Travellers are generally the kind of people that believe life is a journey, and not a destination. They seek out experiences that are unique and full of discovery. I can certainly relate to this type of explorer, but my best travel experiences are the ones where the journey and the destination are given equal weight. And this past summer, I visited an all-inclusive wilderness lodge that strikes that balance too.
Homfray is a wonderfully rustic getaway nestled between BC's rain forest and the pristine waters of Desolation Sound. It's a magical spot, surrounded by one of the richest marine environments on earth and only accessible by boat. To transport guests to and from, Homfray works with Pacific Coastal Cruises - a charter company that offers naturalist-lead excursions through scenic routes first established by Captain George Vancouver.
My Homfray journey began in the seaside town of Lund on the lovingly restored 'Pacific Bear'. The affable crew were warm and welcoming - setting a tone that would last throughout the stay. Once aboard, delicious canapes and local wines were served; creating an ideal bonding environment for travellers from all corners of the globe. For three hours, we mixed and mingled while the crew educated us on the fascinating history and ecology of world renownded Desolation Sound. By the time our group of 10 arrived at our destination, I not only felt connected to the stunning natural environment, but to my fellow Homfray-ers as well.
Settling into lodge life was easy - a bright and spacious with an oceanfront view and a large patio for morning coffee and Orca viewing. The massive boat dock came stocked with comfy loungers, kayaks, paddle boards and even fishing rods and lures.
Next, I was heading north by zodiac to meet the grizzlies of Toba Inlet. These majestic bears have free reign of the region's salmon filled estuaries, and during high-season dozens come to feast. The Klahoose Peoples oversee the land and have built four raised platforms that minimize the human footprint and maximize viewing. We had barely settled into platform 1 before two gorgeous, 600 pound juveniles appeared around the river bend. Seeing these incredibly powerful animals up close is the definition of a bucket list experience.
But what sets Homfray apart from other lodges I have visited is the genuine warmth that radiates from the people that live and work there. The staff put in long hours cooking, cleaning, touring and entertaining, yet during my four day stay, they never turned down a round of cribbage or the opportunity to share their own stories of life on the coast. And that is exactly the type of energy I hope to continue to discover on this journey called life.