Taking the one and a half hour ferry from Vancouver to Vancouver Island was a joy, the scenery so beautiful as we travelled through the clusters of islands in the bluest of calm seas.
We stayed a couple of nights in the capital, Victoria, but with the benefit of hindsight we wouldn't have bothered. It was pretty enough but not as inspiring as we had hoped, although we did hire bikes and ride along a small part of the galloping goose trail.
It was there that we came across a couple of young men who had found a small garter snake moments before we arrived. Once we were assured it was non-venomous the children couldn't wait to grab the poor thing and eventually had to be stopped from some sort of tug of war as they fought to hold it.
Once we had headed away from the coastline, the drive leaving Victoria was a little uninspiring too, until we reached Nanaimo anyway. However, the husband was particularly eager (and strangely knowledgeable) to point out as we were driving through Ladysmith that it was indeed the birthplace of Pamela Anderson!!
After Nanaimo the scenery became more and more lush and mountainous and five hours later we arrived at Tofino.
Tofino is a very special little place, with the relaxed feeling of a fishing village and stunning sandy beaches set amongst mountains. It's also a most unlikely place for a yarn shop, which was filled with lots of lovely skeins, many of them produced by local suppliers.
The beaches were littered with more driftwood than I have ever seen, and they also have some of the best rock pooling in the world apparently. They certainly didn't disappoint us.
We stayed in the top part of what can only be described as a pig sty (in shape!) which we had all been looking forward to because it was so different. We were right on the beach, looking out at the most amazing views of the Pacific Ocean.
More beasts to be seen, although these ferrets were actually pets, being taken for a walk on leads!
One place we would loved to have stayed (sadly out of our budget) is the Wickaninnish Inn, situated right at the far end of this long, heavenly beach, but we did treat ourselves to lunch there. The incredible view as we ate our incredible food was almost too much to take in.