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Vancouver Island 2010

 next planned trip:

Next week, on the 23rd August we fly to Vancouver (Canada) bringing our own bikes…We plan to bike along the Trans Canada Trail from Vancouver to Mission where my aunt is living. We are invited for the wedding of her granddaughter Amy, on the 28th. After the wedding we plan to head back to Vancouver and take the ferry to Vancouver Island. On the Island we have one Couch Surfing Host that is expecting us, near Nanaimo…

 

We are getting very exited about this adventure, wondering how it is all going to turn out, and a little bit anxious about possible bear encounters… I admit!!! 

 

packing our bikes

some LIFE REPORTS:

 
So here we are for the first time in the library of Mission.
The flight went ok, with only half of an hour of delay at arrival in Vancouver, due tu traffic jam at London Heathrow. The family awaited us there: Ed an Dawn and my aunt picked up my mother, and we were driven to our B&B , 10 minutes away from the airport, by Amy and Bryan who brought his big pick up to carry our  bicycles. The bikes thankfully arrived well, although the boxes were rather damaged after the journey.
We were tired after that long journey, so at 21 hours we were already in our beds. In the morning Frieda served us breakfast outside at the patio …the weather was excellent. At about 11.30 the bikes were assembled and loaded to start. First plan was to get Canadian dollars, something to eat and a gas can for our camping stove. We find a little shop and as by wonder there is a bank automate too. The people tell us where to find a Canadian Tire shop where we should find what we are looking for.
Once outside the shop  we have to figure out how to get on track…not that easy I must say… but we start and find our way after some time.
We ride to Westminster,than to Burnaby and then we head to Coquitlam. We don’t manage to find calm routes but are mostly on very busy roads. But as we can see on our maps, we should be able to get the TCT just around Coquitlam.
 
It is about 17 hours when we arrive in Coquitlam,and we don’t find it a good idea to start the TCT at this hour. So we decide it is time to look for some accommodation.We haven’t seen any campgrounds all day long… I go ask in a gas station, and the man tells me there are no campgrounds around but there is a hotel in the town centre: Poco Inn.I go back to the other side of the street where Chris is standing with our bikes, and while we are discussing what to do next, a couple passes by with a little dog. They ask what we are looking for. I say: A place to sleep tonight. Then some lucky star must have struck us…I heard the lady say: You should come with us, we got plenty of room, and you are welcome. After hearing it a second time we realised they meant it, and we gladly accepted it. We got a nice conversation right away with Iona and Art, and arrived at their home…an expecsive hotel couldn’t have been any better. We received a fresh drink, or two, were shown our beautiful room with bathroom, and Iona prepared us an excellent supper. Are we lucky people!!!   

After a very pleasant evening getting to know each other better, we had a very good night sleep. In the morning we saw Iona already working on the computer to print out some good bike roads for us… she served us a magnificent breakfast too. We felt like king and queen with this people, incredible !!!   

At 09 we hit the rod again, and today we had a beautiful part of the TCT between Coquitlam and Langley. There we had to follow the Lougheed highway again, because the ferry to Fort Langley isn’t there anymore. When we are at almost 20 km from Mission, a police car is standing across the road and blocks all traffic… as we arrive near to the police car we ask a motorcyclist what is going on? There seems to be a car on fire a bit further away… Luckily   

oops my time is running out at the library, so bye for now !!!              

 1 september 2010   

Since we last were in the library in Mission, we continued meeting nice people: first of all the family of Amy and Bryan on their wedding. It was a very nice outdoor wedding,very emotional. We stayed at my aunt’s place till monday morning. At 10.30 we were all ready and packed to hit the road again. Beautiful weather once again. After a very hard day of climbing at not so bicycle friendly TCTrails, we arrived in Burnaby near to Vancouver city. At a traffic light a man ask us were we were going and were we were coming from…I asked if he didn’t knew a campground nearby or a B&B …and once again we have luck: the man invited us at his place. After calling his wife to check if it was ok, he showed us were we could find restaurants and how to get to his house from there. At 20.30 we were expected.We could pitch up our tent in their backyard,use the bathroom and have a drink. Very nice people indeed: Rachel was a housewife and Luis a professor at the Simon Fraser University. Just when we went into our tent to sleep, it started to rain. In the morning it was still raining, and we could not see the beautiful mountainview of last night. We started biking in the rain and it was raining all day. finally we got all wet and cold when we arrived at Stanley Park. We had a good ride to do to get to the ferry of Horseshoebay. We missed the ferry of 15.10 and had to take the one of 17.20. It was 19 hours when we arrived at Vancouver Island. Now we had to find the house of Peter Koughan, our couchsurfhost. It was a hectic ride: getting dark on the highway, tuning at one point to a smaller road, were it was even darker…and Chris missed the curb and fell into the side of the road…he didn’t hurt himself at least. We continued on an even darker road but at least now we knew we were on the right road. Finally we found the driveway of Peter’s house but had to call him to guide us to his house, we were completely lost in that dark wood…Peter served us a delicious meal with salmon, even got us home made wine and a fine dessert. We slept like roses. We had to be up early in the morning to join a group of cyclist for making a tour.Just a bunch of old people Peter said…well I guess old people in Canada are in pretty good shape compared to retired groups in Belgium…we had to peddle like mad to follow them. At one place we separated from the group and Peter guided us to see Cathedral Groove where we saw magnificent trees of 300 and even 800 years old. He also showed us the local lake monster at Cameron Lake: a green plastic one, but it seems there is something their like in Lochness…although Peter told us, it’s all for the tourists. We did a 92 km ride today and Peter is cooking us dinner again, we are such lucky people. There is definitely a lot of hospitality in BC.   

So that’s it for today. Bye bye. 

  

14th september 2010  BACK HOME 🙂   

yes here we are again in Belgium… and yes Patrick, we have loads of pictures and lots of stories to tell!!!   

I will be working on the processing of the whole adventure souvenirs in the coming days and weeks, so…  

 

first of all an accommodation overview:   

 

23 august  

 B&B  http://www.friedasbb.com/  (Richmond)                                                    

24 august  

spontaneous hosts Art & Iona( Coquitlam )                                  

25 august       

 my aunt’s  house ( Mission )                                                          

26 august        

my aunt’s  house                                                                  

27 august        

my aunt’s  house                                                             

28 august       

my aunt’s house                                                                                                           

29 august        

my aunt’s  house                                                                                          

30 august  

spontaneous hosts Luis and Rachel (Burnaby)                        

31 august  

couchsurf host Peter Koughan (Nanoose)                                    

01 sept.   

couchsurf host Peter                                                              

02 sept.   

couchsurf host Peter 

03 sept.  

 http://ladysmith.travel.bc.ca/listings/holiday-house-motel/20169/   

04 sept.  

 http://www.camping.bc.ca/Beehive_RV_Park__Campground_1531MID.aspx   

05 sept.

http://www.glenlakeinn.ca/   

06 sept.   

 http://www.glenlakeinn.ca/                                                                                                                                          

07 sept.   

http://www.moonlitcove.ca/   (Sooke)                                                              

08 sept.  

http://www.western66motorinn.com/    ( Saanichton)                          

09 sept.    

http://www.camping.bc.ca/member_allinfo.aspx?memberID=1465   

10 sept.    

B&B  http://www.friedasbb.com/  (Richmond)                                                                    

11 sept.      

B&B  http://www.friedasbb.com/  (Richmond)                                                                                                                                                   

12 and 13 sept.          

flight home  😉  

 

Diary of the journey:

Monday, 23d august 2010

At 08.00 in the morning sharp, the taxi that would bring us to the airport, stopped at our door. The taxi had a trailer to load the two large boxes with our bikes: the just fitted in it :-p At 09.00 we were in Menen to pick up my mother who was coming too, to visit her sister in Canada. We arrived in Zaventem at the airport at 10.00. Time enough to check in our luggage and our bikes, everything without any problems 🙂     

The flight to London Heathrow has a little delay due to some traffic problems at Heathrow, but as we have several hours to wait for the connecting flight to Vancouver, we have the time to eat something and to stretch our legs before the nine hours flight …     

The transcontinental flight to Vancouver is okay, even with my mom who is 80 years old…she has some trouble getting up to go to the bathroom, but there are enough people ready to help. Chris and I see an interesting documentary about…cycling in England, in Devon.   

We arrive in Canada with only half an houre of delay, not bad. The family is there to collect us: Ed and Dawn and my aunt Eliane for my mom and Bryan and Amy for us.  Bryan’s big truck is just what we need to put our boxes in and bring us to the B§B in Richmond at about 10 minutes from the airport.   

Our hosts were expecting us: we get a cold drink an a piece of cake and at 21.00 we are so happy to finally find a bed to sleep in…   

Tomorrow the adventure starts for real!!!   

    

my mom at the airport

our B&B in Richmond

 

 

     

 Tuesday, 24th august 2010 : 40 km

I wake up at 07.00 in the morning, Chris is still asleep…Our clock is set for 08.00 to have breakfast, so I take the time to take notice in my little book about our journey till now.   

It is very sunny in the garden where, Chris reassembles our bikes…so he gets already sweaty before the first km !!! The boxes are a bit damaged but well, the bikes are okay that’s the most important for now!!!  At 11.30 we are ready, leaving the bike boxes and some other luggage behind in Frieda’s shed.  

First goal: a nearby Canadian Tire shop to find us a little gas tank for our camping stove, which we couldn’t bring on the plain. Along the way we stop at a little Chinese shop (Richmond is 50 % chinese at least !!!) to buy us something to eat… and we are lucky because the shop even has a little ATM automate so we can get our first CADollars too.  

The plan sort of was to get as quickly as possible on the TCT (trans canada trail) , so without any detailed map of Richmond, it was a bit confusing to find our way starting from the commercial centre we arrived in. The first km’s are stressing because we don’t really know where we can bike or where to go…but at last we arrive out of Richmond and it’s a relieve to get on a calmer road along the Fraser River. We even find a beautiful resting area with picnic table ans a man who comes to put new garbage bags, welcomes us in Canada after he heard our story. People are not used to see fully loaded bicycles as ours, and ask currently questions. Pretty soon we have the first view of  Mount Baker in the background of the scenery. Than again we hit some hectic roads towards Westminster and Burnaby , but all our hope is set on the believe that once we got to Coquitlam, we would be able to get on the TCT.  

At about 17.00 we arrive in Coquitlam, and we are thinking to find ourselves a place to sleep around here, before getting into the forest…not a good idea in bear country maybe!? I go ask at a gas station, but the man at the desk knows of any campground nearby, he was talking about a hotel though, the Poco Inn or something… While I’m telling this to Chris who was waiting outside with the bikes, a couple – walking their little dog- asks us what we are looking for. We tell again that we are looking for a place to sleep: campground, B&B…anything… The lady spontaneously says: “Well we have plenty of room, if you like you can come with us!”… It sounds unbelievable, but since her husband even agrees, and they repeat their gentle invitation, we gladly accept!!! it takes a little walk to get to their house, and we are already getting to know each other : the lady’s name is Iona and her husband’s name is Art.  We are shown a splendid room with a great bathroom next to it. We also meet briefly their daughter Elisabeth. Iona tells us she is going to prepare dinner and Art let us taste his home made wine. After a refreshing shower we can sit at the garden table to have a wonderful dinner accompanied with a very nice conversation. After dinner we exchange email addresses , Art and Iona look with genuine interest to my picture stories on my weblog and we see some marvelous pictures about their recent canoe trip to Yuka, impressive !!!  

There is absolutely no B§B who could possibly tip to that kind of hospitality !!! Thanks again Art and Iona 🙂 

 

reassembling our bikes

buying a gas tank for the camping stove

along the Fraser

look for Mount Baker 😉

tasting home made wine with Art and Iona

well I guess the wine is approved to be good 😉

Wednesday, 25th august 2010: 56 km

When we got up Iona was busy printing maps for us  🙂     Yesterday, Art proposed to bike a little bit with us till the bridge where we can get to the TCT, but…we either sleaped too long or were to early, anyway Art had to leave and couldn’t accompanie us.  After again an unexpected delicious breakfast, we left Art and Iona’s house at about 09.00 I think. After a nice climb we arrived at the Poco trail as suggested by Iona. We finally reached the bridge where we found the TCT. It was like heaven, such a nice nature place…nice weather, easy to follow because of the good marking of the trail. Around noon, we are in Maple Ridge and have ourselves a “wild salmon wrap” . We continue along the TCT towards Langley, planning to maybe visit Fort Langley.  Change of plans again, because the ferry to Langley isn’t anymore…and the new bridge is downstream, so not our direction…Well we will have to take the Lougheed Highway to Mission !!! When about 20 km away from Mission, traffic seems to stop… we continue to the beginning of the jam and there is a police car across the highway blocking all traffic!?? We ask  a motorcyclist near us what is going on : there is a car on fire it seems, but we just have to wait till traffic is allowed back on the highway. So we sit in the grass a enjoy some cookies and are thinking ” woaw it’s hot today!!”  After a while we can ride again and we see several fire engines and lots of water … We have enough of that busy road again and a quick look on the map shows us a shortcut to my aunt’s house: we take Silverdale Avenue… a severe climb yes, but we arrive at destination at about 16.00. Marcel, my aunt’s oldest son, which I see for the first time, opens the door for us. My mom and aunt are glad we made it and we meet Sandy too, Marcel’s wife.

leaving Art and Iona's house the Poco Trail

along the TCT near Coquitlam

B E A U T I F U L !!!!

police car stopping traffic...

fire engines on the road

Thursday 26th august 2010: 26 km

 

HATZIC LAKE

Today we explored the surroundings of Mission: first we went to the library to get on the internet and post some news on my blog. I knew already my way , since I did that 2 years ago too, but for Chris this was new.

We did a bit of shopping downtown and had something to eat at a Greek restaurant. Than we headed to the visitors centre hoping to find some bike maps of the region… which was not possible…there are not such maps …pppfff !!!!

Next stop was a little museum of native Indians: http://www.xaytem.ca/ .  What we like the most here is the “pit house”.

We continue cycling towards Hatzic Lake  and according to the map we should be on a road with left and right water…but there are so much trees we don’t see any water… but it’s a nice ride anyway.

We find our way back to my aunt’s house along the Dudney Trunk Road

In the evening we have diner together with my aunt and mom and Marcel and Sandy at Stasia’s , downtown Mission.

in front of the visitors centre in Mission

visiting a native indians site near Hatzic

entering a "pit house"

inside the pit house

Hatzic Lake

 Friday 27th august 2010: 30km

The pre wedding stress is dominating today: there is the wedding rehersal and afterwards there is a BBQ for family and friends…My mom and aunt have an appointment with the hairdresser. We get free till 16.00, so we plan a little bike trip, although the weather doesn’t seem very promissing today. We start with a visit to the bank in Mission, than buy ourselves something to picknick and head to Mission Bridge. I remember from two years ago, the crossing of the bridge isn’t that easy by bicycle, but once on the other side we can cycle along the Fraser River in both directions on a nice trail. What I didn’t expect: just at the bridge , the cycle path is closed…which leaves us  three choices…1. we turn back, but have to drive against traffic 2. we descend the bridge on the steep grass and hope to find  a better route once down, or 3. we just cross the bridge on the car lane. After some thinking , we decide to cross the bridge… a bit stressy, but its worth it. We cycle the trail I once did on foot together with my parents and my daughter Marijke, and then we continue to the point where I found the first TCT sign two years ago. We even find our way farther , because now there is no constructionwork going on here like back then.  It’s a nice part of the TCT but a bit scary to me, because I’m a little bit “bear-aware” again at those remote spots. On our way back to Mission we are surprised by a hefty downpour: we find shelter under our ground cloth, and have some fun. We enjoy a nice cup of coffee at Tim Horton’s  and then quickly join the rest of the family to go to the BBQ. The wedding place is a long drive but it’s a very nice spot, and we find lots of people working hard to get the room ready for the big day…they all did a great job.

TCT near Mission

TCT

TCT

shelter for the rain 😉

shelter for the rain

preparing the wedding room for the big day

massage chain 🙂

aunty Eliane and my mom at the BBQ

 

 Saturday 28th August 2010: WEDDINGDAY !!!

Amy and her bridesmaids are preparing themselves at my aunts house…so, as we can feel the pressure of the big day starting in the morning, everybody is ready and dressed at 12.00, although we are only expected to leave the house at 14.45. To add a bit of nervousness, it starts to rain while driving into the mountains where the ceremony is planned…outside. But it’s only a short delay and a bit of extra work, drying the chairs. Ed, the father of the bride, a tree of a guy, snivels like a little child,when he brings his daughter to the flowers bow. Even the minister who marries the couple shows emotion… no wonder, she’s Bryans aunt 🙂  Than the wedding diner starts and Bryans uncle speeches . There is a lot of joyful dancing too. At 22.00 we head back home with aunty and mom.

Amy and her emotional dad 🙂

so emotional moment for everyone, but specialy to Bryan and Amy !!

yes... we are all dressed up too

family picture

and the two "oldies" are there too 😉

kiss, kiss, kiss....

and dance, dance, dance....

 Sunday 29th August 2010

If you are thinking the festivities for the wedding are over!?…wrong !!! …today it’s the “wedding party” which means that the close family and friends are once more invited to aunty’s house to see Bryan and Amy open there presents. Lots of people and lots of presents. Lots of ” ohhh’s ” and ” ahhh’s ” and ” thank you so much “… 😀

We gave the newly weds a special present: some real Bruges Lace handmade by a friend of Chris’ sister. It got a very special place in Amy and Bryan’s bedroom, so I heard.  🙂

We are planning to get on the road with our bikes, direction Vancouver Island in the  morning.

 

Monday 29th August 2010: 72 km

leaving Mission

At about 10.00 in the morning we are ready and packed again . 
We plan to take the highway to Coquitlam and take the TCT again at the bridge, but now  on the other side, taking us towards Port Moody. Because now we plan to go to Horseshoebay to take the ferry to the Island.
 
After 30km of hectic traffic , it is a releave to see the bridge !!! but well we cheered to fast: there are some constructionworks busy on the TCT , and we have to try to find a connection somewhere farther. We manage to find it and finaly get some nice scenery parts in the woods leading us to Port Moody, which we reach around 16.00. According to our map, there should be a campsite near Burnaby. The TCT is getting narrower and narrower , especialy around the Fraser University…and Burnaby Mountain is a real killer !!! We have to push our bikes up the mountain, almost impossible with our bagage and the bad gravel roads. A man feels pittyful and offers to push my bike. Seeing his face once he had my bike in his hands was a real treat: I saw him thinking 
 ” how the hell is she doing it…this is HARD “
Once down Burnaby Hill we hit traffic again, and a man on a bike starts a conversation . When I ask if he maybe knows of a campsite nearby or a B&B , he says : ” if it wasn’t for my son, you could come and stay at my place ” Than he sees we have our tent and he suggests to camp in his garden. Again a tempting proposal, that we gladly accept. He calls his wife first to check if there are no problems. She agrees to host us, and Luis shows us were we can find some restaurants, and how to get to his house afterwards. Once again we are lucky people !!!  … Arriving at Luis’ house we just have time to pitch up our tent before dark. We are invited in to have a drink and nice talk. We also can use the bathroom. Luis gives us lots of information about cycle routes on Vancouver Island, in fact they did some part of it themselves and loved it. We also get some used , but still usefull maps.  Tomorow we should be able to get to Peter Koughan’s house (CS host) on the Island, so I send him a mail telling we would be arriving .
 

just outside Mission

hectic traffic situation

bad luck...constructionwork on the TCT

PoCo River

my " bear awarness " is getting weaker and weaker after this: young mom's with baby's are walking in the park...this can't be that dangereous !!!

Port Moody

Port Moody

our bikes in Luis' garage

Luis' garden with a magnificent vieuw, only at night it was to dark , and in the morning...there were to much clouds, as you can see

Luis a real bike lover !!!

Tuesday,31 August 2010: 76 km.

 It started raining when we got in our tent last night, and it rained all night !!! We  really had to force ourselves to get out, but at least Luis and Rachel offered us a warm coffee and a nice talk to get us going. To get to Horseshoebay we  pass through Stanleypark, which would be a very nice ride in good weather, but since the pouring rain we decided to just do half of the tour around Stanleypark and quickly get to the ferry to the promised land “Vancouver Island”. When we arrive at the totem poles we decide to ring our CS host Peter to tell him we will take the 15.00 o’clock ferry, so he would have a fair idea when we would be arriving. According to Peter it’s an hour and a half cycling from the terminal in Nanaimo to his place. And he told about making salmon for diner, which was very motivating to us at that moment. I was in Stanleypark before, but not on the cycle path right next to the ocean, quit beautiful actually, but no time to stop because of the continuing rain…we ride and ride, and suddenly realise  that we are back at the totempoles…we somewhere missed a sign, and did the whole tour instead of half  the tour !!! Well now we take the main road that Luis told us about that goes right through  the park. From there to the ferry takes us some more time than planned and …we miss the ferry !! There is only another one two hours later. I send a text message to our host telling we would be a bit later. (unfortunately since it was a home number and not a mobile number, Peter never got this message we learned later on !!!) Arriving in Nanaimo, the weather  seems a bit drier but it’s already getting late… We first have to get the right highway leading us to Peters house. It’s quit a long way, and already getting dark which makes cycling along the highway even more stressful. When we finally find the smaller road where we need to leave the highway, Chris is looking back to see if I’m following and somehow did a bad move an falls into the ditch…  I was afraid he made a bad fall , because he didn’t move…but it was only because he ended up between hundreds of blackberries spines !!! Once again it didn’t took long before a truck stopped and the driver asked if we needed help: Canadians are very nice people !!! The front light of Chris’ bike didn’ work anymore so I had to lead now, and it was getting darker and darker on a road with less and less streetlights!!! Strange but at that moment I wasn’t worrying at all about bears…we were too focused to getting at our destination !!! We had to find Terrienroad on our right, so at every crossing I had to lift up my bike at the sign to read it !!! At a certain point we did worry about weather we were still on track or not: so we have a look on the gps on our mobile phone. For the second time there was a truck stopping next to us and the driver asked if we needed help. The gps just affirmed us that we were right, and the man confirmed it too. One km to go, to find Peter’s driveway. Suddenly we felled the road go over in gravel and saw an earth way on our right…this must be it !!! It was so dark and there were several entrances  of properties marked “no trespassing, private property”. ..I decided to call Peter once more. Peter was already in his pyjama’s he said, but would be coming out with a flashlight. Man was I glad to see him!!!! Peter still offers us his home made salmon diner with dessert and tea and a good welcome chat … CS can be amazing !!! Around 00.00 we are shown to our room and own bathroom and soon fall asleep after a rather adventurous day.

 

 
 

steamclock Vancouver on the wettest august day since 5 years as Luis told us afterwards

 
 

totem poles in Stanleypark

 
  

 Wednesday 1st September 2010 : 92 km

In the morning we meet Peter’s lovely friend Madelein.

Although we were hoping for a calm cycling day we couldn’t refuse to join our host Peter on his weekly ride with a group of retired people who like to ride the bike. So we had to be at a gathering point somewhere 10 km away near a mall…those first 10 km were enough to know that Peter’s condition was excellent.  We meet his friends, one or two of them even speak some dutch with us, a lady born in Holland and a man born in Gent, Belgium riding a Eddy Merckx bike. We have to pedal like hell to follow those retired people…not at all a ride with retired in Belgium I must say !!! After some 20 to 30 km we split from the group , because Peter wants to show us some beautiful places around: first we ride along a lake where we stop near the local “lochness monster” … a plastic one . Than we head towards Cathedral Grove to admire the 800 year old trees. On our way back we stop to have a snack in Cooms at a place called ” Goats on the roof “ … and yes there were actually goats on the roof   🙂       Once we got outside , Peter’s tire was flat. He repaired it in a short time,  but only a few km’s later the tire is flat again. After  that second repair the tire seems to hold, but nevertheless Peter decides to enter a bike shop: the damage is bad , so Peter calles Madelein to pick him up, and we continue on our own till his house again. I buy some canada bike socks as a useful souvenir in the shop and Chris buys some other useful bike stuff such as a new pair of pads.  Madelein and Peter prepared us once again a very nice dinner with cake afterwards. I also got the chance to work on my blog on their computer, and to wash some cloths.

The magnificent view on the bay from the deck makes us forget time and when we get back inside, Madelein and Peter where already in their room, which gave me the time to write my journal.

tomorrow we really will take a day rest.

 

gathering with Peter’s friends

 

 

off we go....

Chris and Peter

us with the local lake monster 🙂

treehugging in Cathedral Grove

Peter and Chris at "Goats on the roof"

second flat tire...

view on the bay from Peter's house

enjoying the sunset

B E A U T I F U L ! ! !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 LINKS:

http://www.cathedralgrove.eu/

http://goats-on-the-roof.com/

  

 

 Thursday 2nd September 2010:  REST

in front of the tourist information near Peter's home in Nanoose Bay

We had a nice long sleep and start the day with a visit of the local tourist information where we by two new maps with some trails on it, for our journey towards the southern part of Van Isle. We first have the Lochside Trail (recommended by Luis and Peter too) and then the Gallopping Goose which was already in our plans.

We continue our route to the shops to buy food and drinks for our departure tomorrow and something to offer our host to thank him for his great hospitality. We offered Peter to go out for diner with us tonight , but he doesn’t like to go out so he said.

We have a snack in “The Farmhouse Restaurant” where we need to be very patient…but as we have a day of rest…who cares !!!

Back at Peter’s house, our host suggests to go for a walk with him 🙂 which we gladly accept of course.

He takes us for a little ride in his car and then stops near what really is  military ground, not open to the public, but there is a path where you can see, hundreds of people were trespassing this area before us… The walk is really worthwhile with some amazing views on Nanoose Bay , we even spot two deer sitting just near the path. Peter tells us all sorts of things he knows about the place and even tells us his little secret…but you will understand I cannot decieve his trust by posting it in my blog   😉  On our way back he shows us Robert De Niro’s holidays home along the Bay.

For the third time Peter prepares us a meal in the evening with a nice cup of coffee and cake afterwards  and even a nice chocolate liquor. He tells us about his life and about previous couch surfers at his place.

in Peters garden Falling Watersentering Peters house

inspiring paintings in "our" bathroom

Chris and Peter on the trespassing trail

me admiring the view

special kind of trees

me discovering the beauty off oistershells

the shell I brought home...the crab I left 😉

      deer we surely wouldn’t have spotted without Peter

Friday 3th September 2010: 66 km

Again a great breakfast with Peter and after three perfect days  it’s difficult to say goodbye… we chat and chat and Peter asks us to let him know how we are doing on our tour when finally at almost 10.30 we leave his home. We are heading towards Chemainus, a place we must see according to Peter.The first km’s we do are the same we did when arriving on the Island in the dark, and we are amazed about what we did …30 km’s and about 8 of them in real darkness and not at all flat either… it’s realy amazing what one can do when one thinks beeing tired but haven’t reached the goal yet !!!Thanks to our 2 maps and Peter’s advice we manage to avoid highways as much as possible and find alternative trails. We meet people who admire our “european way” of cycle touring 😉  At about 17.30 we realise that due to our late departure this morning , we will not reach Chemainus  today. So after a nice part through farmland we arrive on the highway again at a place called Ladysmith: it seems a nice little town and we decide to look for some accommodation here. The tourist info is already closed…so we try asking around, with no succes. While we are discussing what to do, an Indian woman steps towards us telling  if we arte looking for a place to sleep we should try the little motel a few straats away.  Thank you so much…and yes, we get lucky there is just one room available. We even paid for the breakfast next morning in a coffeeshop nearby. We have a room with bathroom and little kitchencorner and a deck looking over the water where we can park our bikes…just fine!!!  The man at the moteldesk adviced us a Greek restaurant down the street where we eat well and enjoy the surroundings.We had some nice sun today, even got slightly sunburned !!.. and although we started rather late we still did 66 km, not bad at all…and tomorrow we’ll have plenty of time to visit Chemainus and it’s wall paintings.
 

alternative trail near highway south

East Coast View ... one of many 😉

Chris having a snack 🙂

the deck in our motel in Ladysmith

Saturday 4th September 2010: 56km

leaving our motel in the morning

I start the day with sending a Happy Birthday message to my eldest daughter…with the difference in timezone, I will sure be the first !!!   🙂
 
The breakfast was nice but…small, but anyways we were late again,… so we can wait to have diner till we reach Chemainus now.

Indeed “something special”  Chemainus with all the beautiful murals, my dad would have loved this place.

sitting before the first mural we see 🙂

 

natives

also in Chemainus

one more mural 😉

...and one more...

...and one more...

 We have more nice and quiet roads  for most of the day, but Cowichan Valley is a more touristic and we see several B&B ‘s, but … too early to stop yet for today… On the little map we got in Ladysmith, there is a B&B marked near a Lavender Farm. We find the spot, but no chance, there is nothing available…or we look too “cheap”… The girl tells us there should be a Campsite on the same road !!!  Yes there is… and we can pitch up our tent on a nice field with only one other little tent nearby. It start to rain a little bit when we just finish putting up the tent. We have our own little wooden table where we have some sandwiches and then we walk towards the “waterfront” which is nearby and take some pictures. We fall asleep content, because we realised we biked already some 500 km on Canadian Ground.

 

quiet roads

looking for the right road

MMMM nice chocolate cake !!!!

wild wild west look...Cowichan Bay

first campsite...FINALY!!!

nice spot 🙂

all set 🙂

 

Will hopefully be continued one day…but now I have to prepare my next trip…. 

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. vakantiefietserke
    Jul 28, 2011 @ 15:33:33

    I’m terribly sorry that till now I didn’t manage to end my journal about our trip in Canada…I guess I travel to much, I just don’t have time enough to work it all out…

    Reply

  2. noenkle
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 20:46:19

    And I don’t have time to read it all 😉

    Reply

  3. www.bid-ninja.com
    Apr 25, 2013 @ 06:31:11

    Good blog with some intriguing information. I’ll be back.

    Reply

  4. Cecil
    May 16, 2013 @ 03:03:55

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    • vakantiefietserke
      May 27, 2013 @ 18:40:06

      Thanks for your positive comment…unfortunately I only discovered it today between my “spam”…
      I will have a look.

      Reply

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