September 27, 2012
This morning, we got up shortly before 8am and found our breakfast waiting for us right in front of our room. Self-baked bread, cream cheese, two types of jam, cereal, coffee and tea. Yummie!
We took it a little slower today, after all we are staying here to relax a little bit from all the things we did over the last two weeks. Beautiful as it wants, driving from town to town, hotel to hotel everyday does take its toll, especially with some hiking and sight-seeing in between. Not to mention the time that we spend each day getting ready, packing our stuff, checking out, checking in, blogging and googling for the nearest Tim Horton’s.
So today we only had to drive a few kilometers into Pacific Rim National Park for our first hike. “Hike” might be overstating it a bit, since it was basically a boardwalk through dense and beautiful forest. I talked about the Temperate Rainforest yesterday, and today we were able to witness two types of ecosystems up close: The rainforest on BCs western coast and immediately adjacent the beach and open sea.
The first hike was along the “Schooner Trail”, a 2km hike through rainforest which suddenly opens onto a huge beach (“Schooner Cove” and “Long Beach”). Up until now I had never imagined that a forest could be so thick, so completely drowning out any light or noise, be it from a nearby road or from the sea. A few dozen of meters into the forest, it becomes difficult to make out any outside sound. So much for navigating these types of terrain if you’re in a survival situation ;)
After the first trail we did two loops through another part of the Pacific Rim National Park, simply called “Rainforest”. Again, these were boardwalks, but more elaborate and imaginative than any boardwalk we had seen before. The path would wind through dense forest, above and below fallen logs, rising and dipping with the terrain, along toppled-over branches and roots towering two stories high. Evenly spaced throughout the trail would be informative panels which told about the history of these ecosystems (the trees are several thousands of years old), and about the way the different plants and animals coexist. For Katrin and me, these relatively short trails in this small National Park where among the most interesting things we had seen on this trip. The unique feeling of the rainforest, with its colorful vegetation and the sound of strange animals from every direction, was something we previously had only seen in artificial environments, like the Montreal Biodrome.
Impressions from the rainforest
We had late lunch at a nearby commercial center, which in Tofino means five wooden shacks, three surf shops and a handmade ice-cream vendor. I had a tasty Salmon Burger and Katrin went with Fish ‘n Chips (Salmon as well). Afterwards we got two of the biggest scoops of icecream we’ve ever had. We only managed to drag ourselves to the same beach as yesterday evening and sat there until the sun set once again.