Day 7: Port Hardy to Prince Rupert (border to Alaska)

Date: August 8, 2022

Today was the big ferry day. I got up at 4:30 am and put down the tent in pitch black night. Thankfully, Sarah had offered me to leave my food in the trunk of her car. Within 40 min I was on the bike.

While leaving the campground I met 23 year old Lydia in her wheelchair. She was waiting on the shuttle bus and was a little nervous if everything would work out. I reassured her that it would and that we would certainly meet aboard the ferry.

Boarding was uneventful and for sure Lydia arrived with a little delay but still well in time.

While walking my bike on board I met Regina, a fellow cyclist. She was a Speech Language Pathologist (German „Logopädin“) and had been attending a wedding in Victoria. Now she was on her way home to Hazelton, BC. Within minutes she invited me to pop up my tent at her place which was actually on my route. This hospitality here is just so amazing.

I introduced Lydia and Regina and we had a very good chat mostly about political and economical topics. Regina knew a lot about the First Nations which the Canadian term for the native inhabitants of the land before the white settlers. Many members of them are actually her patients. 

The natural scenery here is so beautiful it almost hurts. I can’t stop staring with open mouth to take everything in. Blues skies, green water, white stones, snowcovered mountain tops and green pines. It very much reminds me of Northern Norway and my trip back from the North Cape with the Hurtigruten last year. Only this time I am not sick 😷 

We saw about ten Humpback Whales from afar. A great and impressive sight, simply jawdropping. Supposedly there were also two black bears at the shoreline but unfortunately I did not see them. 

There are a lot of First Nation bands living in northern British Columbia and we also saw some of their remote settlements. 

Overall, the ferry trip took 16 hours and covered about 500 km. A lot of time to sit, relax and do nothing. We arrived at Prince Rupert around midnight. From here it is another 1,363 km to the Arctic Circle. 

The local campground was prepared for travellers coming by ferry and had its reception open. However it was about two kilometers through the night and Lydia hat no illumination at her wheelchair. A little too risky for my taste. So, I borrowed her my helmet for the way since it has front and rear light.

While I was waiting for Lydia I set up my tent in the darkness. It was cold and very wet. I was relieved when she was finally there and helped her to set up her tent. By 2 am I was in bed and fell asleep right away.

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