It started out as most days do, deep in the rainforest of Tofino, BC – overcast, dark and rainy. But this was actually perfect for our purposes. Armed with homemade vegan sandwiches (I’ll get into these later) we were off to explore Hot Springs Cove, located about 2 hours from Tofino by boat via a whale watching company.

The seas were rough that day and we bounced around in the tiny ocean vessel both there and back, but that just added to the wild and rustic charm of our adventure. Seeing grey whales breach several times within a few feet of the boat also created a sense of wonder for the natural and pristine environment we were in.

Arriving the dock, it’s a short 30 minute hike through a gorgeous rainforest on a boardwalk to get to the hot springs. They consist of thermally heated water, a gorgeous waterfall, and are topped with a stunning view of the ocean. As the tide rises, the hot pools of water are cooled by the ocean.

As the complete trip is 5-6 hours, and there are no amenities at Hot Springs Cove (think more wilderness and less 7-11′s), it’s advised that you pack a lunch. The night before I baked some pretty epic gluten-free, vegan bread and the morning of I topped some slices of it off with my “special dressing” (homemade mayo, walnuts, garlic salt, balsamic vinegar), organic greens and smoked tofu. It was the perfect hearty meal to enjoy while actually sitting on the rocks with our feet dangling into the warm water of the hot springs – miles from civilization.

The Discerning Brute contributor, Paul Jarvis is the author of Eat Awesome: A regular person’s guide to plant-based, whole foods. He believes veganism is love — and anyone who tells you otherwise can be kicked in the junk. He’s a website designer, minimalist and touring musician.