Saturday, 19 September 2015

Explore BC: Tofino Time


It's a gloomy Saturday morning, rain is pouring down outside my window, and I can finally relax long enough to get back to blogging. After a long week of work, I find myself feeling amazed that I actually have the time to blog about some incredible times I've had within the last few weeks. Since the wedding would take an extremely long time to blog about, I decided to pull up my next favourite memory: my girls trip to Tofino.

This trip began as a half-formed idea about going on a cheap, relaxing trip and enjoying a lot of nature somewhere. As soon as we decided on Tofino, the girls and I became extremely excited about tacos, beaches, and general girl time. The actual trip ended up being exactly that and then some!

In the early morning hours of a Tuesday morning, we began our six hour journey to our destination in a small car jam-packed with four girls and probably too much luggage. We drove to the ferry terminal, enjoyed a delicious breakfast on the ferry itself, and came up with the overly-ambitious idea to get tattoos or more ear piercings in Tofino. While we decided not to do anything rash so impulsively, the tattoos are merely on hold and the piercings were just too expensive in Tofino.



Our first day in Tofino can be described, weather-wise, with one word: wet. And not the normal drizzle of Raincouver-- this stuff was full-on, raining sideways under your umbrella, wind-and-rain-in-your-face precipitation. Fortunately the next two days were mostly sunny and we were able to enjoy Tofino sans the drowning. Nevertheless, we couldn't help but notice the simple beauty of Tofino-- as well as the deliciousness of Tacofino and Chocolate Tofino's gelato.





After we had settled into our room at Marina West (which was surprisingly roomy but had the worst wifi ever), we made our way to the 'downtown' core and bought some supplies for the night-- namely, wine and every unhealthy snack you can think of. After a long day of driving and exploring some boutiques in Tofino, we grannies decided to call it an extremely early night after planning out the rest of our stay (in a neatly-written notebook) and watching the best version of Pride and Prejudice.


The next morning, we rose bright and early for a day of hiking. I must now confess that we (Tia, Eva, and myself) were so excited to try a hike in a brand new area that we didn't fully research the hike we were embarking upon. For beginners, the Lone Cone hike is an extremely difficult endeavour, especially since recent rain had made the trail wet, muddy, and very slippery. The mountain, located on the nearby Meares Island, rises to an elevation of 738 m and mostly leads hikers straight up to the summit, as opposed to more relaxing switchbacks. Don't let the short distance of 6.6 km fool you into thinking it is a relaxing hike-- the trail guide recommends allotting 4-6 hours for your journey. As a result, poor newbie hiker Sarah spent the day in total misery since the incline and terrain were intense and tricky. A special shout-out Sarah for being a total trooper and making it through the hike!
 

When you first reach the island by water taxi (which costs a hefty $40), you have to pay another $10 just to hike the Lone Cone trail. As a result, Lone Cone is certainly the most expensive hike I've ever done.



Taking a quick break as the trail began its steep ascent.


My favourite shot whenever I go hiking.


When we finally reached the summit, the sweat and tears were completely worthwhile. While the mountain summit was initially covered by clouds, we waited long enough to catch a very clear break that allowed us to see Tofino and beyond. Needless to say, after we finished this grueling hike, we headed back to Tofino and had a delicious dinner at a fancier restaurant. We also pigged out on snacks and moscato wine while back in our room-- the best kind of night.


On our final and last day, we grabbed breakfast at our favourite joints (Rhino Cafe and Tuff Beans) before heading out to Chesterman Beach. This gorgeous spot was the perfect destination for a few hours of relaxation. For about the first hour of lying on the sand, I couldn't tear my eyes away from the beautiful shoreline of the beach.



Getting some beach reading in.


Tia with her latest obsession: researching bear attacks and scaring us with worst case scenarios.


Sarah with her latest obsession: wearing my Aritzia blanket scarf and never taking it off.


You can't leave a beach trip without doing this.



We would have happily stayed there forever. Alas, reality called and we had to hurry back to the Nanaimo ferry terminal. Luckily, the three hour drive and two hour ferry ride were were easily filled with girl-talk and general chatter. Love you girls!


After such a fantastic trip, I'm so excited for my next adventure with these girls. Tofino was the perfect trip to end of the summer-- what would your best end-of-the-summer vacation be like?

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