Canada – New Moon’s Jacob and Bella at my Tofino singing pebble South Beach

Image of Wikaninnish Beach from the Wikaninnish Centre, the log you can see, looking like a matchstick, was enormous.

Despite being old enough to know better, I was rather looking forward to seeing Twilight sequel New Moon this weekend. Mr Moregeous, it has to be said, was less so, but like a very good OH, he accompanied me there on Friday night. I know for a fact he didn’t enjoy it (no sense of romance), but even he sat up in his seat, nudged me and said, Hey, that’s Tofino! when the beach scenes came on.

Tofino’s a small town on the Western coast of Vancouver Island, literally at the very end of the road, in the heart of the Pacific Rim National Park. We headed there on a roadtrip from the Canadian mainland on holiday and it is GORGEOUS. I can’t even begin to describe how incredible the coastline it is, trails through lush green forest, the Pacific pounding on the most amazingly unique beaches, bog forests, giant trees, upturned roots the size of caravans tossed onto the shore.

Not too difficult to see why the location scouts for New Moon picked this area and particularly the magical South Beach for the scene where Jacob has rescued Bella : http://www.westcoaster.ca/modules/AMS/article.php?storyid=6384/ Though clearly she wasn’t dressed as below when he rescued her.

The crew and cast had driven across Vancouver Island from Nanaimo, just as we did. I’ve been meaning to do a blog post with some of the photographs I took, and now seems like a topical time for it!

Map of the central part of Vancouver Island, we landed at Nanaimo, bottom right, and drove across the 4BC to Tofino at the end of the red road! 1/2 day trip, with stops

The ferry to Nanaimo to Vancouver Island landed around lunchtime, we picked up the hire car and set off for the drive across the island. Stopped off at Coombes market (bonkers), took in the Cathedral Trail, then had a halfway break at the magnificent Taylor River (see “You Are Here” above!).

A spot of giant tree hugging for me on the Cathedral Trail

Tayor River - this was what I imagine Canadian rivers to be like, perfect!

Back into the car for the second leg (behind Canadian drivers who all do 40mph even if there is NO traffic) on the long road to Tofino, we were looking forward to getting to Water’s Edge. It had looked to die for on the web-site, and didn’t disappoint…

Water's Edge guest house at Tofino. Think hot tub, fresh air, Bloody Mary - heaven

Sunset at Water's Edge, Tofino

We had three nights at Tofino, so only two and a half days to pack in every view, beach, sight and eatery between the town itself and Ucluelet. That’s a lot to see, but as we had a Pacific Rim National Park map, an excellent driver (Mr M) and a bossy navigator (me), how could we fail?

The Tofino beaches, surely we weren't going to attempt them all?! And the Bog trail. And Ucluelet. And you will notice that South Beach isn't even on there....

Well, I’m telling you, it’s possible. And not just possible, but enjoyable. Ok, you need to be quite fit, but I had a bad back at the time and had to take it fairly easy, so if I could do it….

We set out first thing and did the 2km Rainforest Trail on the road from Tofino to Ucluelet, a wonderful figure of eight walk through densely packed moist forest, giant cedar trees, moss frond, both imposing and magical.

The Rainforest Trail, Pacific Rim National Park

Then we headed over to Ucluelet, which is not that fab really (you’d have to be Uclueless to stay there arf arf) , but the Wild Pacific trail there was pretty spectacular, tracing the coastline with panoramic views out to what’s known locally, because of all the shipwrecks, as the Graveyard of the Pacific. Took about two hours with photos and a visit to the lighthouse.

The Wild Pacific Trail at Ucluelet: view over the Graveyard of the Pacific

Red Bull required to give me wings before next trail after fall on rocks and HUGE bump on arm appeared

We hopped back in the car and headed to the Willowbrae Trail to walk through the forest to Florencia Bay and Half Moon Bay. The former is named after the ship-wrecked brigantine Florencia which finally splintered on the islet in the bay and the bay is known for it’s long sandy beach and misty mornings. I liked the latter, a shorter beach surrounded by trees, with a rope swing and a bald eagle’s massive nest complete with chick. Did take an age to get there though as the lady ahead of us hadn’t taken a walk in a while….

Very slow Willowbrae Trail due to very large bottoms ahead, I was laughing hence camera shake

The beautifully rugged Florencia Bay

Crab sunbathes on Florencia Bay, Tonfino

Now THAT'S a tree root, just casually washed up on shore, even makes Mr M look tiny!

Half Moon bay, with the rope swing at the far end. Very brave spruce trees growing right on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

Being watched by a bald eagle. I got so excited whenever we saw one, which was often, they are everywhere!

Taking a breather. I'd like to say we built this,but I'd be lying, our schedule didn't allow for random construction on visited beaches 🙂

Mr Moregeous watching the bald eagle

It was late afternoon by this time, no time for another trail so we headed back towards Tofino for a hot tub at Water’s Edge. As you can probably tell from the picture above, Mr M needs feeding regularly, it’s a little like having a large alsatian, but I persuaded him to take a quick detour up to check out the view from Radar Hill, so named as it had a small radar station perched upon it during World War II. You can see more of the panoramic views from this hill at http://www.gotofino.com/tofinohikingtrailsradarhill.html.

Late afternoon view from Radar Hill

I can’t believe I haven’t got to South Beach yet, this post has got longer and longer as the blinkin pictures are so lovely!

More another day….

You can read more about Tofino here –http://www.vancouverisland.com/Regions/towns/?townID=28

Watch the official trailer for New Moon here, never mind the vampires, the very first shot is one of the Tofino beaches:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYBF3HKzrmE

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