We're now in Tofino, BC (above photo from Mackenzie Beach). Tofino is across Vancouver Island from where we were last (Nanaimo), on the west coast. It's rugged and lovely. It feels like a California surf town plopped down somewhere in Alaska.
The drive over here was not even close to as tough as we'd heard, but then we've driven some pretty tough roads. This is just before the 18% grade:
The drive was beautiful…
…and just a tiny bit hairy at times (we were on the outside going this direction so we just had to watch for large vehicles moving over into our lane…and there weren't any). I drove the first half of the drive and Kevin drove the last half. I got the better deal, for sure.
We're camped at Mackenzie Beach Resort for two nights and we'll move over to Bella Pacifca for the last night. So far the $4/day internet at Mackenzie Beach has been, um, basically like not having internet, so we're at a cafe in town right now having breakfast, doing some work, and soaking up the connectivity. The campground is full hookups, not too far from the beach, but that's about it. It's very "no frills" in terms of view and campsite quality for $56 dollars Canadian per night.
Here's our spot when we first arrived and it was still sunny:
And here's our spot after many more Sunday arrivals came in. Our site (#38) is strangely much larger than anyone else's site.
Okay, back to Tofino. Yesterday afternoon after we got settled we went and explored town a bit. We stopped at the Tofino Brewing Co. on a whim ("Hey, what's down that street?") and decided to stay for a tasting flight.
The brewery/tasting room:
The beer was great and the atmosphere was fun and casual, full of tourists and locals. The tasting room has a license for one tasting flight or one pint per person, and you can buy bottles to go in 4-pint-packs or growlers (a single growler, or a double "growlinator". We brought home some Blonde Ale, some Tuff Session Ale, and some Spruce Tree Ale. I really wanted to try this one, but they were completely out (and they wouldn't sell us the two display bottles they had): Kelp Stout — a dark, rich, full-bodied ale brewed with locally harvested Kelp, giving a unique, umami-type quality to this complex beer. Great label too:
We did more wandering in town and picked up this really cool Northwest Coast eagle…oh, I mean cheese/pate spreader. We try to get things we'll use, and we definitely will use this! This is the handle (pewter). Love it!
We used it right away too! In town we picked up some smoked salmon pate and some crackers and cracked one of the Spruce Tree Ales for an afternoon snack. The whole Tofino Kit:
Dinner last night was smoked fish tacos (again, I know, yawn, can't we think of something else to make?)
This morning it's cool and gray. We got up and made a couple of cappuccinos to go and walked on the beach out in front for a bit.
Our breakfast sandwiches, espresso drinks, (and internet!) here at Caffe Vincente this morning were great!
After some more work, we'll head out to explore more of Tofino, and probably drive down to Ucluelet!