At the Mad Bee Cafe in Parksville – no internet access so I’m writing locally on my laptop
The ferry was a hair late so I showed up at the hostel shortly before 11pm only to find no-one wanted to answer the door or their phone! I’d arranged everything the day before and explained that the ferry was scheduled to arrive at 10:15 and they’d said that’d be alright.
Oh well, no worries, I figured I’d drive as far as I could and then pull over and curl up in the car like I did all the way through Canada. Just before Parksville I passed Rathtrevor Park where I’ve spent many summers camping out. It’s open for the winter so I wheeled in, picked the first camp spot, and set up the tent for the night.
My god it gets cold at night! Fortunately my spring sleeping bag and my silk liner kept me warm. I felt a little cold, but not too bad. In Tofino I’ll be putting on some fleece before going to bed and I should be fine. The last time Dave and I camped at Rathtrevor it was mid-February and there was frost all over the tent when we woke up. I had the same set of gear at the time so I know I can handle lower temperatures this trip.
Now I’m in Parksville at a neat cafe called the “Mad Bee” that’s run by an older couple. The guy’s hilarious and serves up a delicious peppermint spice tea.
Dave’s place in Tofino – prepping for our trip tomorrow
The drive to Tofino was nice and mellow. The weather was fantastic with loads of sunshine and not a spot of rain. I stopped in Port Alberni to get a look at the town and try “the best donuts on Vancouver Island.” I still favor Tim Horton donuts but I enjoyed the more authentic thing from Port Alberni.
I also had a great wander through Cathedral Grove which is full of mossy old growth forest. There’s one 800 year old Douglas Fir that stands higher than the leaning tower of Pisa!
We’re pretty much packed up and ready to go now. All our stuff is in drybags, food has been prepped and packed, and we’re looking forward to getting out on the water in the morning.
Our destination is Sydney Inlet, just northeast of Hot Springs Cove but we’re going to take the scenic route and check out a few of the other inlets around the area. We’ll be inside protected waters so we won’t be facing the open ocean (thankfully!). I’m going to clear out my camera tonight and recharge my battery so we’re ready to go. It’s going to be awesome!