West Coast Ride – Day 34

Camped in the hostel backyard, decent, if you have earplugs. We had tickets to the 8:15 ferry so we coasted down to the pier about 7:40. My newly minted passport card worked to get out of the US and into Canada.

The boarding process was smooth, the ride comfortable. I wasn’t expecting a duty free shop, but I guess it makes sense. The view back towards Port Angeles. The locals (well the transient hostel, former train tramp) said they love the access to mountains and sea.

It was a ninety minute ride, which gave us tune to make new friends on the back deck. Bob and Terry were heading north to meet some friends who have a fifty foot sailboat for a week of sailing. They offered to put Brian and Dave up after the wedding at their house, and offered to invite me river rafting on the Salmon River… I also talked to a retired couple from the Phoenix area who were cycling the island as well. They have done a lot of cycling, including the Trans-America, 4100 miles. They did it in 110 days, with 30 rest days. Hmmmm.

As we pulled into Victoria, there were lots of racing catamaran kayaks out training (Think the opening to the original Hawaii 5-0). A flat plane came in right off our stern. Turns out the harbor is an international airport. Terry told us a duty about how the control tower told a plane to go around because there was a whale on the runway…

The city is gorgeous, beautiful architecture, very clean and bustling on a Saturday.

We checked at the Visitor’s Centre for route advice and to get some Loonies. We rambled around, got on, then off Hwy 1, rambled some more, then got back on as it is really the only option. I observed that they didn’t seem to appreciate my use of the California vernacular, calling The Queen’s Highway “The 1”.

The 1 north heads over The Malahat a stiff climb on a for lane, busy, divided highway. And,  It was hot. Unseasonably hot, fire burning ban on the whole island, even campfires in grates. The view from up high.

We jumped off the highway and took a loop through Lake Shawnigan. It was picturesque, felt like a resort town for Victorians. We ate there, talked to locals who commute into Victoria from there.
Next stop was Duncan, the only sizeable town before Namaimo, our ferry destination. We stopped at a Starbucks for free WiFi, Dave noted my tire was flat :-(. I found a perfectly inserted tack, repaired it while talking to two ladies, Ilene and Sheila. By the time I was done, they had given me maps and Ilene offered to let us sleep in her backyard. Unfortunate it was back in Shawnigan Lake…

We went another ten miles, or so, to an RV camp. The plan is to get up and get to Nanaimo in time for the noon ferry.


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