We have had so much fun since my last update! We were up bright and early after our night sleep in our Swiss Chalet and on our way to find the Pacific BMW dealer in Richmond BC. The ride in went so smooth that you would think it was choreographed. Garth out front with a map, Denise coming in second, Cindy coming up third and Jim watching out for us from behind with a map. Garth and I had our communicators working so he was acting like “Emily” the GPS voice and Cindy and I were keeping tabs on each other … me not letting her get too far behind and Cindy keeping track of my every move … and Jim to put it all back together if our plan fell apart … piece of cake!
Anyway, at the BMW dealer the new tires were installed and we shopped. Cindy bought a new jacket … bright lime-green so now I can really see her behind me.
Waiting at pacific BMW
The 1200 storage locker
Our next stop was the ferry over to Victoria. We just made the 2 o’clock boarding. It was a beautiful day and the scenery was fantastic.
Once off the ferry we made our way to Nanaimo … what a crazy trip that was … there must be a traffic light every kilometre. I realize that once on the island life is supposed to slowwww down but seriously folks. There are small towns all along the way … one in particular is Duncan … oh yes Duncan … where sly little RCMP officers hide behind bushes with a radar gun and then JUMP out and scare the life out of one motorcyclist … namely me! So down I ride into the parking lot that he motioned me too (a little too enthusiastically I might add). I was shaking terribly because I didn’t know what was going to happen next as I still only have the first step of the graduated licence and I am not supposed to get caught for speeding! Anyway I turn around and here comes Cindy … he got her too … but the funniest part is that Jim saw this officer, realized it was a radar trap and so tucked in behind Cindy, haha! Anyway Garth turns around and comes back and when he realizes what has happened his first thought is “somehow this is going to be my fault” … you got it baby! The RCMP officer was one of the nicest I have encountered and when it was all said and done (lots of talking from Garth and Jim and also a little bit of surprise on the officers part when he realized that he had pulled over two 50 year old women) I got off with a written warning and Cindy didn’t get processed at all. We got the heck out of there … following the speed limit of course and eventually found a campsite outside of Nanaimo. What a campground!
They actually rented us a campsite that someone had already paid the annual fee for but had not gone up to use it the long weekend. This place is huge but 90% of the campsites have some combination of camper/trailer/lean-to/porchy thing that are there permanently. A couple that I saw had absolutely beautiful gardens with patios, lights, trellises, etc. It was so noisy with every shape and size of child and dog running around but boy when the clock struck 11 … quiet.
For dinner we walked to where we thought we had seen restaurants … most of which closed at 8 and that’s what time we got there. We were starring into the take-out pizza place when the door to “Sun’s Noodle Bowl” opened up and the owner took pity on us and cooked us the most amazing Chinese food.
Sunday morning we headed down the highway to Tofino. Again … one traffic light after another and then freedom just after Parksville when we turned onto highway 4. We stopped at MacMillan park where the highway splits the park into 2 with one side having the “big” douglas fir trees (big not even coming close to describing the size of these trees) and the other side having the older growth trees. The biggest tree of all is over 900 years old and was 300 years old when Christopher Columbus landed.
This is also part of the coastal rain forest and moss actually grows and hangs off of the branches of some of the smaller trees … looks very spooky!
We also met a fellow driving a Gold Wing with his partner and a trailer that carried their dog. It looked like a great set up and he said the dog loved it.
Off we go again heading for Tofino. The traffic is crazy for a Sunday and the highway is like being on a roller coaster! Up, down, up, down and then around a really tight curve … over and over again all the friggin’ way. I have not driven so long in 3rd gear before. And of course meeting the most traffic right on the really tight curves. My stomach actually flipped over a couple of times. It was wild!
We turned south at the junction and visited Ucluelet before Tofino and had some lunch.
We stopped at Smiley’s Family Restaurant and encountered a very nice young man from California who was just new to the area and our waiter. He is living out of his truck for the time being and working and surfing.
We made our way to Tofino and found a room at the Schooner’s Motel. We had a great afternoon sight-seeing and shopping. It was a beautiful day.
We had a wonderful dinner out on the Schooner’s Seafood Restaurant outside patio but it was cold so the restaurant supplied Cindy and I with lovely thick blankets.
Sept 1 Hope - Nanaimo
Sept 2 Nanaimo - Tofino
Tomorrow we are going whale watching in the morning and then heading back to the mainland.
Will keep you posted as our journey continues.
Hope that all is well. Please pass along.