What followed was a day of pure R&R. We limed the day away going for walks and relaxing in the sunshine, pure bliss... Then the next day we hit the road to do some exploring in the area. I remembered from a long time ago when I visited the Island frequently that there are some fine parks in the area and we set out to do some nature stuff.
First up was MacMillan park, or more popularly known as Cathedral park. When H. R. MacMillan set out to log the area he came upon these enormous Western Redwood Cedar trees and decided to leave them be for future generations. Some of these giants are estimated to be about 800 years old. In a recent storm a few of them have come down and there are warning signs telling people not to enter the park on stormy days. Western Redwood Cedars grow in moist climates and therefore do not need to root deep, but this is exactly what makes them dangerous... The park was quite busy with tourists from all over the world, a lot of them travelling in rental RVs. It's quite funny to walk behind a group and hear Dutch spoken. When we had walked the park on both sides of the highway we drove on and went to visit Port Alberni.
Port Alberni was built on the lumber industry, with both lumber and pulp mills employing the locals. All of that great commerce has dwindled down and the town suffered some set backs. The downtown high street looks mostly abandoned. However the waterfront is going through a revival and looks wonderful. When we walked along the waterfront the farmers market was on and some vendors were busy flaunting their wares. The path is lined with benches, all adorned with commemorative plaques.
|Port Alberni waterfront|
There are also plans to start a passenger railway, with a steam locomotive, between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni. This will bring in some much needed business. Port Alberni is also a good town to stop in and stock up on supplies for those who continue to Ucluelet and Tofino.
We stopped in at Save on Foods and bought a couple of sandwiches to enjoy at Little Qualicum Falls park, our next stop. There are two falls at this park, the upper and the lower falls. A relatively easy loop walk takes you along both of them and with two bridges you cross the river and get great views of the roaring water. At the parking lot is a picnic area and we stopped there first to have our lunch. The weather was so nice and sunny, it sure makes for a better day when it's not raining.
Eventually we ended up back in Parsville and decided to stop in at the local Save on Foods to use their free wifi. Shelagh's cousin from Drogheda, Ireland was visiting Canada and would be in Duncan the next day. We had been in touch with Michael and his wife Derval off and on for a few days trying to coordinate a meeting. It was finally set for 14:00 the next day at the local brew pub in Duncan. The next day's itinerary had been set.
|A quick stop at the Goats on Roof market in Coombs|
In the same mall as the Save on Foods is a Pizza Hut and we had the idea of just getting a pizza for dinner. Two medium super supreme pizzas were ordered and we were soon on our way back to our campsite. After wine on the beach we reheated one of the pizzas on the barbecue. It was dry and boring but what can you do? Live and learn... The other pizza went into the cooler and I had a slice here and there, but eventually the last two slices went into the bin.