It was short but it was time to already wave our goodbyes to our mighty Green Point Campground and start going to the next. Theoretically, still in the Pacific Rim Park, but in reality, a 3-hour gravel road separated us from our destination point.
We weren't quite aware of it and it became apparent when we started crossing logging truck after logging truck, speeding through those bumpy roads. I gotta say, it felt like we were inevitably going to hit one of them as the roads were narrow and they were driving in the middle of it, but I'd say we got lucky and we made it to the end without any damage or flat tires.
Pachena Bay Campground was a location I found by chance. I was looking for something close-ish in the area, and still close to the sea. I didn't expect our tent to be only a few steps away from the beach. Located close to the town of Bamfield, this place is a little hidden gem thanks to its difficult access. The campground is ocated on first nation land, and is administered by the Huu-ay-aht First Nation. The nearby village of Anacla gives us a small idea of what it is to live in such remote locations.
The mornings and evenings were orchestrated by the sea, where we spent our time watching the sun change colours. Our main activity was relaxing, may it be at the local cafe where we can listen to some of the locals' life, or on the beach, the feet in the sand.
We even tried to venture and do some kilometres of the West Coast Trail, this famous 75km trail along the coast. I'm really hoping I can do it one day, hopefully after the Appalachian Trail, if I can ever get this out of my bucket list. The little taste we got of it already looked fun, with several ladders taking us up and down the coast.
Then came the time to say goodbye to this place too. We packed everything and settled on the road for more hours on gravel road, this time going east. It only took us 2 hours and a half to reach a concrete road, and of my, how underrated are those roads. We stopped by Lake Cowichan where we had lunch. We made it look fancy but it was a torture to wait for the rice to cook.
Before reaching Victoria, we made another halt in Goldstream Provincial Park and we were able to get onto these infamous train tracks. So... This is really an aerial train track bridge, with nothing underneath or on the side, open to the public. While I was crossing it, I couldn't stop thinking of everything I could drop, or how I would drop it, or how I would miraculously manage to myself fall in between the wooden slat. Again, when going back to the ground, I understood how underrated was a firm ground, where things couldn't fall lower than your feet.
Eventually, we made our way to Victoria and took a quick evening stroll to take it all in. Comparisons kept flowing in our heads. It looked like Portugal, the Netherlands, New Zealand or Lisbon even. It felt like such a bizarre transition to go from wild beaches to Victorian-era buildings in a few hours. It was pretty for sure, but weird to absorb and fully contemplate.
This was our last night on Vancouver Island. Time went by quickly, but damn we got lucky. We've got some of the best weather, with almost 30 degrees hit today. I know that the cold is coming for us in the mountains, where some -6°c and snow is waiting for us in Mount Robson next week. But for now, I will enjoy this last feeling of summer I got.