All posts tagged: explore canada

Travelogue Tofino: Sun, Surf and Everything in Between

Tofino is a gem of the Pacific Northwest. It amazes me that this this costal tiny town can boast everything from forest to sandy beaches. The town has impressive beer, food, and coffee too! I was STOKED to surf. Tofino is on the west coast of Vancouver Island, which makes it perfect for surfing all year round, too. (Our group rented gear from Wya Surf – highly recommend it for slightly cheaper gear and great service, they were really laid back with our rental return times and accommodating of our large group) We drove to Long Beach, a place that’s rightly named for its seemingly endless, white sandy beach. It’s a popular place for locals and also a great place for spotting whales because they make their migration every spring and fall. Being in a full wetsuit and booties were new for me. I’ve surfed several times in Hawaii but that the water was warm enough that whatever bathing suit you were wearing was plenty. I had mentally prepared myself for being freezing, but surprisingly I was completely ok. …

Travelogue Tofino: Getting to the Island

Over beers with friends, a half joking, half dreaming “let’s go to Tofino to surf” became a reality. A couple days later we were planning for a mini-getaway from Vancouver to the “island” (Vancouver Island). The spontaneity of an adventure makes it all the more exciting! It was one car and six people travelling together. We woke up at 4:30 in the morning and drove to the Horseshoe Bay terminal bound for Nanaimo. Since the ferry is packed in the morning, we had to arrive an hour early before departure to guarantee a spot. The ferry ride is a lovely experience! There is something very calming about being in the middle of the ocean and moving away from the city shoreline. We had a hearty breakfast on the ferry (naturally overpriced), but tasty none the less. After arriving in Nainamo we were bound for Port Alberni. On the way I was told by a friend to stop by Goats On The Roof, and as the name states, there were goats on the roof! The next ‘along the way’ stop was Cathedral …

Family in Alberta (pt.1)

Top of Whistler’s mountain via Jasper Tramway (third time up this mountain and every time it’s just as beautiful as the last) (Maligne Lake tour by boat) famous ‘Spirit Island’ Boat cruising on Maligne Lake Maligne Canyon Lake Beauvert (Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge) Bear Paw (tasty treats: pumpkin tart, white chocolate raspberry scone – personal favourite, and bear paw) Heli Helicopter tours In the air, overlooking the Rockies (Columbia Icefields in the far distance) My family made the a 4-5 hour plane journey from Toronto, Ontario to Jasper, Alberta to visit me last week! I’ve been somewhat home-sick these past few weeks and seeing them was the remedy I really needed. I don’t usually get home-sick, too be honest, I rarely miss the physical location of home, Toronto. But I did / still do miss the company of my friends and family.  I think I was more home-sick being here in Jasper, than I was in Tokyo last summer. Which is strange because I’m so much closer to home in Alberta, but maybe that’s also …

Mount Robson and Berg Lake Hike

(brace yourself for a long post) Day 1: I packed my 50L backpack in the morning and met up with 3 friends Loes, Jess and Alicia (all university friends who are working in Jasper for the summer). We picked up groceries (protein bars, peanut butter, pasta, oatmeal, KD… carbs on carbs) and started our drive out of Jasper! It was a 1.5 hrs drive on Highway 16 to Mount Robson Provincial Park in Valemount, British Columbia. The trail head and first part of the hike began in a lush rain forest (nothing like what you can find in Jasper). The air felt like you were somewhere else, somewhere more tropical like Costa Rica, there were large trees – reflective of how large the mountains were, and there was vibrant green vegetation surrounding our path. On our right was the Robson river, flowing steady and loud beside us. Beautiful moss everywhere too! The first break was at Kinney Lake (7km into the hike at 3230 ft). Here was a serene valley that surrounded this lake. The water that filled it was like …