This past weekend Nathan and I had days off that somewhat aligned, so we decided to make the most of it! On the Saturday, Nathan took the Vancouver Island Connector bus from Victoria up to Tofino where he met me after work. The next morning we got up early and went to the Savary Island Pie Company for a breakfast sandwich and coffee before getting on the road.
On our way to Bamfield, we pulled over on the highway to go for a swim in the glacial fed river – the water was soooo refreshing and much needed as we drove into the 30-degree heat! We got into Port Alberni and stopped in at Burde Beans, which has become a tradition every time we go through! They provided a much needed iced Americano to get us through the next part of the drive.
The road to Bamfield is an 84km logging road that makes you feel like you’re shaking and will never be still again. Nathan liked to drive the logging road really fast and throw in some small drifts every once in a while which made the already bumpy/narrow/slightly scary road even more so! The drive took us 2 hours from Port Alberni, but eventually you drive on some nicely paved roads into the cute little town of Bamfield. It is a small little town with some docks and a cafe/market. We spent the day walking around and visiting the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre. That night we camped at Pachena Bay Campground which is located in an old-growth rainforest next to an expansive sandy beach, and is owned and operated by the Huu-ay-aht First Nation. The campground was nice and quiet, with big open sites.
The next morning we went to the only restaurant in Bamfield, The Market, where we got some coffee and breakfast sandwiches. After breakfast, we went on a tour of the Huu-ay-aht ancestral village of Kiixin. The tour was absolutely amazing. Our tour guide, Stella Peters is from the Huu-ay-aht First Nation, shared so much valuable knowledge on the land we were on, the history of it, her community’s experience with residential schools, and the present-day treaty that was recently created. The tour then walked through the rainforest, along some boardwalks, and down to one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Along the beach, in the now overgrown forest, were the longhouses that were once inhabited but have since collapsed. Some of the beams and arches are still standing and can be seen today. We would 100% recommend doing this tour if you are in Bamfield!
We then made our way back to Tofino, stopping at the Timber Lodge in Port Alberni to get sushi…don’t let the look of this motel/restaurant deter you! We spent the next two nights in Tofino camping at Bella Pacifica, and beach combing and eating during the days.