferns and twisted, stunted shorepine trees.

If you go outside the main season it is also quite isolated and apparently a lovely place for winter storm-watching.

We spent some time walking along Wickaninnish Beach at the southern end of Long Beach (sadly the Interpretive Centre and restaurant were closed for the season), watching huge cormorants diving for fish and the waves crashing onto the windswept sand. The beach is an explorer’s delight. Its location at the southern end of the 16km stretch of Long Beach allows it to act as a damn – collecting flotsam, jetsam and driftwood unlike any beach in the region. If you walk along the 1km coast trail to the steps descending to South beach you get a lovely vista of the coast. The pebble beach here is famous for the musical sound of the stones rolling in the surf. The longer 3.8-kilometre Nuu Chah Nulth Trail follows a path of raised wooden boardwalks through the dense rainforest towards Florence Beach.