When Downey and I first arrived in Victoria we really did not know where to go. We clumsily grabbed our bags and boxed bikes from the airport and jumped on a taxi to the closest Mountain Equipment Co-op to put our bike together and grab the bivy bags we would be sleeping in for the next 100 plus days.
Once our bikes and our gear was in good working order, we proceeded to try and find a place to sleep for the night. The people we asked told us there was a couple of hostiles close by and we luckily found a free room at Oceans Island Backpackers Inn. It may seem like this was a blessing, but it was also a curse. The room Downey had booked was no bigger than a closet. It had one small bed and there was no window. The night was one characterised by tossing and turning, fighting over the 1 blanket and terrible flatulence.
The son could not have come up sooner, and at our first oppertunity to leave the Inn we departed with our gear and headed down the Sooke highway. We decided to camp at Goldstream provincial park. It was a beautiful place but we had to pay 30$ to stay the night. It is a mistake we will not make again. The hope is that we will camp in yards of people willing us to stay to avoid paying the fees associated with recreational camping.
From Goldstream we went to Port Renfrew. The highway was not one with alot of traffic but we had met a new obstacle a little later in the day. It was not mountain, wind, or construction as one might anticipate but one more immediatly frightening. The obstacle that I am describing is bears. Big black bears that lingered on the road, standing between us and our destination. After yelling and whistling did nothing to frighten those hairy beasts, we could do nothing more but wait till a kind motorist came to our aid and honked his horn to scare of the bears. At that point he waited on the road while we cross with him, unharmed but a little shaken up.
When we arrived in Port Renfrew one of the waitresses at a restaurant offered us a place to sleep for the night. This room was bigger than the last, but we made the mistake of putting on the electric heater. What happend, is that hours after going to be, the heat was so intense in the room, that I was sweating perfusely. I was too tired to climb over Downey and turn off the heater, so instead I opted to sleep on top of my sleeping bag.
In the morning, I had seen the error of my ways. Downey and I have taken in the habit of sleeping in the nude to give our loins a good chance to heal and air out after a long days bike ride. When I woke up I saw that Downey had been thinking the same thing as I and he also laid on top of his sleeping bag naked. This was a frightening site that I would not have mentioned to you kind folk if I didn't see great humour in it.
After our awakening, we cycle to the oceans edge. We took some pictures and dipped our bikes and feet in the Ocean. This is where our cycle tour would being. With our spirits and energy high, we departed Port Renfrew and went southwest to the town of Sooke, about a 100 km away. We arrived at a restaurant around 6 pm exhausted. Our high spirits were now dragging, and our energy was none existant. Only once during our trip that day had we stopped to eat, and the hills and lack of nutrition had taken its toll on us. When we miserably rolled into the restaurant, we barely had the energy of facing that we would have to set up camp soon.
It is at some of the lowest points, where you can see some of the best in people. As they say, it is always darkest before the dawn. Holly, a waitress in Sooke, asked us about our sorry condition. After explaning to her what we were trying to do, she offered us our own seperate rooms, a shower, a washing machine and some privacy. She raised our energy and spirits incredibly, and after a night of rest and a warm shower, we powered the next day straight to Victoria.
Victoria is where I am at the moment. Yesterday, we went to Mile 0 and took all the pictures neccesary to start this trip right. Michael and I didn't settle for just dipping our feet in at the ocean, instead we decided to jump right in. There is alot of things we don't know yet (like barnicles are very sharp) and certainly hope that we will learn quickly how to make this trip a success and avoid the bumps in the road we have already had to cross. I will keep everyone posted. Take care and God bless.