This is a journal of our retirement move and life in Ucluelet on Vancouver Island's ruggedly beautiful west coast. The town's motto is "Enjoy life on the edge".

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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The Next Step...

Well, we're back from our scouting trip, and we have indeed been successful in securing a place to live for the next year.

Our trip across the island was quite beautiful, all in lovely sunshine, and with a minimum of RVs on the road. We got into Ucluelet about 11AM and then did a drive-by of the places on our list that we had from our own research and those of our local real estate agent, Carmen. Some of the places we were able to cross off right away as they either failed to meet our needs, or were in locations that didn't work with what we have planned.

Later in the day, when we finally met up with Carmen, she led us to a beautiful chalet-styled home in a secluded, wooded lot. The house is amazing, with high, vaulted ceilings and wood everywhere. It's actually a three-bedroom, whereas we were originally looking for just a two-bedroom, but we will set up the second room as a movie room.

While we were there, awaiting to see is our lease offer would be accepted, we got out and tramped the Wild Pacific Trail (which will be just a few minutes walk from our new location), as well as exploring some more beaches. Here's some pictures:

On our last night there, we heard back that the landlord had accepted our offer and that we could meet Carmen in the morning to sign the lease and associated other documents.

Papers signed, we headed back to Langley to continue the downsizing, chucking and packing of our household to get ready for the big moving day in October.

More to come...

Monday, 9 September 2013

We're off and running...

Lane 28, Tsawwassen ferry terminal
Today we left for Vancouver Island to begin the adventure. We're on the way to Ucluelet to secure an apartment (or house) for the next year.

The day is beautiful, and will be all week, a nice change from our last visit to the outer coast, when it rained almost all three days we were there. Not that we're not used to the rain, and we know full well what to expect there during the year.

One of the first lessons we learned on moving from Toronto to Seattle was to invest in good Goretex outer clothes. Besides, one of the main reasons we want to retire on the outer coast is for the winter storms and most of all, the WAVES!

iPhone Hipstamatic photos
The ferry crossing is uneventful, other than the usual suspects that faithfully set their car alarms so that no one will steal their vehicles while the ferry is in transit. The larger ferry that we're on is blissfully quiet and it is an easy two hours in which we can read on our iPads.

As we sit in our cars, preparing to disembark, an announcement tells us that the road south that we intend to take to overnight at my sisters', is closed due to an accident. There is, however, a detour.

When we finally do get onto the road, it turns out to be a non-event, presumably cleaned up before we got there.

NEX7 photo PP in the Moku Hanga app.
Tonight we'll catch up with my sister and brother-in-law, whom we visit only a few times a year living in Langley. Now, we'll be less than three hours drive from each other, and we hope to be able to visit much more often. Mandy and David share our love of the ocean and especially the outer west coast, so we will eagerly expect as frequent guests once we get settled.

More later...

Friday, 6 September 2013

The Day Arrives

Well, the day is finally here! We are now starting in earnest to actively look for a place in Ucluelet, on the outer coast of Vancouver Island. For those of you who have not heard of Ucluelet, how about "Tofino" or "Long Beach"? (These are the nearby, and more famous tourist destinations.)

Google Maps shows Ucluelet
 Ucluelet, pronounced U-clue-let, is the slightly less glamorous, working village on the south end of the peninsula. This part of the west coast has always been our favorite for the coast trails, the beaches, and, of course, the waves! Our dream has always been to settle somewhere on the coast, near enough to walk to the water and within easy drive (10-30 minutes) of various beaches and parks etc.

A closer view

Here's a couple more images from our visit earlier this year.

Well, early next week, we're off to Ucluelet, with an overnight at my sister and her husband in Ladysmith, then on to the coast for two nights. We'll be looking at several apartments, the goal being to secure a place for a year. This gives us a chance to live in the community for a complete year at minimum to be sure it's all we hope it to be.

Anyway, more to follow!

[All photos by Simon Hughes with Sony NEX 7 cameras and lenses. I also love to shoot with my iPhone, so you may see some images from that here too.]