Cycling season has started. Although ski season is still alive and kicking, it’s great to get out on a bike and enjoy some sunshine and greenery. Maya and I drove to Tsawassen, hopped on our bikes, and rode to the ferry terminal. There we met Doris and Avery from the VOC, also on their bikes (albeit light road bikes), but heading to Galiano Island. After one stop and one transfer, we arrived to Pender Island. Our ride took us past an Alpaca farm, where each Alpaca was a different colour. At this time of year, the farmer’s market seemed to carry mostly knick knacks and a few baked goods – not too many farmers there.
From there we headed to Medicine Beach, where we lay down for a much needed nap on the piles of broken up shells (“midden”), the remnants of thousands of years of inhabitation by oyster eating humans. We rode across the bridge to South Pender Island. The two islands (North and South Pender) used to be one island, but a channel was dug and a bridge built, so they were christened separate islands. We had lunch on another beach, and then rode to Gowlland Point where we walked along the shore a bit and I checked out a small lighthouse.
We camped at the Gulf Island National Park Reserve back on the North island, a peaceful campground in the forest. The next day we rode to Peter Cove where we explored the shoreline for a while, enjoying the sun and interesting rock formations. After a short hike, we had lunch at the Oak Bluffs viewpoint, sitting above steep cliffs that drop down directly to the sea with views of many small islands, none of which we knew the name of. Once again, views of Mt. Baker, which looked as if it was floating in the air, just like the “floating mountains” in the movie Avatar. In fact, we had seen snowy Mt. Baker from a few beaches already, a stark contrast to the sun and greenery around us, and a reminder that in the mountains it is still winter.
We rode back to the ferry terminal along Clam Bay Road, a small and quiet country road. Once on the ferry, I was still busy sleeping off my exhaustion from the previous week, but Maya found Doris and Avery and chatted with them about their experiences on Galiano. After some Pakistani kebab and lots of hot nan, we were back home, the first cycling trip of the season, many more to come.