Bike Odyssey
North America 2004

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Journal for 28-May-2004 : Victoria, Canada

Light drizzly rain greeted us this morning. Bikes still covered in dusty road grime from yesterday. I walked out to buy something other than peanut butter burritos for breakfast. All I could find was a hamburger shop.

Walked the bikes into town and got a few spares, post a few used maps then found (eventually) the ferry terminal.

Waited for everyone to board, then we were directed to the top deck with our bikes. Bike racks awaited us. These seemed OK to start with, but were not fixed to the deck and not exactly unwarped. As the ship motored into the straights and started pitching, the bike rack periodically lurched from one side to the other, giving me heart palpitations.

The ferry announcement warned that unattended baggage would be impounded. With hundreds of American tourists scouring the deck, leaving all our gear on our bikes unattended was probably not the wisest idea, no matter how warm it was inside the cabin or how cold and windy it was out on the deck.

Unlike the low drizzly heavy clouds shrouding Port Angeles, the straights were in clear sunshine. We could see Vancouver Island in the distance, bearing it's own collection of topping out storm clouds.

Fortunately Victoria was bathed in sunshine when we arrived. Fortunate because the lengthy queue to clear Canadian customs was entirely outdoors. They must get some very angry customers in the frequent wet weather.

Even from a distance Victoria looks different from American towns. There are nice looking high rise dwellings, suggesting people want to live close to rather the as far away as possible from the centre of town. And there are green public spaces! Sidewalks, parks, public gardens etc. After America, it is positively beautiful. In fact, it's rather beautiful by any standard.

Found the CAA and got some maps and guides, then did a touch of shopping. No more genuine Mexican food anymore :-(, but the shop had an excellent bakery section with delights not seen for a while. Delicious croissants, pastries, and best of all, fresh white unsweetened bread!

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