Tofino Time

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“Half the pace and twice the excitement”- runs the slogan of Tofino’s local rag
Not sure about the excitement especially as this is the off-peak – or “storm” season, but definitely half the pace – thank God

If you need a complete break from the world at a place literally at the end of the road, Tofino fits the bill

A tiny little Hamlet on Clayoquot Sound at the tip of a headland on the edge of the world, Tofino has remained virtually unchanged during the thirty year span we’ve been visiting it. Indeed it has only a permanent population of around 1800 consisting of the descendants of the core settlers of the 60’s and 70’s, the hippies and the draft dodgers, plus a handful of the itinerant native population – the Tla-o-qui-aht and the Nuu-chah-nulth tribe upon whose traditional territory Tofino has emerged

It is the adopted home of the famous Canadian artist Roy Henry Vickers, who still has an exquisite gallery in the town.
The Paddlers Inn on the inlet shore had been serving up espresso with paddling gear and books on the side for around 25 years.
Inn at Tough City still prospers and now has a sushi bar on-site.
“The Loaf” bakery where the best cakes and bread are coaxed into yumminess by an eclectic bunch of youngsters and a backtrack of equally edgy music. So laid back and “out there” is the atmosphere that one gets the impression these kids are simply marking time and making some money till the outdoor season proper begins again………..
This is after all surf-dude heaven especially during the winter.
In the summer, kayaking , canoeing salmon fishing, cycling and hiking take over with a hefty sprinkling of whale watching and float-planing.

Beachcombing the spectacular swathes of roller washed sand beaches is rewarding all year round. This stretch of the Pacific coast at the point where the limitless surf hits the beach shelf is almost permanently bathed in a band of mist; an ethereal layer of moisture hovering between the sea and the sky which when photographed filters light to produce the most hauntingly beautiful images you could imagine.

You have quite a choice of headland/beachside accommodation at any time of year with excellent rates during storm-watching season – November to May
We stayed in the spectacularly beautiful Middle Beach Lodge which we picked after researching several similarly positioned resorts.

Perched high up on one of the headlands overlooking Middle Beach just off the Pacific Rim Provincial Park, this Lodge appealed primarily because its presence was virtually imperceptible from arial photos unlike many if its more onvious beachside counterparts.
A mile of private beach, two lodges and twenty self contained cabins the lodge has been designed with the utmost respect for the pristine environment it inhabits . Designed to invite the outside in, the heavy timbered West Coast buildings of Lodge at the Headlands provide an impressive demonstration of highly original ways to recycle of old, high quality lumber. Core feature elements which include flooring, ceiling beams, tables, lamps, beds, reception desks, kitchen cabinetry all evolved from wood salvaged from old buildings in Victoria that were slated for demolition or redevelopment (notable Victoria landmarks such as the Ogden Point Ice Plant in Victoria Harbour).

One of the really quirky features is the sliding cabin bathroom doors in each unit and the Lodge main entrance doors – which were rescued from the P&O liner Rajputana

With no television in the main lounge; an enormous roaring log fire competes for attention with the incredible 3 aspect view and the huge overstuffed sofas and massive armchairs designed for slumping.

On-site dining is available – it’s regularity depending upon the season – for instance during storm season, a set 3 course meal was available 3 times a week. A sumptuous crab feast with mind blowing berry crumble for afters – with second helpings of both courses for the “gourmands” – where do you ever get offered seconds!!!
Thursday night was home- made cookie night – diet to the wind; I must have eaten my body weight in these warm gooey delights. Go great with several martinis! Couldn’t care less whether better half beat me at dominos after that….

The beds are incredible – leave your balcony door open to be lulled to sleep by the crashing pacific.

If the idea of utter tranquility (a word not normally associated with my life) is your idea of heaven, an off-peak visit ( or even a summer one) will incredibly not break the bank
Huge value for money with a hearty buffet breakfast included.
Take a peek at the website
http://www.middlebeach.com

Over and out

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