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Archive for the ‘British Columbia, Canada’ Category

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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I haven’t forgotten about this blog but I (or we) do use it only for sharing information about our trips. The absence of posts is indeed an indication that we haven’t gone anywhere in a while.

If you scroll down a bit you’ll see that earlier posts are missing images. This is because I exported the blog from blogger to wordpress and had to manually re-upload all images. It’s more work than I anticipated but do still want to get to it sometime. This week I’m taking some time off my handmade bags business (http://laurabucci.etsy.com) and hope to do a little clean up here.

About comments: I wasn’t getting notified when people were leaving comments. I think I’ve fixed this now and I should be able to respond in a timely manner.

Thank you all for visiting and commenting.

We are hoping to get on our bicycles in August and do another part of the Kettle Valley Trail.

Laura.

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There’s way more to BC than just Vancouver. Some people never leave the city. We don’t want to be like them, so we emabarked on our first trip of the spring/summer season. The first one we just did, over the long May weekend, is the Kettle Valley Rail Trail in the Okanagan.

We drove to Rock Creek (east of Osoyoos) to start our ride on the KVR trail. The first day we stayed at a working farm B&BSage Farm B&B. Staying at a farm really adds to the B&B experience. Having so little contact with animals in the city, it’s great seeing and being close to animals, the wild or farm kind. At Sage Farm there were Polypay sheep, a llama, three dogs, cats, chickens and also lots of birds and pond creatures. It was quite the chorus at night what with the frogs and crickets. Then in the early morning the birds were noisily chirping. The sounds seemed quite exotic. The owners, Al and Sue, were great. Laid back and easy to talk to. Great room and breakfast too!

Front of Sage B&B

Sage Farm B&B – front of house. Rock Creek is east of Osoyoos

Sage B&B in back

Back of house with road leading to trails in Sue’s and Al’s vast land. It was really peacefull out here.

Sheep and Llama

Sheep and a Llama, the llama protects the sheep from coyotes and others

A walk with the dogs

First night – we went for a walk around Sage Farm’s land with their super friendly three dogs. There’s some really nice trails.

Cows in road

Lots of farm animals in the area. Watch out for cattle on the road.

Restaurant at Rockcreek

The only restaurant in Rock Creek

The food at the restaurant was pretty good if a little expensive. Neat atmosphere. The locals are pretty friendly. It seems that there’s quite a few people that have moved here from Abbotsford and Chilliwack.

 

Restaurant at Rockcreek - taxidermi bear

 

After supper, we went back to Sage Farm and had a glass of wine with our hosts and some friends of theirs from La Ronge in northern Sasketchwan.

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