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Camping on Vancouver Island
Posted on Oct 07, 2014 in Travel

Camping on Vancouver Island

A Long Weekend Away


By Tom Welsh

After a fairly whirlwind summer shooting a commercial, I’d headed to NYC, followed by California for our Mammoth Lakes trip, a quick stop in San Francisco, I finally landed in Vancouver, 2 month since I’d left home. Originally just a holiday trip, I had all my camera kit with me, I inadvertently ended up getting the final shots I needed for our Enjoy The View film. Funny how these things always pan out like that…
One of my best friends from school moved to Vancouver from the UK, along with his girlfriend Mairi. Once I found myself on the West Coast of America without a looming end destination or time I realised I had to go see them really.

Whoa, Vancouver. I did wonder why Dan had never showed much intent to return to the UK after a winter travelling the US & Canada. I don’t have any photos of Vancouver though, as great a place it is, this weekend was all about Vancouver Island. Somehow my trip was perfectly timed with Mairi’s birthday weekend, also a National Holiday, also a pre-planned weekend camping out in Tofino, on Vancouver Island….

The Island is located just North West from Vancouver, and although quite sizeable with a population of ~700,000 it gets pretty remote the further you travel away from the City. Accessible only by ferry, we caught one of the last sailings from Horshoe Bay on the mainland, to Nanaimo, on the island via BC Ferries. Perfect timing for Sunset on the water… the landscape reminded me fondly of the West Coast of Scotland, just a little larger in scale.

First stop on the island was supplies, and then a quick overnight stop at a campsite in Errington, before we headed off early to make the most of the drive to Tofino – our destination for the weekend.

The drive across the Island got more and more beautiful. Colossal hills covered in pine trees, our minivan snaking between them.
After Dan & Mairi had driven the same route the previous summer, they were exceedingly keen to show us a secret river pool they’d stumbled across.

A couple of nondescript gravel lay-by’s later…

I fell in love with Canada immediately. Crystal blue waters, perfect jumping spots, beautiful mountains all around. And we were still en route…

Our destination was Tofino, on the tip of a Western peninsula of the Island. We watched the sunset on the beach, gazing out across the islands across the Pacific Ocean. The next land mass is Japan…

We stayed at Long Beach campsite just outside Tofino, snagging the last couple of spots available over the weekend.

It’d be hard to top the day Sea Kayaking around Tofino Bay, watching the sunset from the Pier before heading back to the campsite.