Monday, 18 May 2015

Back to the cage (or getting from Victoria to Vancouver the scenic way)

image stolen from
I leave the hotel at 9 am. The receptionist asks me whether I'm off to see the parade, which puts a dumb look on my face.  It's too early in the year for the Pride parade.  Scottish parade? 
It never occurred to me that there would/could be a Victoria Day Parade ...


view from one of the many bike/pedestrian wooden viaducts
In contrast to two days ago, the wind is not blowing in my face the whole time.  Au contraire, blowing from behind it helps me cover the 31 kms to Swartz Bay in almost no time so that I am early for the 11 am ferry
The view East of Sidney
 This is the first time I'm on one of the largest of BC Ferries' ships, the Spirit of Vancouver Island.  It was built in 1994, just before the well-intentioned but ill-destined BC Fast Ferries.  In contrast to most other BC Ferries ships, this one has a unidirectional bridge, so that in one of its destinations, it has to 'back in' to the berth (see pic below).  It also carries the history of KILLING TWO PEOPLE on a yacht while trying to overtake the much smaller boat. 
Since the bottle of Inniskillin Chardonnay that I bought yesterday was still half full this morning, I put it in my saddle bag and had the sense to switch it into my backpack when I parked the bike on the ferry. With the help of a free paper cup from the on-board cafeteria, it is transformed into a welcome refreshment from Bringurown Vineyards, a very civilized way to cross the ocean.  
Cyclists (about 25 to 50) and foot passengers anxiously awaiting landfall. 

I consult Google Maps on the best route to 22nd Street station.  I don't want to ride along that nasty highway back to Scott Street station.  I'm appalled when Google displays the same bloody Highway, all the way from Tsawwassen.  But fortunately I remember from going off route last year along the same trip that taking the Mud Bay Dyke gravel bike path will get me far enough East to be able to switch to a fabulous bike path on the eastern edge of Burns Bog.  So I head to Mud Bay.

not camera shake, but HEAT ;-)

When I leave the dyke and head North, I'm not sure whether I'm more wary of the forming thunder clouds or the evidence of a large fire drifting into my travel path.   But I will arrive in North Vancouver un-soaked and un-smoked.
Again I manage the tricky transition from the dyke bike path to the bike path running along the eastern edge of Burns Bog. Thank You, Google Maps!

Unfortunately every nice bike path has its end.  Back to the concrete. Today I'm taking the high road; two days ago I was going South on the highway below!

After this it's only a short distance to 22nd Street station and I visit a few people on my way back to NV.  The wind is still blowing from the South and the smell of exhaust and industrial processes gets worse and worse the further North I get.  Once back in North Van, I can barely remember the fresh air of Victoria but I have this strange pseudo-claustrophobic feeling that wants me to flee from this oppressing air.

No comments:

Post a Comment