When I leave her place I’m still not sure whether I will make it to Parksville on the newly defective bicycle. But going slowly keeps the clicking to a minimum and go slow I have to because the pack of the Comox racers is still on the ferry when I leave Darlene’s at 9:30. A phone call to Mike around 10 confirms that they are about to get off the ferry. This suits me fine because it allows me to go slowly, even brake on long downhill stretches, since even on the bicycle it is possible to go to fast and to miss the gorgeous spots, i.e. miss smelling the roses. I keep the pack behind me updated by SMS texts on my whereabouts but never hear back until 1:30 pm when they are about to leave a location that is 5 kms ahead of me. Good thing these guys weren't planning D Day ;-)
Ah well, I’m happy to get off the Island Highway whenever possible and I do just that by taking the Lantzville Road through Lantzville, where I discover the views that some residents have all the time and find some beach access.
After that , I finally discover Shangri La,
and find some rest.
If only it was that easy ;-)
Time to re-join the Island Hwy, which does not really provide many scenic moments,
but the ones it offers are spectacular ;-)
|Nanoose Bay (from the Island Highway)|
|The view along NW Bay road|
Then I’m in Parksville and even though it is only 12:30, my room at the VIP motel is ready for check-in. The people running this motel are just soooo friendly. And the owner’s toddler grandson decides he likes pedals and keeps playing with them while the bike is parked in front of my room.
|Today's Province. What's wrong with a glass of wine a day? (or two ;-)|
|Seafood Tom Yum at Bangkok Thai Food|
At this time I still haven’t heard any updates on the cycling gang and even two attempts at phoning them produced no results, so I head for lunch. I end up in the Bangkok something or other Thai Restaurant, and again, the staff is suuuuuper friendly. And I’m not just saying that because they admire le velo electrique ;-) This is when I learn that there now is an electric bicycle store in Qualicum Beach, which I have to check out later if time permits ;-)
But there is also a beach here in Parksville, which should be explored.
The sand is a bit muddy and is ALIVE with wigglers, creepers, and crawlers. My attempts of not stepping onto any of the small side-stepping crabs were successful.
No crabs were hurt in the making of these pictures !
Yes, that's the Sunshine Coast in the distance;-) The darker blue Island should be Lasqueti Isl.
|The view back to shore is not quite as nice.|
Back in the motel at 2pm I fall asleep and sleep for 2 hours like a log.
Around 6 pm I realize that lunch was not that plentiful and head to Sushi Ichi, a local Sushi restaurant with high internet ratings. Prices seem a bit high, but I am tempted and intrigued by the Seafood Gyoza (with real crab, prawn & scallop ;-). It does not only look good; the taste is awesome too. Just after this I discover that this place has Internet and that this WiFi actually functions! Up Yours, Nanaimo & Piper's Pub !
Next are Unari Nigiri &Agedashi Tofu.
YUMMY for the first one and the second one doesn't have to hide either ! The ginger arriving with the Nigiri is delicious ;-)
Then it's time for another glass of white wine and a Dynamite roll. YUMMY as well.
Then comes the bill. It's $29 and I don't think it was only my blood alcohol level that made me expect to pay more for all that delicious food and 2 glasses of wine.
On the bike ride back to the motel I encounter a group of ~ 50 zombies walking along the hotel strip along the Island Highway. With loud voices I am welcomed as 'meals on wheels'.
I'm not a great fan of watching television and there is not much else happening in the motel, so I decide to hop on the bike again for an 8 km round trip to French Creek Harbour. When I get there I see this chain with a strange sign. Since I don't know what the sign means, I lift the bike over it ;-)
There is rain to the North of me. Wonder whether the long distance cyclists got wet.Even though it looks to be affecting a very limited area.
It's sunny in all other directions:
Just not there ;-)
A good day ;-)