Friday, August 08, 2008

To Ukee!!

If you want to see long sandy beaches or to go surfing here in BC, Tofino is the place to visit. It is located on the western coast of Vancouver Island facing the vast Pacific Ocean. Last BC Day long weekend, our family traveled to this place with excitement. Finally, beaches like we have in the Philippines!!

To economize, we--or rather, I--decided to book our accommodations, in Ucluelet (yu-clue-let), a town south of Tofino, about 30 minute-drive away. I got this idea from a friend who said accommodations were cheaper in Ucluelet, Ukee for short, than in Tofino where tourists flock. At first, I booked an overnight stay in a backpackers hostel for all five of us. When we decided to do 2 nights, the hostel was already fully booked. We had to look for another place to stay. Gino found a campground.

We left our house at 5 am. on Saturday to catch the first ferry leaving at 6:20 am. from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Unfortunately, even though we we there before 6, there was a long lineup of vehicles already. We had to wait for the next sailing time at 8:30. "This is longer than the US Border Crossing wait," said one of the boys. At east we could turn off the engine and sleep or get off the vehicle.

More than two hours later, we were boarding one of the large vessels of BC Ferries. My jaw dropped upon seeing the fare we had to pay one way. Oh well...

This is one of the ferries sailing from Vancouver
to Nanaimo (photo from the BC Ferries website).

As soon as we parked the van on Deck 2, we walked up to one of the passenger decks to enjoy the scenic view of the Strait of Georgia. We also checked out the gift shop while Gabriel and Markus played at the arcade. Occasionally, we went out to the sun deck to feel the cold breeze. Brrr...

Imagining this was a cruise on the Mediterranean

Speaking of Mediterranean, I learned from a presentation on board the ferry that the popular Gulf Islands on Georgia Strait have a Mediterranean climate. Interesting.

After 1 hour and 35 minutes, we were in Departure Bay, Nanaimo to begin a 2-and-a-half drive to Ukee. Yippee!

Come back for more stories and pictures...


Anonymous said...

"Finally, beaches like we have in the Philippines!!" Do you mean "warm beaches"? I still haven't found a beach here in North America that gets warm enough to swim in even on the hottest summer day.

Just got back from a long weekend along the Gaspe peninsula and there was nowhere you could swim around here. :) Just went walking along the beach looking for panghilod.


lerryblossoms said...

That's what I thought! You'll read the rest of the story. Hang on... :)