Today was a ''leisurely'' three and a half hours, compared to the usual 7 or 8 hours of travel. We drove from Cowichan (just north of Victoria) to Tofino (halfway up the island, and on the Pacific Coast). We took plenty of side trips and made several stops to look around, including Qualicum Beach, where the dogs had a great swim while we did some beachcombing, and Cathedral Grove, a roadside provincial park en route across the island to Tofino. Everything is so beautiful and lush here. I saw wild raspberries ripe on their canes when I was out for my run this morning in Cowichan.
The coast was very windy today; I don't know if this is normal or not, but the wind was gusting so hard it was picking up swirls of sand and driving them into our faces, making the temperature of 13 degrees feel a lot colder. Nevertheless, the scenery is stunning, and the briskness simply added to the powerful sense of wildness that makes this place so special.
We have a day here tomorrow to look around and get a real feel for it, but I'm in love with it already.