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Archive for September, 2009

riding along the Lochside Trail, Trans Canada Highway on the right

riding along the Lochside Trail, Trans Canada Highway on the right

Wow, the city gets to be too much sometimes. Ok, Vancouver isn’t that big but it does feel busy and it’s all work, work, work, work. We returned from our last trip at the end of January this year (Guatemala & Honduras) and felt the need to go somewhere again. But alas, it had to be somewhere local and only for 3 or 4 days.  So we stuck to our neck of the woods and decided to cycle the Lochside and Galloping Goose Trail on Vancouver Island.

We boarded the ferry with our bikes from Tsawwassen. We were loaded with camping equipment! Heavy? Yes! I felt like a mule! Anyway, we took the ferry to Swartz Bay and started our cycling trip there. Our goal was to cycle all the way down to Sooke, but we only made it as far as Goldstream Provincial Park where we camped on our first night. It’s a nice enough spot, but I find it puzzling why campsites aren’t further apart. The park facilities also included large sinks with hot water for people to wash their dishes, etc. Nice I guess, but takes away from camping simplicity — too many amenities, and people seem to bring their second home to the park.

Goldstream Provincial Park, at the end of a 65 K bicycle ride

Goldstream Provincial Park, at the end of a 65 K bicycle ride

Ok, no we were not happy with this trip and would not recommend it if  you’re looking to get a way from business and traffic. I have to say the brochures and official descriptions of these trails are misleading. We thought we were going to be on a quite trail away from traffic and noise but instead found that a good part of the trail runs along the Trans-Canada highway, so it was noisy and not as relaxing as we were hoping. Some parts of it were nice but overall, I wouldn’t take the ferry all the way there just for that. If I lived on Vancouver Island — in that area — I’d would say it would be a great commuter trail.

Parliament Buildings, Victoria

Parliament Buildings, Victoria

Well, here’s some craziness…the first day we rode about 65 km, from Schwartz Bay to Goldstream Park, we went a bit of course as we missed the turnoff to the park — sometimes, it is better to just follow a map then to check directions with the locals. Needless, to say we were pretty stiff once we got off our bikes.  Second day we cycled about 45 k and stayed at a B&B in Victoria. We enjoyed this part of the trip best. I had forgotten how many old buildings Victoria still has. It is also a very walkable city with some neat cafes, shops, and areas. The seaside walk is quite nice.

Nice walking in Victoria along the seawall below Beacon Hill Park

Nice walking in Victoria along the seawall below Beacon Hill Park

The Dutch Bakery on Fort Street, an old style bakery with lots of nice pastries

The Dutch Bakery on Fort Street, an old style bakery with lots of nice pastries

Street Level Espresso on Fort St next to the Dutch Bakery, cute and small, friendly owner "Dan" who seemed to rather help us with our cycle route than the line of customers waiting for fresh brews

Street Level Espresso on Fort St next to the Dutch Bakery, cute and small, friendly owner "Ken" who seemed to be rather helping us with our cycle route than the line of customers waiting for fresh brews, he was very nice

You can read about Ken and his Street Level Espresso shop at Momentum Magazine — espresso meets ethics…Ken tells how he picks up his supplies by bike. I also wrote a different type of post on my design blog, where I mention a neat indie shop.

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