Tuesday 11 July 2017

Still in Canada! 3rd & 4th June

After a great stay on Salt Spring Island, it was back to Vancouver Island and a town called Sidney. I had the luxury of being hosted via the warm showers organization (its like couch surfing but for touring cyclists) by Bob, Shaevaun and Ziggy...the 4 legged member of the family. It was great staying with them, I arrived to a full on jam session going off with guitars, ukuleles and fiddle and I was handed an icy cold Margarita! Perfect!
It was so nice to have some home comforts like a proper towel instead of the little chamois towel I have.
I stayed 2 nights here, mainly because I wanted to visit Victoria and there is is a bike trail all the way. But then I decided to have a day off riding, and caught a bus into Victoria. I'm glad I did...it was a busy city and very bike friendly but I still don't find city riding enjoyable.

Photos above are just some random pics of Victoria and yes! I had a giant toffee apple.
Victoria is a gorgeous city and the most famous building would have to be the Legislative House. I took a guided tour around it and it has been fully restored in the past few years. A beautiful building inside and out.

One of my "must sees" in Victoria was the British Colombia Museum. I spent over 2 hours wandering around.

Then it was back to Sidney and I treated myself to a very good seafood dinner. The seafood so far on this trip has been so fresh and cheap compared to what we pay at home... its hard to resist!
Sidney has all these really cool sculptures down by the waterfront where I ate.

And that's the end of my Canadian Adventure...approx 420 kms. 

Top photo is Victoria and bottom one is my last view of Canada.
Next ferry ride will take me to the San Juan Islands and back into the USA.

Sunday 2 July 2017

Catching up. 1st, 2nd June

I am so behind in my posts. I guess that means I'm having fun or not enough WiFi!
After leaving Rathtrevor Provincial Park and my new found road confidence, I was in for a shock.
I hit the Trans Canadian Highway. I think even now, this was the scariest day of the whole trip. I was heading to Nanaimo for the night and nearly all of the 45kms I did was highway.

There were some interesting sights along the way and I stopped at a great fruit stall and bought so much fruit that it all wouldn't fit in my panniers. Probably a wise choice not buying the whole watermelon for $2!

Thankfully the last part of the bike ride was on a trail so I was able to calm the frazzelled nerves and munch on a marmite and cheese sandwich to make myself feel better. 
Got to Living Tree Campground and set up my home. The location was beautiful and the helpful camp host came over to help me secure my food bag to a tree.....had to make all my fruit bear proof! Unfortunately raccoons or trash pandas as they call them here, can climb trees. Or I was told they can but I'm wondering if that was a joke! Anyway food was all intact in the morning.

Above photo is my campsite, and the top two are the view from it. Not bad is it!

Next day I was off to catch another ferry, this time to Salt Spring Island. The highway wasn't so bad this time, maybe I had more confidence. I did get lost (again) and ended up adding 15 kms to my trip. I was wondering why the highway had no cars....well it was because I was heading to the wrong ferry terminal and no ferries were docking! And I did find out after there was a lovely coastal detour I could have taken!
Not a lot to see today, saw a lot of screws, all the same size scattered all along the shoulder of the highway I was riding on.

What a difference a ferry ride makes. I loved Salt Spring Island! The main town is called Ganges and my campground Garden Faire, was in walking distance of town. It was a really, cool quirky campground. I liked it! The site was small, but still private....and you got to shower under a tree. There was a bark wall around the shower thank goodness, but quite a few gaps in it.

There was a beautiful walk through the bush to town, and luckily for me I was there on a Saturday. They have a market day every Saturday with artisan stalls. Salt Spring Island is home to a lot of artists, musicians, even a few weavers! The town has a very arty  feel to it, and people come from all over to go to the markets.

Then after eating too much at the markets, it was time to head off to Fulford Harbour and onto another ferry to take me to Sidney. The ride to the ferry terminal reminded me a bit of our New Zealand countryside.

The ferry was so crowded with cars mainly due to the popularity of the markets I think, and people getting away from Vancouver Island for the day.
I like the fact that Birdy is always parked up front on the ferries with the motorbikes.

Here's a couple more photos of scenes I just liked from the last couple of days.