Distance: 129 km (60 km by ferry)
Date: August 3, 2022
I was on the bike by 7 am and headed for Horseshoe Bay. This the port to get to Victoria Island. I left the RV site without any coffee or proper breakfast. Typically this is a no-go for me but without shopping no breakfast. So, grocery shopping was a big goal for the day.
The route led me via the kind of busy Highway 1 which was a little scary. But it was only for a couple of kilometers until I reached the harbor.
The ferry to Nanaimo was already waiting and I still had enough time for a good breakfast.
On the ferry I had a good chat with a local motorcyclist who gave me a bit of an inside on how he sees the world. Immigration from China was a big topic for him. Prices for houses, utilities and other goods had gone up 300% in the last 20 years, mainly because many immigrants from China and India were entering the market comparatively cash heavy. That drove up prices.
The funny thing was that his girlfriend actually came as an immigrant from Ukraine. Immigration is deeply ingrained in the DNA of Canada and the US. The government finds it hard to limit the intake until the infrastructure (houses, streets etc. ) can catch up.
We also chatted about where he had traveled by bike and what I was doing. When we parted ways he said „Keep on doing what you are doing. It is the right thing. It is a good life you are living.“ I am not sure why he said that. Maybe he felt that I was a little unsure.
When I arrived in Nanaimo two hours later I in fact managed to do grocery shopping as planned. I got myself food, gas and a big bottle of bear spray. The advice of the guy in the shop was: „Use it in 6-8 meter distance. If you have to use it, use all of it!“. Can‘t wait to not needing it!
The Canadians I meet are very friendly and open. Today alone I had more social interactions than on my entire trip around the Iberian Peninsula 3 years ago.
I saw huge eagles and a deer today. Other than that, wildlife has been very similar to Europe … so far.
My knee seems to be doing ok for now. It is not getting much better but also not worse.
Around 4pm I got tired and since there was no campground for another 60 km I decided to call it a day. This place is way cheaper and more beautiful than the one yesterday. It is situated directly by a little river flowing into the ocean.
I had a chat with a lady from Alberta who mentioned that in the area they had shot 14 bears this year because they started breaking into houses and cars in residential areas. According to her, once a bear has overcome his natural fear he has to be shot because he will always do it again. Great news … But she also said „Enjoy the beauty of Canadas wildlife and just be loud when you cycle.“
Remember my funny feelings that I had forgotten something? Turns out I did not bring my drivers license. It was on the packing list and I ticked it off but …
Well there is a nice Facebook group called „Biking across Canada“. Within hours I found a fellow cyclist who lives in Calgary and can receive the letter for me so that I can pick it up when I come through his town.