Tofino was smaller than we imagined... a village, actually. There are less than 2000 locals who make their home there year-round. There is one main drag through the village. It is peppered with surf shops, small inns, fishing posts, earthy little cafes and restaurants and one main grocery store. You will see lots of surf boards here too - being strung up on peoples cars, strapped onto bikes and carried on people's backs. It feels like you are a world away from the chaotic hectic pace of Vancouver. It's full of character, simplicity and no one seems in a hurry. I fell in love with it from first glance - and that's just the village!
Now the beaches are another story altogether. Unbelievably beautiful. This is the ocean I wanted to see in BC..... huge waves, driftwood, amazing shells, starfish, intricate seaweed varieties, and soft white sand. And the sound - how I love the sound of waves rolling in and crashing against the shore. We stayed at the Tin-Wis Resort right on Mackenzie Beach. It's actually owned and operated by a First Nations band. They do a wonderful job - it's a real success story. The perfect thing about the resort is the location. All of the rooms face out onto the beach, and you can hear the waves rolling in all night if you have your patio doors open. We did, and it is a dose of pure peace to me.
We really enjoyed the people of Tofino as well. We met some amazingly friendly folks. Nearly everyone who lives there is an import from somewhere else. They all have a story - usually coming to Tofino for a few days and then never wanting to leave. I loved seeing our waiter from one night walking down the sidewalk to the beach with his surfboard slung over his shoulder the next morning.
Most of the people we met were our servers at restaurants. They were all happy to chat. We were thankful to have some amazing meals while we were there. For me, food is half the fun of a holiday! We went to the same waterfront restaurant for breakfast a few times and were lucky enough to have groups of seals jumping around right at our window and bald eagles gliding overhead. One night, Mike and I went out for dinner alone at a little restaurant called "Shelter". We're still talking about our meals from that night a week later - it was all that good! Another highlight for me was eating cinnamon buns at a little cafe called "Common Loaf" made fresh with Vancouver Island honey, roasted sunflower seeds, and locally milled flour.
Sasha sipping away as the seals frolicked nearby!
Hannah found the coolest type of seaweed!
It's got an amazing strip running down the centre of the strip that feels and looks just like velcro!
This is the "Surf Sister" shop. They run all kinds of camps and give surfing lessons.
Mike and Hannah would definitely like to explore this more if we come back.
The "Common Loaf" bakeshop. It reminded me a little of "Tall Grass Prairie" in Winnipeg.
Good to know your evacuation route should a tsunami hit!
We saw tonnes of tourists go out with a local fisherman, come back with a HUGE fish a short time later. It would be gutted, cleaned, and wrapped in no time flat and they'd have a big bag with a huge fish to take home to dinner.
This was our building at the "Tin Wis Resort" from the beach.
Wet, soggy, sandy, happy.