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Published: September 19th 2016
We were up early for our taxi to the 8.30 ferry across the strait to Little River in the Comox Valley area on Vancouver Island. We had breakfast on the ferry crossing on a dead flat sea from one port to the other. At Little River we had another taxi pick us up from the ferry and take us to the Comox airport to pick up our rental car. We found an unexpected large Airforce Base and Airport. I thought it would be tiny like the Powell River Airport. This one services the Island as well as going to Calgary and Edmonton.
After picking up our Hyundai Accent (fairly small) we drove through the towns of Comox and Courtenay to get a feel for the area. What we found were large modern towns, lovely suburbs and gardens and amazingly large highways such as we have only coming out of our large cities in NZ. We drove on a motorway along the coastal highway until we reached Qualicum then turned inland to the mountains. We stopped in at Port Alberni for lunch which is at the head of a very long sound with a ferry that runs through to Ucluelet. The
A wandering family of deer in the street
We saw numerous deer and a buck with antlers on the street in Ucluelet
highway then followed a long lake, a river and another long lake as it crossed through the mountains in pouring rain on a very winding road with water falls cascading down on either side. As we neared the Pacific Ocean the rain stopped but the fog started and remained for the rest of the day.
We stopped in at the Pacific Rim National Park Headquarters for information on the area which looks a little like the Abel Tasman National Park type of setting except this has many small bays along the coast with few access points.
On arrival in Ucluelet we had time to check out the town and port on foot before going to our accomodation. It is a laid back town with casual and smart areas. Some aspects of it look quite alternative and it is well known as a surfing area. There are plenty of walking trails to do around the town and the coast as well as in the National Park so we'll check out some of them as well as Tofino, 30 mintues drive from here.
Our B&B is the Ocean Mist Guesthouse (very appropriate today) which is very nice indeed. It
Amphitrite Lighthouse on the Lighthouse Loop Trail
This 3km walking trail is at the end of the Peninsula where the sea thunders in around rocks and islands
is beautifully decorated with a large room, bathroom and kitchenette which is more than we expected. We settled in, waited for a shower to pass then headed out on the short 3km Lighthouse Trail Loop nearby. It follows an extremely rugged coastline of jutting rocks, inlets and islands. It is a coastline of many past wrecks so that the lighthouse still operates as well as two buoys - one green buoy tolling a bell continuously and a red one further out with a moaning sound caused by the wind and motion. It is a weird continuous sound like a big bull seal.
After unsuccessfully trying to find a restaurant that didn't have a waiting line, we got a superb take home clam linguini dinner from a street caravan run by a Canadian and an Ozzie. It was probably better than we would have otherwise had although it was fairly chilli hot but yummy.
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