Friday, 11 April 2014

Saltspring Island by velo & two ferries

Friday morning: I am reasonably well rested and the outside, even though cold, looks brighter.  So the snap decision (usually the best ones) is made to head south.

I leave Ladysmith with its quaint coffee shop and its pride and joy, the 49th parallel ;-0

The trip to Chemainus I travelled yesterday already, but south of that it is terra incognita ! I also get a second look at Chemainus and this time see why they are or want to be known as the world's capital of Murals ;-)

That's a name I haven't heard in a while ;-)

Between Chemainus and Crofton, I start believing that I've found a region in which I might want to live

This dream  evaporates very abruptly when I completed cycling around a bend.  Unfortunate ;-(

At 10 am I am moderately early for the 10:50 ferry from Crofton to Vesuvius, but that gives me an opportunity to take a break and take more pictures ;-) 

Saltspring in the distance
here's my bus

looking back warily ...

... afraid of turning into a pillar of salt

In a conversation on the ferry I learn that Saltspring Island is not a Hippie Paradise as I had assumed, but rather could be seen as an insular West Vancouver, where people in "Hoodies and Jeans" are a rare sight, as I am informed.   . 

 Accordingly I can't get too excited about the first half of the island trip and the town of Ganges (but then by not stopping I don't really give it a chance). I keep cycling and the closer I get to Fulford Harbour, the more I like the island.
Are they aligned with the solstices?

so cute

Fulford Harbour

It is quite hilly but my first battery takes me all the way to the ferry terminal and switches off at  40+ kms. The I arrive at 12:15 but the next ferry is not scheduled to depart until 2pm, so I look for something to eat and am extremely FORTUITOUS to discover Rocksalt Café & Restaurant, where I start writing this post using their free WIFI.

As usual for ferry waits, I order mussels and white wine ;-)

I conclude from all the orange safety vests in the restaurant that the BC ferries terminal crew is also eating here, so I don't have to look at my watch all the time to ensure catching  the ferry.
the second bus

  The ferry ride from Fulford Harbour to Swartz Bay is gorgeous and peaceful.  After de-boarding a fellow luggage-carrying cyclists fortunately directs me away from the highway and onto the Lochside Trail, which lets me complete the 5 kms to Sidney without too much road grit between my teeth.

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