By doing the following, Chiara, Matteo, Andrea and I were able to spend two nights and two days in Tofino in just about $200 each:
- Rent the smallest, cheapest car possible ($19.99/day at Duncan Enterprise, plus about 21 percent added, which put it a total of $24.19/day; got a vehicle similar to a Chevy Spark)
- Make sure the driver is at least 25 years old
- Pack food (preferably cooked!)
- Refrain from eating out – buy food from the grocery stores when you can
Every morning at Damali I had gotten accustomed to walking out of the loft with a view of tall, skinny trees.
During my first week at Damali, Chiara and Matteo pitched the idea of visiting Tofino for the weekend. We were all on the same page about not spending an extravagant amount of money, so we figured we could stay at a hostel, rent a cheap car, and pack food.
Every single hostel we called in Tofino was fully booked for that weekend. We even searched for accommodations in Uclelet (30 minutes away), but encountered no luck there either. We were just about to give up and call the trip off, but then we stumbled across Dolphin Motel. It wasn’t as cheap as a hostel, but it was still reasonable.
Andrea had a day off the Friday after the harvest, so she baked some mini chocolate muffins and pasta for the car ride.
The journey to Tofino took about four hours. The drive was scenic, so full of green trees and lakes. Going on a road trip with strangers was actually an item on my bucket list, although at that point I’m not quite sure I’d consider Chiara, Matteo and Andrea strangers. Still, they were all still relatively new people to me so their company was pretty fresh.
After a few hours in, we pulled over at a turnout to have dinner.
We parked the car, pulled out the tub of pasta, sat on the ground, and dug in with our forks. We didn’t bother bringing plates: it would have been an additional load to carry and it saved us the trouble of washing dishes, when we were able to easily eat out of the same container.
One of my favorite scenes throughout the drive was at Kennedy Lake:
Upon arriving at Dolphin Motel, I burst out into laughter for a few minutes. The motel’s website provided such aesthetically pleasing photographs of the rooms, but we arrived to this:
My uncontrollable laughing must have been contagious because Chiara started cracking up as well. It wasn’t what we expected, although we really were just there to see Tofino.
Fortunately, the interior of the room looked much better than the outside of the building.
We spent the evening exploring downtown a bit (which is the tiniest downtown I’ve ever been to. The population of this community is only about 2,000).
Matteo seemed disappointed in what the area had to offer. There really wasn’t much happening at night, although we managed to find a nice little pub, Jack’s Waterfront Pub. We grabbed a few drinks there and then went back to get some rest.
The daytime in Tofino is much better. There’s so much scenery to indulge in. We spent the weekend hiking, walking around the beaches, climbing rocks, checking out a farmer’s market, and buying sandwich essentials (bread, cold cuts, and cheese).
Some Tofino photos
On the way back to Damali, we stopped by Cathedral Grove, a site of what’s left of an old Douglas fir tree ecosystem. (More info on Cathedral Grove here).