Car camping in Ucluelet

A strange barking broke the silence in the tiny harbor. It reached our car and woke us up from a peaceful sleep. My brain refused to accept what it thought to be the source of the sound. That barking, it couldn’t be. I looked at Tanja and said: “Did that sound like sea lions to you?”, to which Tanja replied “now do you see why I couldn’t go to the washroom by myself?”, remembering me that we had indeed heard it too on our walk to the washroom the night before. We settled on the conclusion that yes, it had to be sea lions. The night before we had checked into a virtually empty camp ground next to the harbor, and picked a spot by the waterfront.


Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet

After Tanja got us past the find-coffee-hurdle we drove to the coastline for a hike along Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific trail. Storm season was coming to an end, but we witnessed the tail of it. Rough ocean waves crashing on the rocks, rain whipping our faces and a chilling wind. We persevered gladly and let the elements cleanse us from the built-up stress from the past few months.



In the early afternoon we headed to our next West Coast location: Tofino. Because of all I’d heard about this coastal town, I’d built up a picture of Tofino being a ‘hipster colony’ by the Pacific Ocean, full of bearded men in yellow raincoats that fill their days with looking sternly into the distance and pondering over craft beers. For once reality did not seem far off my mental image. (Luckily I learned about Tofino’s true beauty the day after.)

Our visit that day encompassed little more than eating a portion of overpriced, mediocre poutine in a waterfront pub and trying to find a legal shelter for the night which turned to be a challenge of its own. Intimidated by the countless ‘no overnight parking’ signs, we felt torn between overpriced (and practically booked out) camp grounds and even more expensive hotels. Darkness came faster than expected, urging us to opt for hidden alternative #3: a Hotwire deal in Ucluelet, which turned out to be a luxurious suite almost next to our ‘wakeup call’ sea lions.

After having been rained out and car-bound for three days, waking up under a warm blanket in a dry, quiet room felt heavenly. Knowing the weather wasn’t planning on changing any time soon, made moving back into the car slightly harder than before. I got the most out of our room, by checking out minutes before the deadline. Meanwhile Tanja had discovered the infamous sea lions. The rowdy pack was lounging on a tiny rock island the harbor, but unfortuntaly too far away to get a decent picture.

More to come 🙂