Whales, otters and hot springs on Vancouver Island

My feet were so hot, they felt as if they were burning. I held on to a moss-covered rock, supressing a groan, while waiting for my body to get used to the high temperature. Somewhere below me, a boy was almost completely submerged in the water and I wondered if he felt like one of the lobsters I had tried last spring in Halifax.

Lifting my foot, I tried to find a place where I could stand. Not easy, considering all the rocks that covered the bottom of the pool. Very slowly, I made my way forward. Despite the hot water, goosebumbs formed on my arms. How was it possible to be hot and cold at the same time? I changed direction and made my way to the waterfall instead. The sulphur water, coming directly out of the ground, was hottest here but as I found a rock to sit on, slowly leaning back and letting the water rinse over my back, I couldn’t supress the shiver of comfort.

I couldn’t place our location on a map but I had rarely found a place as magical as this one. Surrounded by rain forest, sitting in steaming hot water, far away from sterile pools, I was happy.

Canada - Hot springs
The upper part, where the hot water leaves the ground

When my parents and I traveled to Western Canada in 2014, we booked a day trip to the hot springs. Starting in Tofino, a magical place on Vancouver Island’s west coast, we took off in a boat. Along the way, we got to see a whale and while I would love to show you a picture of the majestic creature, I can’t. I’ve seen lots of whales on that trip (remind me to tell you about the Inside Passage later) but I have never, ever managed to get a picture of one. The moment you focus your camera, it’s gone already and that experience did not only leave me in awe of the giant creatures but also of all the photographers who have managed to get a good shot.

What I did get a picture of was an otter. They are now officially my new favourite sea creatures. Otters are smart and funny and the most relaxed animals I’ve ever seen. They are the only living beings you’ll ever find in the middle of the sea, floating on their back and amusing themselves by splashing their hand and feet in the water.

Canada - otter
Isn’t it cute?

After a while, just when I thought I was going to be sea sick (huge problem for me), we arrived. My parents and I left the boat with the instructions to be back in a couple of hours and started our trek through the rain forest. The path was in a very good condition, leading us past giant trees and ferns. After a while, we finally got to the hot springs I’ve already talked about.

I still do not know the exact name of the place. Try googling Hot Springs Cove and you might find it. And if you ever come to Tofino, this is the place where I recommend you go. Talk to one of the whale watching operators and you’ll be sure to find one that offers day trips to Hot Springs Cove. If you’re into something even more exciting, you could go there by boat and leave by plane. It’s up to you, just make sure you don’t miss it.

Canada - Hot springs 2
I love my dad but why does he have to add the date to every picture he takes?
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