Hello Tofino, and where is the internet here?

After a long day of driving from Comox, where my parents live, we made it through to Tofino, and to our designated campground! We were a little surprised that the camp wasn’t as upkept as we are typically accustomed to, especially for the monthly rental cost. However, it’s not terrible and I have seen far worse!

The one thing that was upsetting is that not only in our introduction letter, but in our phone calls with the owner, we were quite specific about internet access being essential. As it turns out, the grounds have internet, but that is only accessible from the cabins which are near the office, and we are quite a ways from them.

The only wifi being broadcast from within the RV park area is another Fulltime Family who had thier own internet installed. It’s the very same thing we will need to do as well. So, that means that while workcamping is still an option, we now need to spend money in order to have internet access. So, lesson learned on how to be very specific in that we require internet access IN our RV, not just somewhere on the park grounds. Which means essentially standing in the rain, or in the tiny laundry room here.

SO, because of this, our first post from Tofino is coming several days after we have arrived.

We haven’t had a chance to get into Tofino itself yet between work, and the weather. It has rained everyday except the day we arrived. That’s the coast for you! I did do a quick walk into town to locate a couple things one evening, and I found that up here, there is very little wifi, even though there is fibre optic. I found one spot for TELUS wifi, one of our major telecommunications providers. My suggestion is to make sure that if you need wifi and are venturing to Tofino, get yourself some sort of mobile internet plan, or if coming for a monthly stay, find out before you come which site you’ll be staying in, and call ahead to get it set up.

Currently, there are only two internet providers here. Mascon and Tofino Tech. Mascon was recently purchased by TELUS, and all new accounts must be made through TELUS. Make sure to be very specific if going this route to tell the agent you are talking to that Tofino is handled by a specific team within TELUS, and most likely, not them. Otherwise, you may end up being told that you can’t get internet, even though you can.

Mascon is the only actually direct connected (fibre optic) internet you can get out here. Tofino Tech handles satellite connections. TV is through Shaw Direct, and Internet is through Xplornet. Call them up, and they can set you up. Of course, a satellite internet connection is going to be VERY slow, and I’m not sure what the connection will be like with the weather here and then there is the bandwidth. I’m not sure what Xplornet is like here, but in Alberta, they had a plan that gave you 2-3mbps speed, and 5GB bandwidth per month with insane overage charges, and that was nearly $100/mth. It was literally for checking your email, nothing more.

My recommendation regarding interent is to be very specific when inquiring about the internet with your campground. Make sure that it actually reaches the area you will be in, and see if it is complimentary, or pay per day. The RV park we are in costs $4.00 per day to use, and has a limit of a couple devices. Of course, you also need to stand outside in the elements near a cabin.

If your stay is short, and you’d rather not have to deal with buying internet at such inflated prices, look into some sort of mobile interent through your mobile provider. The three major providers (TELUS, Bell, and Rogers) all provide a mobile internet service.

There is a small corner store that sells some food stuff nearby, but it is insanely expensive. Expensive as in, $7.99 for a pack of bacon expensive. The Tofino Brewing Company is also a short walk away, and has some amazing brews, and then there is a gas station just a block further that while still expensive, has more to offer, and is cheaper than the corner store. Our major shop will be in town at the CO-OP, or a drive to Ucluelet (Called “Ukee” by the locals), or absolute worst case, a drive through the mountains back to the nearest city, Port Alberni. At least there’s a Walmart there!

The drive to Tofino was uneventful, but interesting, and most certainly beautiful! Leaving Port Alberni, there is a very long stretch of road through the mountains called Sutton Pass. The speed limit there is low, and for good reason. If you are ever driving through, make sure to pay close attention as the road is winding, and narrow. Large trucks have little choice coming around the corners than to cross the center line, so be very careful! We only encountered that a couple times, but it’s hair raising to see.

The beaches are amazing and beautiful with the waves constantly crashing in. Even on a nice day (or in our case, a reprieve in the rain!), the kids love chasing and being chased by the waves! There is no such thing as staying dry to a water child like Miya! Of course, I completely forgot to get pictures of the kids chasing the waves… Next time.

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