In his last blog, Stuart failed to mention Big Bad John's salty nuts! Upon arrival he presented us with a container full of monkey nuts with his compliments. I love monkey nuts and quickly dug in making a neat pile of shells next to my pint, my plan being to put the shells in the container after we had finished munching. 10 minutes passed and Big Bad came along and swept the shells on to the floor. It was at this point I noticed the floor was covered in nut shells - lovely! I was gutted that I forgot to take my camera that night especially as the Matt Cardle lookalike was very pleasing to the eye!
After picking up the keys for a neat little Mazda 2 we waved goodbye to Victoria and headed north to Parksville and Ocean Trails resort. This is a great little seaside town with a rugged beach and relaxed holiday vibe. Before checking in to our condo we enjoyed a picnic on the beach followed by a walk along the shore in the glorious afternoon sun. I sensed we were going to enjoy these couple of days.
Rising early the next morning we made the two hour trip to Strathcona National Park. The trek we completed was high in the hills and proved once again to be amazingly beautiful. This was by far the hottest day we have had yet - I even had to resort to my floppy sun hat which trumps Stuart's big time! I enjoyed the hike which called for careful concentration whilst navigating endless tree roots and rocks in the forest terrain. Every now and again your efforts are rewarded with stunning lakes - I make no apology for keep photographing lakes as I find them enchanting and each one very different. You can't beat sitting on a rock and taking in the amazingly calm atmosphere and occasional fish plopping around - oh and the mozzies, they seem to adore me.
What a difference a day makes. Today we awoke to gloomy skies and a lot cooler temperatures. We opted to visit Ucluelet and Tofino another seaside town more akin to Newquay. The walks here offer an interesting contrast of forest and sea. The trees on the trail down to Schooner Bay were intriguing with some large trunks and others which looked like sculptures.
The beaches here are rugged and very natural in comparison to lots of the commercialised beaches you find in the UK. Stuart enjoyed some binocular time and spotted a black oyster catcher - at one point I thought I was going to lose him to a big group of bird watchers as he stopped to ask them a couple of questions. I kept my distance as the only birds I like are those of the chocolate variety commonly known as Penguins! My only wildlife spots for today were a couple of dead crabs and a slug with impressive camouflage.
We have now reached the end of our Canadian adventure and walk away with many happy memories, friends of the human and furry kind and sore feet! The USA has a hard act to follow.