Wednesday, 26 October 2011


Space Needle

Fish and flowers at the Pike Place Market

Seattle skyline of an evening

 AAAA aaaaa AAAAA aaaaaaa (choirs of angels singing).....................REI Flagship Store, Seattle.

Guitar Cyclone at the Experience Music Project (EMP).

Outside of EMP with Space Needle reflection.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Whidbey and San Juan Islands: First Taste of the USA

So the first American I meet is the customs guys at the ferry from Sidney, B.C. He called me Doll and proceeded to give me a massive rant about how we (in New Zealand) should be mining and drilling for all out resources because we needed the money and resources to get us into space so could find new planets to live on. I kid you not!!! Was this going to set the tone for my entire US trip? hmmmmmm

The trip through the San Juan Islands and Whidbey Island was pretty nice and not full of crazies. Though the middle aged women on these islands made me think there might be. Everyone was like 'be careful' and then would give me a look. I was a bundle of nerves as a rode towards Seattle thinking that everyone is either trying to run me over, steal my bike or assault my person........However, I arrived unscathed.

The islands are beautiful even in the rain and very laid back. Everyone gave me heaps of room and waved when going past in the other direction.

Bye Canada........byeeeeeee (waving). Ferry from Sidney to San Juan Island.

Mmmmmmmm pretty clouds. San Juan Island Ferry.

Aawwww look at the pretty trees. Roche Harbor, San Juan Island.

Camping at San Juan County Park.

Puzzles!!!! Washington State Ferries.

Deception Pass Bridge to Whidbey Island.

Washington = Evergreen = Ever Raining

MFM: San Juan Islands

MFM: Whidbey Island

MFM (Map For Mum) and Round-up: British Columbia

So have done the coastal British Columbia thing. To be honest it is just like home but a bit bigger and full of Canadians. Sometimes I have felt like I never left home. Obviously seeing bears and bald eagles has tipped the scales in the favour of not being in NZ. All in all it was pretty good. Lonely on the bike and when camping but nice people to chat to on the ferries and in the hostels. Had a very relaxed time of it in terms of cycling. I probably be spent more time doing nothing than cycling. Think I was delaying the inevitable move to the US when I actually have to get into some proper cycling. Bit scary really. Was meant to head off on Wednesday 19th but took a rather long way to the ferry and then got lost leading to me missing the one ferry. Therefore, I ended up staying another night in Victoria (not really a hardship). Unfortunately this means I missed the nice weather and was cycling in the rain.........ah well.

Hey Mum, this is where I have been so far. Up the Sunshine Coast, across to Vancouver Island, Denman Island, over to the west coast, back east, Salt Spring Island and then to Victoria.

Number of ferries: 6 plus three to get between the islands and over to Seattle. L-O-V-E ferries!!
Best Campsite: Ruckle Provincial Park, Salt Spring Island
Cycling wisdom:  very important to make brrruuummm car noises when zooming downhill and not to look like you are dying when cycling uphill.
Number of rocks collected:  0 (very good, keep up the excellent work resisting the pretty shiny granite!!)
Roadkill:  Poor. VERY poor in fact! Giant slugs, geckos, worms, caterpillars........not very interesting to look at. But seriously the slugs are enormous!! When one has been run over its guts are spread across the shoulder of the road.
Distance:  Not far and a very, very, very small fraction of what I still have to do.

  • Qualicum Beach on the east to Ucluelet on the west of Vancouver Island. Narrow and windy but very scenic even in the rain. Cars and trucks also nice and not trying to run me over - thank you!!
  • West Coast of Vancouver Island. Wet, wild, windy - just like NZ!! But still very cool.
  • Salt Spring Island
  • Cycling in Victoria. Lovely trails, lots of cyclists, good signs and pretty things to look at.

The Great Kiwi Survey
  1. Number of people who thought I am Australian = 5
  2. People who mentioned LOTR = 2
  3. People who mentioned Flight of the Concords = 1
  4. Number of other New Zealanders = 1

    Wednesday, 19 October 2011

    Thank You Victoria.......

    So Victoria totally wastes Vancouver in the places-I-would-like-to-live stakes. Smaller, cleaner, not as many druggies and lovely cycling trails.

    Below are the usual pics of old buildings etc........

    Thank you Victoria for.....
    • nice weather
    • clean clothes and dry tent
    • ridiculously overpriced ice cream
    • cycling trails
    • old friends
    • bluegrass and other live music at the Ocean Island Inn
    • confusing other tourists by trying to be Canadian, British and Irish all at the same time

    Tuesday, 18 October 2011

    Vancouver Island #2

    Early morning, Tofino.

    Enjoying a soak, Hot Springs Cove, Maquinna Provincial Park.

    Sunset at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park.

    Campsite at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park. Hellooo...........anybody???.........ahh no, all alone as usual.
    Campsite at Ruckle Provincial Park. Lovely views, lovely weather, seals and otters swimming by......not bad aye!

    Sunrise from my tent at Ruckle Provincial Park.

    People picking pumpkins for Halloween. Lochside Trail into Victoria.

    Monday, 17 October 2011

    Vancouver Island #1

    East coast of Vancouver Island from the Denman Island Ferry.

    Pacific Rim Highway (Highway 4) travelling towards Ucluelet on a rainy Canadian Thanksgiving Monday.

    Kennedy River, Pacific Rim Highway.

    Black Bear fishing at Thornton Creek, Ucluelet.

    Black bear and cub, Thornton Creek, Ucluelet.

    View from Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet. West coast of Vancouver Island.

    Keith and I, Amphritrite Lighthouse, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet.

    Steps to Halfmoon Bay, Ucluelet.

    Sunshine Coast, British Columbia

    Catching the Earls Cove to Saltery Bay ferry with the big bikes (my little bike in front on the right)

    Scenery on the Earls Cove Ferry. (Straight of Georgia I think)

    Sunset at the Saltery Bay Provincial Park campground.

    Wednesday, 12 October 2011

    @$!?¥*%# Internet!!!

    Dear All

    Apologies for the lack of blog posts. Most hostels have free wifi but I cannot get my pics off camera onto computer and then blog. Was too lazy to go to an internet cafe in Ucluelet and now I wish I had!! Arrived in Tofino hostel this evening and went to use the very expenive computer and then whole thing died..........grrrrrrr!!! So no photos yet sorry!!!

    On another note it was sunny today. I have seen salmon fruitlessly trying to jump up waterfalls, bears eating salmon and a bald eagle. Man I am wasting the list I wrote for myself in my head!!!!

    Will try and get some photos up tomorrow or it will be when I get to Victoria.


    Thursday, 6 October 2011

    Cycle Touring Leg #1 - Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island

    Today (thursday) marks the first day I start on my real holiday and stop lazing around Sarah's house in Vancouver. Listed below is the general idea of what I am going to be up too for the next 1 to 2 weeks.

    • cycle and ferry up the Sunshine Coast NE of Vancouver to Powell River
    • ferry from Powell River to Comox on Vancouver Island
    • cycle across the island to the Pacific Rim National Park on the west coast and back
    • cycle the east coast of Vancouver Island to Victoria for some clothes washing, cold beer and a real bed

    Have a geez at that on Google Earth and I will catch y'all!!!

    Thank You Vancouver!!!!!.....

    • my first taste of poutine
    • teaching me to cycle on the right hand side of the road
    • a good fist fight at my first ice hockey game
    • chocolate milk in a glass bottle
    • People of a Feather at the Vancouver International Film Festival (see it if you can!!)
    • the awesome cycling lanes and the leafy green streets and parks
    • Mountain Equipment Co-op - I would marry this store if I could and bask in its outdoor equipment goodness!!!
    • Kissing Crows Cycles for fixing my bike
    • Sarah and Erin for putting me up in their house and answering all of my stupid questions about Canada and Vancouver

    Maybe one day I will be back and I hope that day is a sunny one!! Apparently the city is surrounded by mountains but I did not see any.

    Wednesday, 5 October 2011


    Marina and City

    Third Beach, Stanley Park

    Lion's Gate Bridge

    Vancouver Canucks vs Edmonton Oilers, Rogers Arena

    Tuesday, 4 October 2011

    Canadian Road Signs

    I think these signs are funny. Anyone else? Hmmmm maybe I am just really immature. They have been keeping me entertained as I bike around Vancouver in the rain.

    P.S sorry if the photos are bad quality. They have been taken with the camera on my ipod.

    Saturday, 1 October 2011


    Bike assembled at Vancouver Airport. Easy peasy.........
    Then on the train, walk up street to hostel, shower to feel less zombie-fied, take a wander around town of an evening, scope out a supermarket, dill pickled flavoured chips, poutine for dinner, difficult sleep (too much sleep on plane - I kid you not!!!!!), tonga beat france (yusssss!), england beat scotland (dammit)..............first evening in Vancouver = done.