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Vancouver Island to America  -  22/08/03 - 08/09/03

A Tight Spot!

We headed for the west coast of the island the next day to Tofino and Ucluelet and went through some amazing scenery and great roads. Lots of bikes to wave to. Being the weekend, by the time we got there the only campsite left was much like a car park. There was nothing for it but to stay in a very nice place in Ucluelet and slob out for the weekend. It was my birthday, well sort of.

We went out kayaking for a few hours in the harbour and loved it as much as we had twelve years ago in New Zealand. Hoped to see some bears but they must have all been asleep, it was quite early.

We left Ucluelet and headed north to the very top of the island to Telegraph Cove, I was in search of Orcas. It was quite a trek, about three hundred miles, and we were going to have to come back the

Looking for bears

same way as there are so few roads. We had a black bear run out about 20 meters in front of the bike which was quite scary for a second but it was good to see one at last. Finally we got to the turn off for Telegraph Cove and after a little while the road turned to gravel. It then seemed to go on for ever. R was beginning to wonder where I was taking him, and after a bit further I was beginning to wonder myself! Eventually we arrived and it was the most perfect little fishing village ever, thank goodness. We had arrived at about six so we found somewhere to stay and charged down to the end of the pier and got the last two places on the whale watching trip for the next morning. Went straight to the pub and had a few pints of the local brew – Killer Whale Pale Ale.


Yeay we saw Orcas. Loved it so much we came straight back and hired kayaks for the next two days to go and find them ourselves.

Kayaking is biking of the sea. All our clothes and camping gear were perfect, pack as small as possible and all waterproof. Kayakers are all a very friendly bunch too; everyone talks to each other and waves, much like bikers.

The kayaking was amazing. We left about 11 the first morning and paddled for about 3 hours. We took it very slowly and were very lucky as it was really calm. We found the beach where there are camping places in the woods behind and found a nice little spot. We set up the tent and met lots of other people kayaking.

We decided to go out for another little paddle, a bit further on nearer to the reserve. We were pretty tired so didn't go too far. We were just sitting in the ocean, floating around and I just said "please whales come and say hello". Nothing of course, but we sat there a bit longer and suddenly far in the distance I saw spray. There they were, we started off towards them and then realised they were coming straight towards us!

We just sat back and waited. They came so close, it was amazing. R managed to get a bit of video, but it was so exciting to see them so close. They are so beautiful, and it was surreal being eye level with them.


 The next day we headed back completely happy. We stopped for a late lunch on a bit of beach. It was a very bit of a beach really, like a spit and R was convinced the tide was going to come in and float our kayaks away. We were ok though and set off back to base. We couldn't believe it but along the whales came again, similar time to the day before. They just seem to swim round and round in circles with all the kayakers. They would disappear and then pop up behind us, like they were playing, they knew exactly where we were all the time. One even stuck her head out of the water and had a little sing with her mouth open, just like you see them do in the safari parks when the trainers clean their teeth. Safari Parks are evil. We  got back  pretty exhausted but so excited. Went straight to the pub where R made a bit of an idiot of himself by asking for a pint of Pale Whale Killer Ale.


We tore ourselves away from Telegraph Cove and retraced our steps south. It was a much clearer day than when we had headed up and so we could see much more of the mountains. As soon as we could we got on to the coast road and then stopped for brunch at Willies Café just south of Campbell River. I give it special mention as the women in there were so friendly and cooked us some great eggs and hash browns. They even gave us butter tarts to take with us.

Victoria was our next stop, capital of B.C, where we spent a few days. Lovely place but a bit over the top on the British thing. Unfortunately when we were packing to leave I walked away from our luggage in the car park of the hotel and someone nicked my rucksack. Luckily I had nothing too important in there and we have replaced nearly all of it but we left the island with a sour note, which is a real shame as we had such a good time.

Got to Vancouver and managed to get in touch with Brian & Meghan who we met in Australia twelve years ago and haven’t seen since. It was great to speak and we arranged to see them a couple of days later. We shopped for our nicked gear and mooched around Vancouver.

We spent Sunday afternoon with Brian & Meghan and their two gorgeous kids and twelve years just disappeared.

Next stop America!


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