It was another cold and wet September morning in Vancouver, with dark nimbostratus clouds and threatening rain. My friends and I were bored to death on campus as we had three days of the weekend ahead of us and no clue how to beat our boredom.
Idly typing with my fingers on the laptop keyboard, I Googled “places to visit in BC.” Images of the golden sand beaches of Tofino and crystal-clear Pacific Ocean water where carefree surfers ride eight foot waves coaxed me over.
Three hours later, my adventurous friends and I were sailing on a small BC ferry towards Vancouver Island. We were inspired for the upcoming weekend in the beautiful surfer town of Tofino. However, when we finally arrived there, all campgrounds were fully booked.
Without a moment's hesitation, we left Tofino in search of a secluded place to camp overnight. As we got to the first junction on our way, we saw the sign with the words “Tofino/Ucluelet.” Excited for the unknown, we decided to give this scenic coastal town of Ucluelet a chance.
Relatively quickly, we found a cozy place for camping called Ucluelet Campground. In an hour, our tents were set up right in the heart of the famous Pacific Rim National Park. Surrounded by the beauty of the Ucluelet forest with its palette of the fall colours, we went to explore the area, specifically the Wild Pacific Trail.
It was not hard to reach the start of the trail, nor to follow the trail signs. The Wild Pacific Trail is very well constructed and well-marked with plenty of oceanfront benches to rest. Even though the round trip hike was only seven kilometres long — we started from the Brown’s Beach and finished doing the Ancient Cedars loop — we spent the whole day exploring the picturesque views of Mother Nature.
The frightening but fascinating power of the Pacific Ocean — with its huge crashing waves into the black lava rocks — washed away our exhaustion and gave us a real second breath after the long hiking day.
When we got back to the campground, it was already dark. Not only physically tired but also emotionally over-excited, nobody could fall asleep at night. As our attempts to overcome the sleepless night were useless, we got out of the tents to watch the clear starry sky devoid of light pollution. Lying on the warm blanket and listening to the sounds of crashing waves, each of us tried to catch a falling star and make a wish. My wish was to go back there again.
The following morning, my friend and I woke up to the crackling burning logs sound and the smell of food. It turns out that while we were sleeping, the male members of our team collected fresh sea mussels on the beach and cooked them. It was the best breakfast in my life, even though we drank hot ginger tea instead of a while chilled white whine.
After this healthy high-protein breakfast, we took down the tents and packed our backpacks. It was time to say goodbye to this small but very welcoming town of Ucluelet.
That morning, everything seemed to be different — fiery-red and golden leaves looked paler, the sky was gloomier and even the blue ocean water seemed to be darker than the day before. We did not want to leave.
As I stood on the edge of the steep cliff and looked out over the ocean, I wanted to capture every moment of this trip in my heart. I remembered then how I caught a falling star the night before and in that moment, I sincerely wanted to believe that my wish to go back there again would soon come true.