Friday, November 28, 2008

Ucluelet and Tofino--We Made It!

We arrived in Ucluelet! Jim worked here for a couple of years in the 1960s and was amazed at the changes. What used to be woods and dirt roads is now houses, hotels and beautiful roads. It was once considered the boonies, but now is the place to be and waterfront land is scarce and getting to be unaffordable for most people.

The boat basin...

The condos on the right side also contain the Boat Basin restaurant. It was one of the best meals we have had on our trip. It isn't in the Places to Eat in Canada book, but it should be.

Wait a minute...tsunami?? As Jim put it, there is nothing from here until you hit Japan so any occurrences in the Pacific have the possibility of affecting this area. They did have a tsunami in 1965 after an earthquake in Alaska and it did quite a bit of damage. Since then there have been a few warnings, but no tsunamis.

Here is the B&B we stayed at. It was great...


The view from the guest living room looking out at the hot tub...

The breakfast area...

This was the view from our room. They have a great location...

Jim hard at work...

This knotical weather guide is cute. We were fortunate on our first day here and had sunny periods in between the rain. At this time of year, it can rain for weeks...

The first night after our wonderful dinner at the Boat Basin, we made use of the hot tub. It was nice and chilly outside, but great in the hot tub. Love the self-timer on the camera!

The next morning Jim drove to the area where he used to live. He thought this might be the house he lived in or one similar to it on the street. He was actually amazed that they were still there as he thought they might have bulldozed them! They weren't great then according to him and some of them haven't improved with age.

We went for a drive to Long Beach. In the 60s you could drive on the beach for miles. Unfortunately, now with the way they have built the road, you can barely get to the beach. We parked at one of the spots that has access and walked in.

Look at the size of the logs that wash up on the beach! No wonder they warn people about swimming here. It is well known for waves, freezing cold water (all year!) and stormy weather. Surfers love the area and are more than willing to surf in wet suits. They are now starting a new tourist trend with storm watch getaways!

When you looked to the north you could see some dark clouds moving in...

Jim enjoying the beach!

We headed to Tofino about 25 km away where Jim's oldest daughter, Stephanie, was born.

Tofino was once a fishing village and is now mostly a surfer, hippie, tourist town...

Still with all the natural beauty...

Sea planes are widely used due to the remote location...

The hospital where Stephanie was born, largely unchanged...

Having visited Tofino and all the sites Jim recognized, we headed back to Ucluelet for lunch. Sue at the B&B had recommended a "Ukee" dog for lunch, so when in Ucluelet, do as the Ukees do! A Ukee dog...hot dog in bun with chili, fried onions and cheese...mmmmmm. The restaurant is in the garage of old house...

Jim remembered walking to the lighthouse when it was just a trail through the woods. Now it is a well developed tourist site. Look at this tree that is growing out the side of a fallen tree...nature at its most resilient...

Part of the shoreline...

This lighthouse was built in 1905 after a huge British sailing ship wrecked on these rocks after it was blown off course. These rocks were the graveyard of many ships and the bay therefore became known locally as Wreck Bay.

Another crazy tree!


Very remote...all you could hear was the waves and the bell on the buoy clanging as it rocked in the waves...

The lighthouse which was manned until the 1980s when it became automated...

As we walked back, our good luck with the weather ended and it poured! We were happy to get back to the B&B!

Another crazy tree! The rainforest makes for some interesting growth...

It was great for Jim to return to the town of his first real job and to reach our intended destination. Tomorrow we are heading to Victoria...

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