A Very Long DayPosted: June 4, 2011
Wednesday was such a long day (and night). I am still recovering, which is why I’m just now getting around to writing about it. Lord, just thinking about it is making me tired all over again.
But it was SO. MUCH. FUN.
The day started out with a trip to Hot Springs Cove, which is located about 30 miles north of Tofino. It’s only accessible by boat or by float plane, even though it is on Vancouver Island. There’s just no roads that will take you there, unless you feel like navigating old logging roads and bushwacking through old growth forest. Not recommended! It takes about an hour and a half to get from Tofino up to Hot Springs Cove, and the trip usually includes some great wildlife viewing.
Like California Sea Lions! I have said it before and I’ll say it again. I love sea lions. Sea lions are the best animals. They surf and they eat and they yell and they’re fat. What’s not to love?
There were about 40 sea lions along the coast of Flores Island. Our boat driver, Micheal from Mermaid Tales (my favorite bookstore and the neighbor of my office) told us he had never seen that many sea lions in one place in his life. Coming from a guy who’s been driving a boat around Tofino for at least 25 years, I believed it.
Yesterday I heard a large pod of Orcas were coming down the coast near Flores, and I hope all of my widdle baby sea lions did not get eaten. Sea Lions FTW!
Welcome to Hot Springs Cove! This isn’t actually where the boat drops you off. There is a dock about five kilometers away with a board-walked trail through the forest, which leads you to the cove. It’s a good solid workout before you end up at Hot Springs Cove, where you can totally relax in the natural hot springs.
This is the stream that bubbles up from geothermal wells underground. At least that’s what I’ve been told. Geography students, please feel free to call me out on that if I’m wrong. I won’t be offended.
Can you see all the steam in the picture? That’s what is making the stream look all hazy. The water is something like 107 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s stinking’ hot. And stinky! Cause, you know, sulfur and whatnot. But the ocean breeze keeps it a little fresher than most hot springs.
The rocks get very slippery! What you see here is not the actual hot springs. This is the ocean! The real hot spring pools are to the right, just behind that big pile of rocks. There are three pools, each can fit about 8 people comfortably. There is also a waterfall, which is pretty much the best shower you ever had.
They leave you up at Hot Springs Cove for about three hours, and then they expect you to walk those five kilometers back to the docks. I felt like jello.
On the trip back, we got to see even more cool stuff. Like whales!
Hello, Mr. Grey Whale! We get a lot of grey whales along the coast of Vancouver Island, who are stopping to feed on their way up to the Bering Sea from the Baja Peninsula. I haven’t heard of any humpbacks in the area yet, but those are by far the best whales. Orcas are scary, greys are kinda boring, but humpbacks rock my socks.
Once we got back from Tofino, we had to turn around right away and head to Pacific Sands Resort on Cox Bay. They gave our entire staff a free night in 2 private beachfront villas. I love my job perks.
Dear Pacific Sands: Please adopt me.
Wine? Yes, please. This night just keeps getting better….
This was my room. I ran the bath the second I walked in. I just can’t turn down a gigantic tub. They call to me.
Before we settled into the comfiest beds in the world, we ate Sobo food, drank lots and lots of wine and hopped into the outdoor hot tub. A second dip into hot water pretty much sent me into a coma.
When I woke up from the coma at 7am (had to work at 9….booo) the first thing I did was grab my camera. This view is to die for.
Ugh, It’s so beautiful I can’t even stand it. We had so much fun there. I wish we could have stayed a little longer and gotten use out of the big kitchen and explored the area a little more, but maybe they’ll let us come back again! End of year party, anyone?
You readers at home may have noticed that Colin was not at this party. Colin now works for Parks Canada! He gets to wear a very cute little uniform and walk the beach hunting for people with off leash dogs. I will put up pictures of the uniform cuteness soon.
Did you know Colin’s grandpa worked for Parks Canada too? It makes me all mushy inside to think about how nice that is. It’s all very ‘full-circle’.
So far he really likes the job. I just like the green shorts he wears.
Note from Later: I have been corrected several times and I feel that I should not let all of my readers go astray by continuing to let them believe that Colin’s grandpa worked for Parks Canada. I have been notified that it was actually the Canadian Wildlife Service. Go forth, knowing that you too now hold the correct information about Colin’s ancestry.