I have a rule with myself where I can’t hate anything until I try it. Actually that’s not true at all. I pretty much hate everything off the bat and then realize that I really like to do whatever it is I was hating on after trying it. And I’m always up for trying things at least once.
My wonderful husband found a Groupon for a weekend’s stay in a cabin at a seaside town up island called Ucluelet (or Ukee as the locals call it). Ukee’s neighboring town is called Tofino and it’s known for being a quaint little surf town. I couldn’t wrap my head around Canada having it’s own surfing location. Especially in February. How many waves could there really be? And wouldn’t the water be frozen? It’s already too cold to go into even in the summer months, so I figured there was no way people could go in during the winter. I was wrong.
Not only did we have a Groupon for our accommodation, we also had Groupons (given to us by my friend who wasn’t going to use them) for surf lessons.
Ukee and Tofino were dead during this time of the year. Most of the shops and restaurants were closed and there were only locals and die-hard surfers cruising about. The population during the winter in these towns is usually around 2,000 and increases to 10,000 during the summer. Crazy huh? This is the reason why I keep referring to Ucluelet as Ukee–I’m basically a local. Also, there was a surprising amount of Australians there. I don’t know why they would be in Tofino during the winter, while it’s summer in Australia, but whatevs.
Our little cabin that we stayed in was adorbs. It was one room with a loft at the top. There was a mini kitchen, a breakfast nook, and even WiFi! It was called Surf’s Inn. We stayed in what they called a Rainforest Cottage. I bet you didn’t know that Ucluelet and Tofino are home to some of the biggest rainforests. Don’t get excited–not tropical rainforests. Temperate rainforests. I didn’t know they existed either. Kind of like how I didn’t know Tofino or Ucluelet existed.
I was really dreading the day that we had reservations to go surfing. I knew I would freeze in the water and that my body would hurt from all the exercise. But I was wrong. Well, my body definitely hurt from all the exercise, but I didn’t freeze. The water was 45 degrees Fahrenheit and I was swimming in it like it was no big deal. I never realized the beauty of wetsuits until the day that I went surfing in the Pacific Ocean in February.
When we met our surf instructor at Tofino Surf School, I couldn’t stop smiling when I listened to him talk. He sounded like Crush from Finding Nemo. It was amazing. He used words like, “noggin”, “sweet”, “killer”, and “rad”. It was too good. Like, that alone was worth the money. Not that we paid for anything since we had Groupons, but still. He was a gem.
I don’t think I was built for surfing. First of all, I have no upper body strength. Just carrying my board to the beach made my arms ache. So the fact that I tried to push myself up into a standing position on my board and failed miserably, was no surprise to me. I was able to catch waves, just not stand up on them. I gave it a good two hours until I called it quits. My body just wouldn’t cooperate after a while so there was no use. But it was still amazing to try and really fun.
After surfing we had some delicious grub at a restaurant called Shelter. I had a shrimp and bacon sandwich with yam fries. It was just what my body needed. Then I slept like a log for 2 hours.