Rediscovering Vancouver Island’s West Coast
I recently had the chance to take my family down and drive down the entire coast of Vancouver Island, just sampling some of the sites and flavors we seemed to almost forgotten. And, if you are lucky enough to haven’t had the pleasure of going there before, than plan your next holiday on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. The wine in the Tofino area alone is worth the trip, but there are so many more things to see and experience.
We started by doing a lot of whale watching. We were one of the lucky few who actually spot spotted the whales from the Mainland. My daughter saw them and she immediately fell with them love, so the very next day we got on a whale watching boat. We had been told that these excursions have a 95% chance of actually sighting whales and they were right. It was the first time that my five-year-old saw whales from up close and she was so impressed. One of them blew water on us, and while I hate anything that smells so strong, everybody else was absolutely madly in love with the experience.
And that’s why the very next day we rented some kayaks and headed out to see them again. Personally, I have come to believe that watching whales from a kayak is the only way to experience these great creatures. It is an exhilarating experience because you finally get a sense of just how huge they are and yet how gentle and protective. Any one of them could have turned our kayaks upside down in an instant, and yet they were just gliding by seeming as curious about us as we were about them. However, I got a feeling they were much more respectful towards us than we were towards them, and that respect came from something other than fear because we were just too small and insignificant in comparison with them.
That evening we sat by the fire as a storm raged on, but the waitress told us that it wasn’t storm season yet and that if we were so excited about that storm we should come back in winter. We had visited Vancouver Island in the winter a few years back but that was on a skiing expedition, so we had not really seen the shore. But, as we talked to the waitress, a few locals joined in and everybody reassured us that watching the storms while eating some of the gourmet comfort food was the reason some of them had decided to settle there. We are not really looking to settle down on the Island but we have set aside a few days in winter when we would like to go back.
The last place we visited was a little village on the north side of the West Coast called Tofino. In the beginning of June they organize a Food and Wine Festival where my wife and I have tasted the best wine of our lives. We are not wine experts, mind you, so we are probably off, but the atmosphere at the festival and the food created the perfect setting, and the first glass of wine we drank there seemed to capture the essence of the sea and balance it with the beauty of the coast we had visited. So we dearly recommend that you take the time to discover or rediscover, as the case may be, the beauty of Vancouver Island’s West Coast.