Sunday, 13 August 2017
A Canadian Adventure - Day 10
The Wild Pacific Trail
It was cool and cloudy this morning, but we couldn't tell whether the visibility was any better as our views are out to the Pacific, the nearest land to our west being Russia, which is just a tad beyond our horizon!
A morning stroll took us on a 5 km loop from our chalet at Little Beach Resort, the Lighthouse Loop, around a small peninsula at the southern end of Ucluelet. The Amphitrite Lighthouse is the focus of the route. Today's benign conditions bely the fact that numerous shipwrecks have occurred around this reef strewn coast - 'the graveyard of the Pacific' - hence the need for a lighthouse.
There were many tourists on the highly manicured path that has a resting bench or/and a viewpoint every 50 metres or so. And lots of foreign languages, notably German.
We met an English child who was looking for a sea otter, and a Canadian child who was cuddling a giant black slug. Birdlife included the ubiquitous American Robin - an orange breasted blackbird, and Steller's Jay - a sort of glossy crested crow.
Back at our chalet, the men's 5000 metres race in the athletics World Championships was about to take place. Sadly Mo Farah could only manage second place in the last major track race of his career. We lunched on the remains of last night's salad and lingered to enjoy the excitement of the 4x100 metre relays. Joy for GB in both races, but disaster for the legendary Usain Bolt as his left leg gave way.
This afternoon we completed our walk along the Wild Pacific Trail, setting off from our lodgings in the opposite direction to this morning. By now the hazy sun that had appeared mid morning was long gone. After passing an expectant wedding party - they were waiting for the principal players - we encountered a wet mist arriving from the west, slowly turning to drizzle then ever heavier steady rain.
The coastal path passes many small bays strewn with driftwood, which here equates to tree trunk sized logs. It was as heavily manicured but quieter than the morning route. Perhaps warnings about the increasing activity of wolves in this area... "pick up small children and dogs if you encounter a wolf" ... had put people off coming out. Or perhaps it was the weather forecast?
The trail ends at a rocky bluff. Today's views were very limited, so we took a rare 'selfie'. Nearby there's an optional loop in the trail to see some giant cedar trees. They really are massive.
After that we made our way quickly back home in the rain. Coastal trails are all very well - this one passes through pleasant woodland adjacent to a series of very similar bays - but for a wider variety of scenery the coastal walks in Pembroke and the South West of England are far superior to the routes we've found here.
Diary note for Sue: sort out Anglesey Coast Path trip.
We managed a quick turnaround and five minutes after getting back from our walk we set off to Hanks 'untraditional bbq' restaurant, where we both enjoyed clams, mussels and Dungeness crab in a spicy tomato sauce, plus fries. Too dark for a photo I'm afraid (or would it just have looked like a jumbled pile of sea shells?). It was delicious, and followed by a tasty berry crumble with vanilla ice cream.
Then it was back out into the rain.
Today's pictures are in chronological order and track our progress along the coast path.
About 18 km of easy walking today, with maybe 200 metres ascent.