We set out casually towards Tofino, we knew that we probably wouldn’t find a camping spot in Tofino, and would have to turn back. We’d heard it could cost up to $50 bucks for a tent site and that Tofino is Canada’s most expensive place to camp. Bugger that. On our way, I recognised a name from the past, that of a very fancy hotel called the Wickinninish Inn. I’d met a Canadian girl on Phillip Island, near Melbourne several years ago and I remember her telling me about the hotel she had worked at. We walked in to the fancy hotel lobby in our smelly bike clothes and here was Nicki working at the front desk. We both had to look twice at each other before we recognised each other. It was cool, she offered to let us camp at her place in Tofino which we happily accepted. Herman made good use of the fancy dunnies while outside I was asked to move our bikes from the front driveway to a less visible location. We headed into Tofino for a sushi lunch and one of Nicki’s friends showed us where the house was. We set up our tents on the back lawn, high on a hill overlooking the town, one of the best camping spots I’ve had so far. We later met a roommate Paul who reminded us of Frank Black from the Pixies and who showed us around the amazing house. It reminded us of the type of place a porn star would have in LA, even had a fireplace that literally hung from the ceiling and had 180 degree views of the town and islands.

It was Herman’s last night, so we wandered down into town to find the most happening bar. It was filled with heaps of young locals dancing to Oakland hip hop and we helped ourselves to several rounds of drinks plus the Dizzy Buddha house special. We even survived the flooding of the entire bar which was kind of surreal having already downed quite a few drinks and not exactly knowing what was going on.

Tent cleaning, Tofino (Day 83)

Tent cleaning, Tofino (Day 83)


Tofino (Rest Day)[MAP]

Herman took off before 7am this morning, I had a great time with him, it was like a holiday in the middle of my trip. A holiday from being alone so much. The weariest thing about this trip is having too many five minute conversations with people.

“Where’re you heading?”,
“Where’d you come from?”,
“Had many flats?”,
“You’ve got quite a load there!”,
“You’re crazy!”

That’s as deep as it gets. And most people talk at you, rather than talking with you. They’ll ask you one question and then go on about themselves for the next five minutes. So I’m gonna miss Herman.

Met a young German bicycle tourist in town, he only knew a hundred words of English but he had enough words to describe the dangerous road from Ucluelet back to Port Alberni. Boris convinced me to join him on taking a bus out of here in two days rather than risking the narrow, twisting, shoulder-less road that he’d ridden in on.

Fisherman, Tofino, Vancouver Island (Day 84)

Fisherman, Tofino, Vancouver Island (Day 84)

Nicki and Ben on the way to Lone Cone in the Tofino water taxi (Day 85)

Nicki and Ben on the way to Lone Cone in the Tofino water taxi (Day 85)

Nicki, Ben and I took a water taxi over to Meades Island and we did the steepest uphill hike I think I’ve ever done. The view from the peak was amazing. We half walked, half jogged the path down and I thought at times I’d collapse with my rubber legs almost giving out on me.

Nicki offered me the use of their washer/dryer tonight so I put absolutely everything in, including my bicycle speedometer which I recovered in a panic after five minutes of the wash cycle. It still worked like a charm.

Ben and Nicki at the top of Lone Cone, Meads Island, Tofino, Vancouver Island (Day 85)

Ben and Nicki at the top of Lone Cone, Meads Island, Tofino, Vancouver Island (Day 85)

Took the bus to Nanaimo and spent the time talking with Boris, well as much talk as we could considering I don’t know any German. Unfortunately the bus only stopped at Nanaimo so I had to re-ride 15 miles of familiar road. Later in the day I accidentally went ten miles down a dead-end dirt road, trying to find the campgrounds. According to my $5 REI compass/thermometer that probably has an accuracy of plus or minus 20 degrees, it was about 35 degrees Celsius today.

I ran low on water a few times today, while I was washing my cycling clothes I noticed I had salt marks all over the back of my shirt.

I have French speaking neighbours on both sides of me tonight. Though they’re probably from eastern Canada, I have noticed there seems to be so many more foreign tourists in Canada than the USA. I didn’t meet one foreigner while camping in the States and here I seem to have camping neighbours from other countries several nights a week.

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