Canada West Day 23 - The Wild West Coast (almost)

Tuesday, 30 May 2023 03:29

Gone are the blue skies and bright sunshine revealing more typical weather and temperature 13ºC at Port Alice, the gateway to the wild West Coast, as it style itself. It sits on Neroutsos Inlet on the Pacific. There is a seawalk which is a pleasant way to see different aspects of the inlet and, as it  happens, to meet a few locals out for their daily exercise. I questioned one of the people I spoke too who described Port Alice as paradise, what it was like in the winter. He didn’t know as he like many others go there only in the summer and there are some pretty grand “weekenders” along the way. The highlight was a majestic bald eagle surveying its territory from a well used vantage point, according to the locals. In fact there were several riding thermals along the mountain edges round the village. I suppose another highlight was finding a really nice cafe which was open for an early lunch. My plan had been to take a loop around Victoria lake, nearby, which, by all accounts, is beautiful. The road that I planned was posted as closed to public traffic during daylight hours due to commercial traffic and from what I could see the road would have made passing tricky after the pulp mill which was being demolished. This is lumber country. I tried an alternative via the wonderfully named SE Main road, a well graded gravel forestry road. I followed the road down the lake for a bit but sitting a couple of hundred feet above the lake in dense forest meant I could not confirm the beauty of the lake. It did give me an insight into what logging means. I returned along the scenic highway BC-30 crossing the Marble River where there appear to be lupins, but I am sure I will be corrected. :-) My afternoon destination was the quaint and famous Telegraph Cove, now a  boutique resort and well worth a visit. On the way there was more evidence of the importance of the logging business. I’ll finish the photos with an encounter with a bold robin. As I walked along it swooped down at my feet and picked up a little insect, looked up at me and immediately flew off. As the camera was ready to shoot I simply pointed and voila. These trips come with little moments of melancholy after spending a little time somewhere and realising I will leave and almost certainly not return. This is one of those times after a week on Vancouver Island, appreciating the tranquility of the wilderness areas, variety of landscape and the warmth of the few people I met along the way. Tomorrow I will be on BC-19 south to Nanaimo for a ferry on Wednesday back to mainland Canada with more interesting places to visit along the way.