Day #34 - We're Going on a Bear Hunt!

Morning in Tofino is a glorious thing! The first sunlight of the day has a magical quality that enhances the beauty of everything it shines upon. We started today taking full advantage of this by taking a wonderful walk along the beach right in front of our hotel. There are a few beaches along the stretch of coastline we're staying on, all right in front of magnificent woodland. Looking out across the water, there are several tree covered islands that rise straight out of the sea. It all makes for a glorious view and a way to start the day that makes you feel alive. 

We planned a simple day since we had some chores to take care of - haircuts and laundry being two of the key ones. We had booked in for our signature fades at a cute one chair barber shop run by a lovely lady called Hannah. She also had a love of travel and we shared lots of tips and suggestions between us as she trimmed, clippered and shaved us back to our presentable selves! 

This wasn't all for me!
Laundry isn't worth writing about - it is what it is and most laundromats are the same. While the clothes got seen to, we had lunch in one of Tofino's other well known establishments, The Shed. This pub style restaurant served the usual burgers and snacks but there was a distinct seafood twist to the menu and some lovely salads too. We opted for the house burger, some crispy fried pickles (purely because they named them Britney's Spears) and a lovely Pachamama salad consisting of roasted butternut squash & beets, whole grain farro & kale, peppercorn ricotta, apples & brussel sprouts, nuts, seeds and apple cider topped with grilled chicken! Is your mouth watering yet?!

For the afternoon's activity we had booked a boat trip to head out into the bay to go on a bear hunt! Yes we were using a boat to find bears! Since the bears love fish and come down out of the woods to feast, it makes sense to use a boat to cruise the shoreline to spot these magnificent creatures. It also means you can get reasonably close while still being safe and also not interfering with nature too much. 

For anyone that has been on something similar - whale watching tours, wildlife safaris etc. unless it's a Disney experience, you cannot guarantee the animals will be where you want them to be, when you want them to be. Our guide and captain Jackie, did a great job of trying to locate the bears which isn't easy. Black bears blend into their surroundings perfectly and it's hard to spot a dark lump of fur among big rocks and dark tree stumps. However, our patience paid off and we managed to observe two bears during the course of our trip. We also saw a host of seals basking on a rock, enjoying the evening sun. 

It was captivating to watch these beautiful animals methodically turning over rocks in order to find crabs, fish and other tasty morsels. They seemed quite oblivious to a boat of tourists frantically snapping away and oohing and aahing about 20 metres away! 

My phone camera can't do the experience justice and its zoom capacity isn't that great, but here's what I managed to capture.

When we returned to shore, we were both frozen! Being out on the water and travelling at high speeds meant that we were thoroughly chilled to the bone despite having dressed appropriately. So we were keen to return to our accommodation, especially since we had booked in for their evening meal - a four course affair of local produce beautifully prepared. Smoked tuna tartare; a salad of mixed greens, apple, fennel, peppers, pickled cabbage, apple cider vinaigrette & smoked bleu cheese; black cod, truffle potato puree, white wine cream reduction, braised white cabbage, select summer veg awaited us. For dessert we had both options to share -  apple tarte or earl grey creme brulee. All was delicious and beautifully presented and served. Sadly no photos since we were too hungry to wait and pose for pictures! 

If we thought the morning sun was something special, the evening sun proved to be even more magical. The sunset across the water was spectacular as the shifting colours highlighted the surrounding scenery in new and different ways every few minutes. Watching it from our hotel's wooden veranda was truly a memorable experience. 


  1. I see the bear in the lumberjack shirt!

  2. He's become very attached to that shirt. Bought it on the ferry over.


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