Two great women are our base camp in Victoria on Vancouver Island: Sheila & Anthea. We met Sheila & her husband Jamie on the Great Divide in Montana and they offered us a place to stay if we would make it all the way to Victoria. Jamie is still on the road, so their daughter Anthea fills the gap. Anthea showed us how to carress a chicken. Always handy to have that knowledge. More practical skills were gained by doing a sea kayak course on the island of Salt Spring in the Strait of Georgia. So cool and so wet ! At least now we know how to rescue ourselves and above all each other when the kayak decides to capsize. The next two days, we tried our new skills in the great water between Salt Spring and another small island called Prevost Island. Our arms and shoulders felt like limp noodles. But we were so happy that we learned something new and that it wasn’t connected to biking…

As you could have seen on one of the photos, we pulled a bike trailer through the Great Divide. As food and water supplies were plenty in Canada, we decided to sell our beast of burden. The trailer, manufactured by ExtraWheel, is almost perfect ! It follows you all the time, doesn’t complain and carries huge amounts of oatmeal, tortillas, peanut butter and crisps. In Canmore, AB, we recycled our baby of burden to Claude Leger, a very nice guy running Switching Gear, a great place to sell and buy (second-handed) outdoor equipment !

Back in our base camp, we decided to do a little bike trip ! Why not ? We do have the bikes with us anyway. Everyone possibly knows the existence of the West Coast Trail. A serious hike trail along the west coast of Vancouver Island. There’s also the Juan de Fuca trail and as the name is so much more beautiful than the West Coast one, we thought we would cycle along it. The forest and especially the trees therein are just impressive ! Big and very aged. Centuries past away whilst these immense skyscrapers stood there simply catching wind from the Pacific. Seems like a cool job ! It took us three days to get to our final destination, the foggy and rainy Port Renfrew. We made a quick visit to Avatar Grove, a gloomy place where very old Western Red-Cedars and Douglas-firs grow (750-1000 years !! and they still grow). And yes, we did some tree-hugging as well. Gives you so much energy…!?

At the very moment we’re exploring the deep inner coffee part of Victoria. Tomorrow, we’re heading to hugely beloved Tofino to ride some waves (or just inhaling huge amounts of salty waters…)

Cheers, S&M

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