In Canada, keeping an eye out for bears

In the western regions of Canada, York-based Reader’s Digest reader Marian Smales had a close experience with a furry variety. Discover everything about her thrilling trip to Canada in this fantastic getaway book.

Vancouver’s Victoria

a stroll along Burlington Avenue, King’s Road, Regent Street, Bond Street, and the mall. Clearly a trip to London? We were actually taking a brief break, both physically and figuratively, far from the capital of Britain. Living on Vancouver Island, off the western coast of Canada, is Victoria, home of my spouse John’s family. We attended his parents’ diamond wedding and his sister’s silver wedding a few years back. The family traveled by boat from Port Alberni to Bamfield, which is located on the island’s west coast, as part of the festivities.

We took the cargo boat that travels there and returns twice a week; Bamfield is a small community. When it docks, you can choose to stay a few days and catch the second boat of the week, or you can spend a few hours exploring the village and returning when the boat is ready to depart. We chose the latter, which allowed us to see and explore both of the location’s “halves.” A portion of the group stayed in a barbecue to the south of the inlet, while the others camped close. The Marine Research Centre was the center of activity on this side, aside from a few residences and a general store.

The aromas of the rainforest

It was amazing, as they say in Canada, to wake up to the sounds and smells of the temperate rainforest in the Pacific, and we realized that Japan was most likely the closest land beyond the horizon.

Strolling along the boardwalk and perhaps picking up an ice cream from the small town store are part of exploring the opposite side of the river. Here was where I saw my first wild bear, ambling along under the boardwalk part we were on, heading towards the water’s edge in an attempt to find some shellfish to eat. The people in the area recognized him, but they were afraid he was getting a bit too brash!

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