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Intrepid Journey

In April 2006 I randomly offered companionship to a fellow blogger in his dream to cycle Across Canada from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. Much to my surprise he accepted that offer and 4 weeks later I find myself on the adventure of my life cycling upwards of 100km a day and living life to the fullest. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

9:23 pm - First installment (Under Pressure of time)

Well, finally. After what seems like a million miles and a few weeks on the road, I finally find half an hour to sit down and fill y'all in on intrepid adventures.

I write this from Hope, BC, surrounded by the impending doom of a wet night, but otherwise, fluffy clouds, mountains and reasonably tepid temperatures.

My solo journey started in Penticton on Thursday after a frantic escapade of packing and organising the day before. Nothing could have been worse than Wednesday - not even customs asking me to unpack every carefully packed bag. Flying over Penticton and the environs was alarmingly serene. I felt a pang of loss for its beauty but little affection for the place itself.

I had less time than anticipated to kill before Andrew arrived in Vancouver 30 minutes early. Bikes unpackaged and assembled, bags loaded we headed straight out to the Ferry to Nanaimo where we relaxed in 2 hours of glorious sunshine, islets and oceans before hopping back in the saddle to find the hostel - a small house all to ourselves!

There was a little excitement catching the Tofino bus at the RIGHT mall, leaving us a sprint back to the ferry terminal to catch them in time. The drivers were intrigued by our travel and honoured us with friendly toots whenever they passed, for the rest of our stay on the island.

Arrival in Tofino was accompanied by a relaxing coffee before riding to the quieter Uclulet and a beautiful campsite by the mariner. Noisy students aside, a pleasant night. The next morning we needed all our energy for riding around Uclulet trying to find the optimum place to dip our back tyres in the Pacific ocean before leaving. Finally the optimum place turned out to be a secluded beach complete with walkways to the ocean and crashing waves. Spot on.

A day's idyllic cycling followed. Perfectly cloudy for the three mountain passes to be negotiated and yet the view remained apparent. We were saved the anguish of crossing with logging trucks due to the holiday weekend. Not good planning on our part but sheer luck.

The next night was spent in Port Alberni in the "less exclusive" hostel in town but at least the wardens assured us a good quiet night's sleep and breakfast served in the morning. Now that's luxury.

From Port Alberni we made it back to Nanaimo in in good time for the ferry back to the mainland - unfortunately just in time for a downpour which left me soalked to the skin and Andrew (with superiour waterproofs) a little damp around the edges. Soggy tent errected, we headed out for dinner and the chance to hang up our wet clothes. Thank god for City campgrounds in the morning we did laundry.

Another wet ride to Fort Langley yesterday (this time Andrea wore more layers) left us a little more accustomed to soggy sensations and we managed to hack it enough to actually cook ourselves a delicious pasta meal in the tent AND crawl out later for a few beers.

109km clocked today on the relatively flat roads of the Fraser valley (left Fort Langley at 9am this morning following the best night's sleep yet). Tomorrow we have our first serious mountain range to contend with, the Hope - Princeton Highway 3, anticipated stop in Manning park or thereabouts.

Stats: clocking about 18km per hour and on the best days doing about 100km in about 6 hours.

Photos will be posted, just as soon as I recover my USB cable from somewhere inside my fetid stuff.

In terms of turning up on a big adventure with a perfect stranger, things are working out just fine and, really, as expected but better.

Andrea, watching the clock on the interweb café.

Out.


Anonymous Silver Lining said...

Sounds fantastic! Can't wait to see the pictures!!! Although my legs are aching in sympathy for you...  


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