Road to Tofino: Part I - Nanaimo | 9th September 2011 | 20:10 PDT

It's early. Very early. I witnessed something this early for about 2 months, what's worse I can tell it's a ridiculous hour in which to be awake for, without even looking at my watch, but I look bite the bullet at it anyway. Urgh. 7:15, what fresh hell is this!

Morning delirium happens where, I'm floating through a foggy mind mist of activities and eventually find myself on a seaplane, flying over Vancouver's Downtown on my back to the island, that's cleverly named Vancouver Island.

Come fly with me...

20 minutes later, we land in Nanaimo, and I have a few hours to kill in this town to have a look around, before my ride up north. I know nothing about this place, not entirely sure why it exists, it feels like it's midday with this amazing sunshine, I look at my watch, it's only 8:20, ah – that'll be why.

I aim towards a road, no idea what one or why I thought that would have something of interest, it turns it has shops and many bars on it – everything's naturally empty and shut as the sane people of the world are asleep. I find a coffee shop with wifi and proceed to insert knowledge into my head.

THE most interesting thing on the highstreet

1790s Spanish found the bay, and appeared to have left. 1850s Hudson Bay Company was told of coal, they found the coal, they exported the coal, town found its purpose of existing. The coal turned out to be explosive and killed around 150 miners, so lumber overtook as main industry, and it's still the case today. Also known as hub city, as it's the most central town on the island and all roads seem to lead there.

A worker's town then, I walk up the highstreet, still nothing going on, though I notice an unusual structure in the distance and aimed towards that.

I arrive at this old looking structure which is probably best known to the world as a “church” (the 116 year old St. Andrews United Church) and marks the main focal point for Nanaimo's Old City Quarter, this is an area with a high concentration of buildings from the late 1800s to early 1900s and went under extensive rejuvenation and restoration in the 1980s.

Straight out of Miami Vice, only less drugs and more history

It was a pleasant experience window shopping around these boutique stores and art retailers until I got a call from my friend saying my ride was imminent, as I left the Old City Quarter I noticed a modern warehouse on the outskirts with a sign saying “Ye Olde Shoppe” on it or something, destroying everything I had just enjoyed as I could no longer take this place seriously any more.

I was then proceeded to be driven through disgustingly beautiful scenery of 100+ year old forests, giant snow capped mountains and mirror lakes reflecting all this nonsense. It was a never-ending constant torture to my visual sense and all that fresh air just made me want to connect a pipe from the exhaust pipe to my lungs. This whole ordeal went on for 3 hours!

I want to vomit.

We stop off at the south of Long Beach to breath in some fresh sea air and admire a over watered sandy desert, with more sodding mountains and trees in the background. I was feeling this annoyingly sense of being relaxed, that was when we decided it was time to go. We drive a few minutes north, to arrive at our final destination.

Pulling up to Mackenzie Beach, making it just in time to watch the sunset disappear behind some trees across the bay, before retreating from the cold into our amazing upper floor studio beach shack. Helloooo Tofino.

I still want to vomit.

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