So we have left the Great Bear Rainforest and the Great Bear Lodge and are heading again for Vancouver Island. On that 1944 Hrummond Goose Seaplane. It hasn’t changed since the journey over. Why would it. It hasn’t changed since 1944. As it’s my birthday I get to sit in the co pilot seat. Much to the annoyance of the man with the big lens. 
I still have lens envy. But it’s my birthday. Yep. I have my clean pants. But thankfully I didn’t need them. It was amazing. I was in awe of the pilot. 

We land at Port Hardy. Not on water but on land. Yes it’s a seaplane. But one that also has wheels. Remember?  Ha. You didn’t read my last blog then. I’m so glad the pilot waited until we landed to radio in and ask if he was ok to fuel up and leave as he didn’t have much fuel on board. Had I known that the pants would have come out of my bag. Very quickly. 

So back in civilisation. Mmm. Yep. Of sorts. We had seen the pub we were staying in when we checked in for the flight a few days before. I was not impressed to be honest. But as my mother – yep her again – always told us. Do not judge a book by its cover. And as ususal she was right. Nice room. Spotlessly clean. Sheets so clean that you an smell the freshness.  Balcony overlooking the tail end of the harbour. But we ate in another pub. Mistake. We should have eaten here. 

We were heading to Tofino but as it was a 7 hour drive we split it and stayed in Parksville for a night. A remarkably un remarkable place. A bit like our ocean view room. Yep. You could see the ocean. Over the backs of the rooms in front. But it was one night. . My camera remained in the room. Very little to photo. Good tortilla chips and dips though. But thank heaven for the god of Imodium the next morning .  Theee hours drive didn’t look fun. Even when you’ve borrowed a toilet roll from the hotel. 

The roads are remarkably good. Drove for 3.5 hrs to Tofino through the Pacific RimNational  park to check into a really lovely hotel on the beach front. A place that is famous for storm watching. Hopefully not whilst we were there. The beach was amazing 1,5 km long with amazing houses right on the sea front. And I mean. On the sea front. Step out of the house. There’s thenbeach. Some amazing houses. Some needing renovation but probably with millions. I couldn’t even do an extra lottery ticket. 

You’d never run out of firewood that’s for sure. The driftwood along the beach shore was amazing. As is the sea weed. Bad joke time. Why was the sand wet.Because the sea  weed. Aghhhh

People had been artistic and made some small shelters on the beach to shade from  the sun. Ha what sun. The first day we were there the beach was swathed in mist. A low hanging mist but great for athmospheroc shots of people and things. Joggers. Snoggers. Dog walkers. Surfers. The old. The young. Us. Well Ian anyway. Usual great shot. Back of his head. 

In total contrast the evening sunset the following  day was stunning. But the same people who were out in the mist were out at sunset. Joggers. Snoggers. You get the drift. Ha. And driftwood. 

Having failed spectacularly in April Point to see  any whales we had booked another  whale  trip. The instructions were clear. Mentioned heart problems. Joint problems. Didn’t recommend it if you suffered incontinence. Ha. That’s taking the p— isn’t it? Having done the trip I understand why. 8 of us on a little boat. Again. But this one shook your innards out. If you aren’t incontinent before it was likely you would be now. I hung on so tightly that I thought I’d had glued my hand on the rail. We bounced up and down and for once I was glad for the J lo love padding on my big fat bottom. Does my bum look big in this – if your going on that boat yes. You’ll need it.

But we saw whales. Grey whales. Breaching. (not giving birth ) but raising  out of the water. Another with their tail up. Neither caught on camera as it’s over in a flash. But we saw  5 whales. 

Then we headed off to see the sea lions. Excuse me. I’ve done that. Can you please head back. Slowly. And while your at it can you ask the man next to me where he got his sunglasses as I like them. A lot. To be fair. He’s not bad either but I’m concentrating on his glasses. I took a sneaky pic but couldn’t get the make. You can’t with sea salt in your eyes. 

Back on dry land we decided on lunch. Now  I like a bit of fish and chips and we ate at Big Daddy’s fish bar. Fresh fish served by big daddy – excellent. When my stomach had been put back in place that is. Together with my land legs. 

We had a wander around the Tofino botanical gardens.  The size of the trees in the rain forest was awesome. 

This is the relaxing part of the trip. All stories have a beginning a middle and an end. Vancouver was the beginning. Bear lodge the middle and this. The penultimate part before we head back to Vancouver for our flight home.  There was yoga on the beach. Well it wasn’t really. People practicing for their surfing. 

So we walked the beaches in the mist. Romantic. Them not us. Never is. Ian usually a mile ahead of me as I’m snapping – I don’t want to be accused of not using my new camera. Another 5 minute fad. So I do. A lot. 
Soon time for another 3 hour drive to the ferry to head back to the mainland. For the first time in years we haven’t argued about directions.  Yes. We have had Sally sat nag sat on the dashboard but that usually isn’t enough. In over 10 years of going to Toulouse airport we never get far out of the car park before we have had words. This time none! So again we just miss the 12.50 ferry. Which we weren’t getting. Just early for the 3.15. Again first on. First off. 

So we have one last night in Vancouver. We venture as far as the hotel bar to be greeted by the barman like we’d never been away. So it was cocktails again. I asked the barman for a walk in the garden. Which sounded like I was being a tad over familiar but was actually the cocktail. I’d asked if the lavender cocktail really was well. Lavendery. He agreed. A walk in the garden would be better. Another time another place. Another decade I would have. But this time I’d stump for the cocktail. Thanks. In my view lavender is good in bags. In soap. Rarely in food. 

So we end the holiday as we began. Flying back to londinium.Tired. Jet lagged. But having had a whale (!) of a time. I need another holiday now! 

More pics on Instagram 


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