There it finally was: our big camping trip to lonely Vargas Island!
It started off Friday morning at Horseshoe Bay from where we took the ferry to Vancouver Island. After a short snack (or better schnack) break, we headed to Nanaimo located on the other side of the island. Even though it rained pretty hard when we arrived in Tofino, everyone was ready and excited for the adventure. So, we packed all our gear for the next two days on a small water taxi boat and after a 15-minute ride, we reached our destination: Vargas Island!
And there we were: 11 people with a bunch of gear standing on a beach on a lonely island, in the rain, watching the water taxi driver leave. Time to get active – building up tents, setting up a tarp and collecting firewood. Well, lighting up wet wood was not that easy. But our man of fire Euler was hungry and managed to get the fire started. Yeah, our barbecue was saved! Meanwhile, a crew of architects built up a tarp, so we had a place to stay without getting soaked. We spent the night staring at the campfire, eating our hotdogs and being proud of our constructions. But before everyone could crawl into the tents, we cleaned up our campsite. All food had to be stored in a food locker some metres away from the tents. This, to make our home as less attractive to wolves as possible. To be fair, the start of our trip has been a challenge, but our teamwork made it all work perfectly. Good job, guys!
I woke up on Saturday morning with the satisfying sound of someone smashing wood like crazy. Satisfying, because that sound meant there was a chance of dry wood, which meant an easy fire start and fire meant coffee. With a great team effort, our man of fire and some patience, we managed to get hot water for coffee and ‘tea wotah’ for our English man. Even Nutella was offered on the buffet – it was actually a glamping trip! As the weather forecast predicted, it stopped raining and we could finally see the neighbour islands. Really pretty!
The guys spent the morning in the island-gym, which included smashing wood in all kinds of creative ways. Good side effect of this workout was that we didn’t have to worry about firewood for the night anymore. After lunch, it was time to explore the island. We left our home beach, hoping we could find a hiking trail. What seemed like a trail, made us end up at a cabin that looked like a horror movie scene. We continued our way along some animal traps, under fallen trees and over stones and reached some beautiful spots. After all photo shoots were done, we returned to our basecamp. The sun was out, so we played some games at the beach and the bravest ones of us even went swimming! Later on, we could spot some sea lions passing by our coast. Burgers and potatoes were on the menu for dinner, so we enjoyed those and the beautiful view.
The evening passed by quickly with games, s’mores (yes, glamping) and loads of laughs. Suddenly, someone came back from the ‘washroom’ and noticed ‘wow, there are lots of stars out here.’ And yes, he was right! I think I have never seen a sky like this before. So we were just standing at the beach, looking up to the sky and getting excited for every shooting star that we could spot. That was just a perfect ending of the day.
On Sunday, we woke up early to get our breakfast out of the food locker and to break
down our camp. Everything was packed just before the water taxi came to pick us up again. We enjoyed the sunny ride back to Tofino, where we packed all our stuff in the cars again. Then, we headed to the beach. Our instructors were already waiting for us, ready to introduce us to the world of surfing! During a three-hour lesson, we learned how to get on the board and catch the best waves. At the end, some even managed to stand on the board like they never did anything else before. It was really fun! After this exhausting morning, we enjoyed lunch in Tofino and evaluated the weekend. Everyone’s favorite moment? Difficult to say, because there were so many good ones. Then, it was already time to head back to Nanaimo, where we took the ferry back to Vancouver.
It was a great weekend – I enjoyed this adventure with an amazing group to the fullest! A big thanks to all of you who joined and especially to our drivers Rick and Matt.
Catch up on some sleep guys and I will see you on Wednesday at Malone’s!