You’ve seen pictures of Vancouver Island’s Long Beach; the white peaked waves coming up out of nowhere as if from the endless, vivid blue skyline, crashing the silky, pale grey sand of the beach. Well let me tell you that these pictures have not been modified and the descriptions you hear don’t do Vancouver Island’s west coast justice. It’s something you must experience for yourself to believe.
I remember my first encounter with Long Beach was when my girlfriend and I decided to pack up my car and go camping one August long weekend. We left late in the day so as we were traveling through the centre of the island to get to the other side, it was already midnight. We had no plans, therefore, we had no place to stay for the night. We pulled up to the main parking lot that overlooked the beachfront. That’s when I saw the most glorious sight I’ve ever seen in my entire life. The moon was full and the sky clear with the odd skiff of clouds that glowed from the light of the moon and the million stars. The moon appeared to be so close, you could reach out and touch it. There were no lights around but the moon was so big and fantastically bright, we easily walked down to the beach without any problem. The tide was out so we took a walk on the cold, damp sand, watching out for any jellyfish that found themselves stranded. After being out there for about an hour, we went back to the car and slept until the morning.
We drove along the highway, towards Tofino and found a wonderful, privately owned, campsite called Bella Pacifica Campground. We approached the log cabin office and managed to attain a site for a couple of days. They have every type of site imaginable; grass, gravel, services, group, beachfront, forest. They had awesome washroom facilities and the best thing is they rarely had campfire bans. They were nestled just off of Mackenzie Beach which was a lovely little nook with calmer waves, perfect for beginner body surfer wannabees like me. Once we had our site settled, we dashed for the water which was two minutes away from the farthest campsite. Everyone was there enjoying the sun and the water; families of all types and sizes, couples, and singles such as ourselves. The beaches were also pet friendly which was great to see. Dogs were enjoying the waves too. The picture perfect blue sky was the border to many beautifully colorful kites that took advantage of the west coast wind that whirled around us constantly.
The next morning, we got up early and headed to the beach. There was a marine mist that surrounded us. Everything was grey and damp. We walked along the water’s edge and found amazing, little shells that I’ve only ever seen in a store or book before. They were all colors shapes and sizes but mostly small ones, no bigger than the palm of your hand and some as small as my pinky nail.
This long weekend was a memory of firsts for me. I slept in a car overnight, saw the most amazing and most westerly part of British Columbia, absorbed the magic of Long Beach and went camping with a good friend. I highly recommend that you put Long Beach, BC Canada on your bucket list. You’ll feel like you already died and are in heaven once you get there.
Olivia Nicholas is a writer, blogger, traveler and mom. She manages her home business of Plug In Candles and in her spare time loves to read, write and travel.