31.08.16 Mount Currie, Pemberton British Columbia to Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Up early, with only 140 miles to go to Island BMW, over on Vancouver Island. We had booked a ferry across from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo, which meant missing out on the busyness of Vancouver.
Unfortunately, by the time we left it was spitting with rain, and as we worked our way further down the hill into Whistler it began to pour. We had a quick scoot around the Olympic Village, but didn’t get any photographs because of the dismal weather. From what I could see, the surrounds of this Millionaire’s Playground would be stunning either in full sunlight, or covered in dazzling white snow during Winter, for the ski season. The glacial waters in the lakes, and rivers were still glowing a stunning turquoise even in the gloom.
Horseshoe Bay appeared quickly, and we were at the sea! Oh, that smell! the salty breeze drifting under our noses is like coming home. No matter where I go, I am always thrilled to see or smell the sea.
It turned out that we need not have booked the ferry, (we had booked a car space, just in case), because as a motorcycle, we are automatically allowed on, regardless of how busy the crossing is, so we were sent down to queue for the 45 minutes before loading. Paul immediately got chatting to Luke who was taking his Harley over to Vancouver Island for the winter. Luke lives and works further up North in Canada, where there is a lot of snow during Winter, but as the Island avoids snow and has fairly temperate he can take the short crossing, and continue to ride there during winter. I got chatting to Renee, who had been with her husband and son on their three bikes over to Manitoba, a 3,600 mile round trip, to have a ‘cup of tea’ with a friend.
On the ferry we shared lunch with Luke, and were very interested to hear all about his life, he used to work within the Lumber industry, (as have many people we have met), but the work came to an end and he retrained and works for Shell, in an outpost, 7 days on, 7 days off. His department cleans sand, which is sold to the U.S.A. Luke also used to be a politician, so it was a very interesting one-and-a-half-hour journey.
Leaving the ferry port at Nanaimo we suddenly found ourselves in amongst some very busy small island traffic, just like at home. Most of the residences on Vancouver Island are down the East Coast, so the roads are packed.
We crossed everything that our extremely worn out chain would remain in place for the last 65 miles, but I think we probably tested it right to the limit, with all the stops at traffic lights, and slowing down for traffic.
With relief, we finally breezed into Island BMW at about 4.30 pm, and were extremely happy to see Bernie, when he came out to greet us straight away. We stayed around for ‘Bike Night’ where Paul got to tell a bit of our story to some of our fellow BMW riders, and we were provided with free hot dogs! We also saw Alan, who we met at Whitehorse, a few weeks ago, and who had popped down just to say hello to us!
We had a motel booked around the corner from the dealership, and Bernie dropped us off there about 7.30, where we flopped out, exhausted from all the excitement.
We are staying on Vancouver Island for another 5 nights, whilst Bernie fixes our bike, so we’ve hired a car, and will use that to explore. Tonight we shall head up to the Mill Bay area, where we have rented a 5th Wheel trailer (a beautifully appointed very grand caravan).