Padinago's trip to Canada in 2009

Day 16 - From Tofino to Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Today we leave around 7.15am towards Victoria but first we go to Tofino for breakfast. This is a good idea as we find a pleasant ‘beach cabin’ called Green Soul Organics where they play Bob Marley songs as background music and we enjoy a good breakfast. Afterwards we drive to Victoria and cross the Pacific Rim NPR, where we stop at Long Beach. We stop a few times on this road to enjoy the beautiful scenery, constant little creeks, waterfalls and even bears crossing the road (a mother with two cubs). Only the last cub allows us to shoot some pictures but there is another tourist stopping with his car just in front of us and stopping our view. We continue and arrive at a descent of 18%. Luckily we have a 4x4 and we can brake on the engine. About an hour later we arrive at Walley Creek with a small but nice waterfall. Further on we reach the MacMillan Provincial Park (just before Cameron Lake), where we go for a walk between the giant Douglas-Firs. At the entrance of the park we see a Pileated Woodpecker and take some pictures. Amazing how large the trees are in this park. In the park, the tallest of all is more than 800 years old, 76m high and has a contour of 9m. When in 1492, Christopher Columbus arrived in North America this tree was already 300 years old! About three hours later we arrive in Victoria and go to our hotel to check in and enjoy the rest of a nice day. We walk to the harbor in order to inform about the boat trips to spot the killer whales, the “Prince of Whales”. The Canadian couple we meet at Robert’s Lake and who gave us some tips advised this to us. PaNa sign up for the whale watching tour on a zodiac at 5pm (till 8pm), which costs 100 CAD per person. We get quickly back to the hotel to get changed and get back to the harbor where we get again a survival suit (Nathalie’s is several sizes too large but she does not mind). In the meantime LuSo will discover Victoria. This boat trip is quite difficult as you get heavy shocks on the back. Luckily for us, each boat trip, we took the seats at the back of the boat, as there the shocks are less hard than in the front. After about half an hour we are in open sea and yes… we finally see our long expected killer whales! At first Nathalie cannot see them as her glasses are covered with salt due to the large waves. But our captain is very considerate and gives here a bottle of drinking water so she can clean her glasses. It is just breathtaking and for Nathalie the highlight of the trip!!! (She did not intend to go back home before she saw a killer whale…!) Around 8pm and soaking wet due to the waves we arrive back at the harbor of Victoria where LuSo is awaiting us and we have a nice dinner at the Milestone Grill & Bar (which has also been recommended to us by that couple) where the food was great, a real must! After dinner we walk around the harbour and LuSo goes to sleep but we stay a bit and enjoy this beautiful city and take some pictures of the beautifully illuminated Victoria Parliament. Around 10pm we go to bed.

Daytrip approx. 325 km

Little bear crossing the Pacific Rim Hwy Kennedy Lake Pacific Rim Hwy, downhill 18m at 100m distance Walley Creek Pileated Woodpecker @ Mac Millan Provincial Park Ooops, sorry... Victoria harbor The Fairmont Empress Hotel And again, ready for whale watching YES! Killer whales! It was a little moist... Victoria Parliament Victoria Parliament by night