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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Juan de Fuca Trail

Thanks to everyone who sent their good wishes for Neil's speedy recovery. Once he was on the antibiotics he recovered fast, and by Sunday his spotted fever was replaced by cabin fever - action was required.

So early Monday morning we took the ferry to Vancouver Island, and first thing Tuesday we set off on the Juan de Fuca Trail on Vancouver Island's southwest coast. Less famous than the neighbouring West Coast Trail, it still features beautiful old growth rainforest and short stretches along the island's stunning coast. And although it is very muddy in places, we also liked the fact that unlike its neighbour, there's no $130 trail user fee, $30 ferry crossings, or $150 fee to get to and from the trailheads!

The trail is only 47km (29 miles) long, and as we've been hiking a minimum of 20 miles a day for months, we figured that allowing 2 days to complete the trail would be more than enough. Wrong ... Although none of the ascents and descents were long, they were brutally steep and came in quick succession. Scrambling up and down tree-root ladders, climbing wooden steps, crossing creeks on slippery logs, our knees were complaining bitterly by the time we camped on Chin Beach at the end of Day 1, half way along. We fell asleep to the sound of pounding waves on the pebbly beach, and slept the sleep of the very very tired.

The next day went a little easier, and we camped at the end of the trail at Botanical Beach, before hitching back to Victoria the next day.

So we really enjoyed our hike, but we're looking forward to a lazy time in Lion's Bay before flying home next week.

Suspension bridge over Peter Wolfe Creek

Old growth forest

Trail through old growth forest

Tidal section on Bear Beach

Looking back at Bear Beach

Bear Beach

Bear Beach

Sunset at Chin Beach

Suspension bridge over Minute Creek

Sombrio Point

Easy section near Botanical Beach

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