Wednesday, 14 July 2010


Mp3 track of the day - Bicycle race - Queen

Weather: Warm with a gentle breeze ... foggy in the morning but it cleared in the late afternoon.

Going back to yesterday evening me, and a nice Swiss guy, went back to the beach I visited earlier that day to take some 'sunset' shots. It was lovely and you can see the outcome on my flickr account (see the link on the right hand side of this blog).

This morning I had lovely lie in and lazily got ready for the day. Ready at around 11:30 I left the hostel armed only with a bottle of water, lunch (4 cheese sandwiches and 2 oranges), a coat, suncream and my sunglasses. I was going to embark on a first this trip, yes I was going to hire a bicycle.

I don't usually like travelling on anything other than my feet (not into bikes, roller blades, skateboards etc) and so this took allot of self convincing. Yesterday I had checked out part of the route I would be taking today and it had a cycle path away from the road ... so that was good. It cost me $20.00 (£14.00) for 24hrs hire of a bike, a helmet and a bike lock. I put on my helmet, saddled up and road off into the sunset (well down the path). Now I know that when I wear a bicycle helmet I look like a chimp, and so I kept my head down ... actually today was another first of my trip; I had decided to wear my sandals ... however the Britishness is strong in me and so I wore black socks with the sandals ... oh yeah, I am the height of fashion.

My original plan was to take the cycling easy; I hadn't been on a bike for a while and the last thing I wanted to do was injure myself now. What's more the gears on the bike were the wrong way around; the bottom gear leaver was to change down the gears, whereas the top gear leaver was to change up ... became a bit of a problem when facing hills. However as soon as I got on the cycle track I was like Lewis Hamilton on two wheels; I peddled quicker and quicker taking the corners at the best possible position to maximise my speed and exit ... it was brilliant ... until the bike track stopped.

Yes indeedly, I couldn't understand it. The bike track stopped about 6km (or 3.6 miles in a proper measurement for distance) from the beach; this kind of reminded me of normal public sector projects ... the intention is there but they are never quite right, either due to incorrect budget controls or a change of power therefore changing their mind on what they want doing.

Anyway this meant I had to travel on the road and this I did ...

... I then very quickly changed onto the right-hand side of the road after forgetting which side the Canadians drove on.

After about 40 minutes I arrived at my first destination, Schooner Cove. Getting to the beach was more interesting than the actual beach itself with a 1km (or 0.6 of a mile) board walk through, what seemed to be a tropical rain forest. This time the board walk seemed way too long to get to the beach and it felt like the local council had too much money for this project and so, instead of saving the money, made the board walk a little longer.

I didn't spend too long on the beach as it was cold and very foggy, and so I headed back through the jungle and onto my bike towards Long Beach. On mounting my bike I felt really saddle soar and so I hurried my trip to Long Beach. Once there I eat lunch and went for a walk along the beach. Whilst walking I did notice some pathetic attempts at building sandcastles and I wished I had my bucket and spade with me (I'm such a child) as I'll show them what a sandcastle should look like.

The fog was so dense that you could only see 300 yards in front of you and so it actually felt like you were the only one on the beach as you couldn't see anyone else. It took me an hour to get from one end of the beach to the other, and on my return, the fog lifted to give me a beautiful sunny late afternoon (it also allowed me to search for any beach babes out there). I have to say that I actually think the beaches around Tofino, that I visited yesterday, were more beautiful but I was glad to have visited.

It was around 4:30pm and I decided, with a 1hr 30min cycle ride to get back to Tofino, I would head back. I had cycled 16km (9.6 miles) to get here and so, overall I would have cycled nearly 20 miles ... not bad for a newbie. I wasn't looking forward to getting back on the bike; I was really saddle soar and I had run out of water.

Instead of stopping off for a drink I decided to wait until I got back to the hostel as I had a 2ltr bottle of Pepsi waiting for me. As a motivator I decided that I would purchase myself a chocolate bar to go with the Pepsi and I was deciding which one (Dairy Milk ... Lint white chocolate and coconut ... oh how about Lint milk chocolate with strawberry, yum) which made me pedal faster. Once again I was Lewis Hamilton leading the 'tour de France' (because those cyclists were still in France whereas I was in Canada ... light weights) and I was hitting all of my apexes.

About two-thirds of the way back I noticed that I was closing in on this cyclist and, in true Jeremy Clarkeson fashion, I decided that 'I'll have her' and so I closed in on her and over-took her on the inside around a small bend ... perfect Hamilton over take. Now nothing could stop me and I over took people (okay, to be truthful the rest were all walking) left, right and centre.

I arrived back at Tofino around 6pm and I gave my bike back; I had enjoyed the day but I was glad to have given the bike back (I was now walking like John Wayne) and then I headed to the Co-op (the locale supermarket). I purchased a bar of Dairy Milk (as they didn't have an lint) and headed back to the hostel to sit in the window seats with my chocolate and Pepsi ... bliss.

Once back I first had to nip upstairs, which was a real mission, and then came back downstairs and ate my Dairy Milk 100g bar in record time (so fast it amazed me ... looks like I needed the calories).

Tomorrow I head to Ucluelet at 7:30am ... I need to get up early but the problem is that I'm sleeping in 'the games room' tonight. As this hostel is soo popular they put some mattresses in the games room for people to stay (remember I got a cancellation for tonight) but the games room won't close until 11:30pm ... going to be a long day tomorrow, but hopefully I'll see the broken Islands in Ucluelet.

Toodle Pip!

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