Christina Lake to Crawford Bay Day 8 176km

Well after a restless sleep at Texas Creek campsite was packed up and on my way  back down the rd to meet Donna at her house. True to her word,  she invited me in even gave me breakfast  of porridge and tea then on the rd by 9am.

The bike secured in the back of her car we headed up the pass to Paulson Summit and she was right half way up its started blowing, low cloud base then pouring with rain so all I can say was a good decision to take the lift.

Donna was lovely and passed on lots of info regards various place so thanks Donna. 

Into Nelson and I hit  town and went for a coffee in a cool place and treated myself to another breakfast of roll with scramble egg and some sort of sauce all organic and some free wifi but unable to  get through to my family at that time. After that some shopping for a little food for tonight in my hotel room then on the road again.

I crossed the bridge to Hwy 3a  to divert to miss out salmo pass which most bikers miss out. My destination is Crawford Bay on the other side of Kootney Lake. The ferry is at Balfour about 33 km away from Nelson. I had a bit of a head wind on the way to  the ferry as I hugged the lake it’s a undulating but manageable then got the ferry which is free yes Brits free 35mins across the lake. A lovely  trip with views all around and met a sweet old lady who asked what I was doing and stated she would pray for me when she asked my name. I don’t know if it was because she saw a grizzly  yesterday or felt I needed all the help I can get.

After getting off the ferry was still about  4 pm so I decided to get the the hill you have to climb over with today and not book in the nearest motel just as you come off the ferry. I think it’s was good to get that over with and am now booked into  Crawford motel which is alright now catching up on the wifi  use and getting my soup on my stove and my French baguette eaten as I do so . I have also dried my tent and packed it away.

Tomorrow will be hugging the lake down Hwy 3a to Creston.

Well must sign off as soup ready  and I am starving

  
Over the bridge to Hwy3a towards Balfour from Nelson

  
Low cloud over Christina Lake this morning when I left

  
   
   

Photos from the ferry trip takes about 35 mins

  
Climb at the end of the day into Crawford Bay

Greenwood to Christina lake day 7 -77km

Today woke to sunshine and showers and more cooler air. Tent wet but still managed to pack it up. A delicious breakfast of pancakes and Maple syrup washed down by Yorkshire tea I’m going to run out of tea bags before long.

The weather forecast for today is sunshine and showers  and possibility of the old thunder storms so this should be interesting. Feeling tired as didn’t get the best sleep  last night  but will have to push through it.

Well the climb in the morning over Eholt Summit wasn’t to bad had a bit of rain so helped a bit stopped at the top for a snack  of hard boiled eggs and sweets what a combination but did the job. After the summit it’s down hill almost all the way to Grand Forks. It sits in the bottom of the valley and there also you can see plenty of fruit and vines in the fields. As it threatened to pour with rain I pressed on  out of Grand Forks heading to Christina Lakes. I made good time  and was there around lunchtime went to one of the camp sites  and thought about staying but no one there so I had a yoghurt ice cream and watched a bald eagle  circling and land in the tree opposite I think I got the photo hope so.

That when things went down hill I decided to push on through Christina Lake and was at the bottom of the Paulson summit  when a lovely lady called Donna  pulled up and stated there was a big storm coming in and to get to nearest camp site so she explained along from her house on the shores of lake Christine is a camp site which was where I made for.

She also stated that the weather for the next day was not promising but she had a dental appt in Nelson in the morning and if I needed a lift over the pass I was more than welcome. No second thoughts there.

I made camp and then the Rangers came and took the money at about 5 pm  and it didn’t look like any storm was coming. Campsite was Texas creek, no Wifi though. I had put up my tent wonder what I was going to cook up and 2 families from the pitch next door camp over to speak they were up from Spokane from USA  for memorial weekend so invited me to join them so friendly. BBQ of chicken and corn and bacon potatoes went down a treat that’s when the heavens opened luckily the gazebo we stood under kept us dry. I ran back to my tent and went to sleep fairly quickly but was woken by the tent going in a bit so it woke me so spent all night after that tossing and turning listening to all sorts of noises. When the washrooms opened in the morning the girls from next pitch stated they believed a bear was about as they were all awoken by the bins being knocked over either way to night I have promised myself a bed in a motel first to dry out and 2nd to get a good sleep.

  
Not a bad climb small in comparison 

  
Coming in to Grand Forks

  
  
Leaving Grand Forks had to take this one Debbie Derek  made me chuckle 

  
Welcome to the Kootneys

  
Watching the eagle from ice cream shop

  
Christina Lake before the storm

Osoyoos to Greenwood  day 6 74 km

Well Osoyoos yesterday. The temp not as hot but still hot so the owners of the hotel were great and he put my bike in the back of the truck and took me up and I then cycled 9 km to the summit. I finally felt cool but not enough to put my jumper on then to Rock Creek where I treated my self to a mango smooth at a lovely little cafe. Now in hot weather and cold drink headed up with painful head but was worth it. I then cycled on to Midway and the railway museum where I met up with Mathew shading under a tree. So we had lunch kept out of the Sun then made our way further up to Greenwood apparently Canada’s smallest city but looked like a village in our standards.

We arrived at our host house and waited as they were out on a bike ride to America. They arrived home about 10 mins later after we had been watching the humming bird  which was fantastic.

Tents put up in the garden and a lovely shower and evening  meal then off to bed. 

       

Pictures of going up the hill  from Osoyoos

   
              

where we had lunch

  

 

The city of Greenwood

Osoyoos  Rest Day 5 

Well yesterday in the blazing heat took its toll on me. Even though I applied several times a day sun lotion appears just  one hands got slightly burnt and the bugs did attack even through my socks and top so now using anti bite and taking my tablets preventing anything going bad. Black Betty has been washed and got quite a lot of dust and grit from her just need to get some oil and grease her later today. The sun is already up so glad I stayed put as you can see Anarchist pass from here and there is no shelter must be done early. So checking out Early tomorrow and making my way to Greenwood and warm showers host. Although if that’s to far in heat will call at Midway and camp. I heard from warm showers that Matthieu is also going there on Sat as I haven’t seen him on the rd since I left Hope he likes to rough camp and I, compared to him have being doing it the easy way although it hasn’t felt like that. Stopped last night on the way to the hotel to speak to a smiling Belgium guy who has hitched from San Francisco all over and is now going down to Vancouver for a flight out in about 4 weeks. He was looking for place to rough camp also but fairly built up here.

Today caught up with washing e mails and the like and went to bike store as Betty as developed a annoying squeak which is very annoying. Richie at the store stated the new bottom bracket I had replaced just needed tightening up I got him to check brakes and lube and check tyre pressure all good to go for 20 Cdn not bad and very helpful.

Whilst in town pick up something for all my bites and stuff and the owner of the motel gave me some repellent. Which they use and seems to be working. Tried to get the same stuff in town but got something similar got a feeling I’m going to need it around here and the rest of the country.

I spoke to locals today and asked if the weather is always as hot 32 in the shade but I’m told it’s come very early and not as usually this hot not good for cycling I feel.

  
Breakfast first cross between muffin and crumpet with banana and Nutella

   
   

the pool at motel would seem rude at 32 degrees not to have a dip

 

 

   

 

Part of the pass that just  keeps on giving all the way to the top

Washing is dry now going to cook chicken breast and a bit of salad tonight. I must admit treated myself to a Danish pastry so having afternoon cuppa and pastry for snack this afternoon. Using yorkshire tea bags of course don’t care about extra weight  essentials are worth it.

Now packing bags again to get weight right

Princeton East to Osoyoos 87 km Day 5

i said goodbye to  Coral and Janet and Sandy this morning thinking that today maybe good. It started well following the river passed Hedley a old Gold mining place. As the day progressed it got hotter and hotter. This region is known for wine making and fruit as evident by the wineries and fruit stand all around the road side. I got to Keremeos at Lunch time. So I stopped for lunch and another drink as I have drinking plenty.

The road goes up and down a it but it was the heat that is a killer with no shade anywhere no wonder they call this their desert I think is because they the area just sits in a bowl with high mountains about quite dry hence everyone  putting their sprinklers on.

I should have stayed at Keremeos but was told that it is nicer at Osoyoos so I pushed on in blazing sun in no shelter  it got hotter and my bike register 38 which I could well believe I was losing water as fast as I took it on board. At one point my water was at hot bath temp but nothing I could do but push on.

I rode into info centre at nearly 5 pm  hot sweaty and needed a place to stay I thought lakeside and the lady as the info centre gave me all the Jen.

Unfortunately that when it all went wrong. Up and down the lake rd looking for camp sites either they were full  or just RVs or no one at the office and closed up for the night. So back to the brochure she gave and started to call as now nearer 7pm. 

One guy answered  a hotel he was Welsh and did have a vacancy so off I trott. Very nice knowledge and helped me out as to the best route. I have put in a warm shower hostrequest  in Greenwood and am awaiting a reply. So depending that was thinking of holing up here and using the facilites  and break as have been going  5 gruelling days. Possible stay one more night before the big pass out of the town not looking forward in this heat.

I should really be camping to save money but couldnt fine one open. This is a nice room with cooker and fridge etc plus a pool outside .

  
Still following the river down

  
What the area ism own for

  
   
    

       

As you can see some of the signs along the way the Indian one was someone’s house name and sign. As you can also see we have another Cawston.

  
This is the mall  no other shops made me laugh

Manning Park resort to Princeton day 4 97 km

Well today was good I started with a Canadian  breakfast at the lodge 2 eggs easy over,hash Browns bacon and toast with fresh pineapple strawberry and orange on the side don’t ask comes with the breakfast. May I say the tea was awful  don’t bring hot water in a jug and a cup  doesn’t work but all in all got the day off to a good start.

Left there at about 9.15 and hit the road. What a difference a day makes the ride was good about 6/8 km all either down hill or on the level running  beside the river. Sun was shining who could ask for more.

Started the climb to top of Sunday Summit wasn’t as bad as yesterday or maybe I just took on more fuel either way went well. Mind you I kept thinking I was at the top with wonderful views of down below only to be thwarted again will a little more climb. Then there it was not much to look at and I was there. I broke out my lunch a cheese and ham wrap and was in seventh heaven washed down with lots of water. Because of the weather being so nice I drink plenty of water never drunk so much and my new treat is jelly beans oh lovely jelly beans by the hand full. Tomorrow it’s jelly sweets see how I like them.

The down hill is something else sometimes like a roller coaster  off you go if the hard shoulder is good I stay on that but if it’s gravel I own the lane thanks Peter for the advice in Hope. Today was speeds of 48km and I had the breaks slightly on, then watch how  you approach the hair pin bends but all went well learning all the time what works best for me.

Into Princeton where I thought I’d stay at about 3pm having completed 67 km for the day or so I thought. Nothing booked. I went to the place Hilary had mentioned for afternoon tea and a Danish pastry I must confess to never having had Irish breakfast tea but was alright when I explained I needed boiling water in the pot.Whilst there sat with free internet seems everywhere here good idea at least it is when travelling. The lady there stated if I kept going on hwy 3 about 23 km is Corals Cabins so off I set.

Following the river  on a rd that was good slight down hill and sunshine who could ask for more except didn’t see Corals yet turns out to be neared 30 km so found it having completed 97km.

What can I say of Corals fantastic little cabins surrounded by super scenery all sides. Coral was with friends at the bbq and showed me round and to my Cabin. Then Janet and Sandy invited me for dinner rack of ribs sweet corn and wine and more wine. The was then spent by the fire having smorgs I think that’s the name its toasted marshmallows between chocolate type cookies nice. They are so friendly over here just unbelievable so ladies thanks for last night no headache but having a slow day.

Sitting writing  writing this in sunshine round the camp fire only to be invited up for breakfast at Corals how kind they are. 

 Leaving Manning resort

  
That’s my destination

  
I followed the river nearly all day and am camped across the rd

   
   

Leaving the park

  
   
   

That’s what I’ve just climbed

  
Blackbetty at the summit

  
Lunch

  
Check brakes before hill

  This is mine hill and very steep but lucky I’m going down hill
  
Going over the hill

   
   

The girls Janet coral and sandy thanks again for lovely time.

Hope BC to Manning Park Resort Day 3 78km

What can I say that was horrendous. Hilary stated it was brutal but my goodness. You start at Hope and climb and climb and more climbing. I thought the next bend must be the top but no. The weather was stunning and captured the views. I knew it was steep when lorries we’re in the lowest gear going up and coming down. Finally at the top and there was Hope slide.Then down into Sunshine valley which was down hill but my legs were like jelly. I have so many bruises where I got off to push and the pedals caught my legs.

I stopped at Sunshine park but nothing there but RVS and chalets I had to ask a guy cutting his lawn if he would mind filling all my water bottles. His wife invited me in and offered me a glass of cold water as I filled my bottles just as well I did as there was no where in between, they must have taken one look at me and taken pity.

Just as I was swearing and talking to myself up came road works so I stopped and spoke to the lady with stop and go board for about 5/10 mins she then tells me to watch out for the brown bear near one of bridges even had a photo on her phone and showed me said bear looked big to me. Also stated she saw a cougar last week near by well my nerves were shot to pieces If I had met said bear I was definitely going lose then she held the traffic and let me go first  that are so good here. As I was coming up another hill who should be round the corner but Hilary and Peter complete with cold water and a apple thanks guys it was so nice of you. 

At that the heavens opened and I sat in the back of the 4×4 eating lunch  tin of tuna I’m going to have to think this through not taking on board enough fuel. The rain chucked down  for about 10mins then said goodbye to my wonderful hosts who have nothing short of spectacular and rode off eating my banana whilst cycling.

As I cycled saw a few deer and couple of birds of prey earlier in the day but was looking all over in case said bear made appearance.

Up hill again then down hills again  God was I beat. Now I must confess Hilary, I was hit by more rain was half way up Allison pass with no juice left in my tank and one of your fellow Canadians did the gentlemanly thing pick me up 

in his 4×4 stuck the bike in the back and drove the last bit to the lodge as I feel I may well have still been there now. Forgive my sin but needs must.

As a treat to myself I booked into the lodge and whilst making my room they gave me a drink free on house so while across at the restaurant  I had a meal but was almost falling a sleep. Back to the lodge and into a bath then a shower and into bed. I did try and phone home but guess to late for anyone to be about. 

I desperately need to recharge and regroup for tomorrow as another summit is looming roll on the prairies is all I  can say,just like home reasonably flat. That said the mountains are spectacular.  

   
  

  

 As you see the gradient is not good.

  

                    

   
     

So no bears seen thank god lessons learned need to eat more even though I don’t want to and always take lifts from passing strangers they are very interesting people who also give you a can of beer for the evening which is chilling in the fridge. Oh sorry Greg shouldn’t have put that on boys and girls  of Astley don’t take lifts from strangers and hello to all in Mr Brenchleys class.

Mission to Hope 80 km Day2

Hi all  started today at about 0830hrs first stop was  cup of tea at the local coop come gas station. Then on the road which at first ran  side by side by the railway line and the Fraser river boy are the trains long it took one about 10 mins to pass me. Just out of the town I met Mathew a French lad who has cycled nearly 26,000 km round the world in the last 2 years he also is staying with Hilary and Peter tonight at Hope we cycled a little ways together then I stopped for something to eat  it’s been a while since I have felt like eating so it was. Eggs easy over hash browns and toast and of course lots of water and tea. The weather has been unreal 27c was recorded as a cycled into Hope.

Well I made it and what a lovely mountain town as. Hilary and Peter were out walking there dogs till about 3 I hit the local shop where a table and free wi fi was available great set up. I had a welcomed diet Mountain Dew as I felt I had earned it and was turning pink and red due to the sun but had put sun screen on generously through out the day. Due to it being bank holiday traffic was busy but luckily leaving to head into the city of Vancouver, after the weekend holiday. Whilst in the shop managed to have a conversation with my son which was nice. Pete I tried to face time but with the time difference and Internet will be challenging over the next few days. Tomorrow is going to be a very tough day to Manning Park on route Hwy 3 and its climbing all day. At the end it’s camping and bear proofing so here’s hoping all goes well don’t want yogi at the door as I will not be unzipping.

At the end of the day a hot shower was very welcoming and 2 Beers which has made me quite light headed but very welcomed.

The ride its self today started off quite flat then as we got nearer Hope  there was several inclines with scary drops at the other side but the wind did cool you down. As you come into Hope there is a little hill which  is a so and so at end of the day in 27c heat

Here are some of the pictures of the day. 

           

Sunday May 17th 47km Vancouver to Mission

Well started the day with a lovely local couple called Randy and Lynn who bought me breakfast no not a full English. I had toast but instead of toast they serve biscuit and Jam its sort of like a scone very  nice. They also gave me a contact in Thunder Bay when I’m passing through lovely couple thanks guys.

I then cycled the bike down  to get sunscreen. As its a tad warm. I waited for my warm shower host turn up at 1400 to collect me and drive me out of Vancouver which was. Great guys  and did a bit of sight seeing. They dropped me off on Hwy 7 short of Mission my final stop tonight. Guest what guys over shot the camp site and couldn’t find another and time was marching on. There I was going up and down roads which had b& b signs thing there was one but when I arrived hasn’t been one for over 2 yrs. So  I was forced back to the rd to either go back 10 km to motel or 50 km into hope  there was something available hate turning round but needs must. So I pulled into the hotel and Darlene said I could have my room for 60 not 88 bucks so done,bed, Hot  shower and blackbetty has a space as well we are getting attached. Internet a bit patchy as I sit on the balcony writing this. For those old enough to watch Phyco and Norman Bates well the place definitely has the feel will put blackbetty to work guarding my door a trusty steed.

What can I say about my warm shower host but a very big thanks and look forward to tomorrow night when I reach your place. I believe there is also another guest doing the same thing the last part of his round the world trip and then home to France so could be a good night and some company.

Here’s a picture of me at Pacific Ocean  as I left. What you don’t know is I had pushed the bike down to the water dipped it got wet went to take a photo. To see Betty sinking in the mud lesson learnt but what a struggle getting it back up to the path way.  As I did this a lady out walking her dog asked if I needed a photo taken hence not on the beach I did try.

Well that’s all folks I will use the facilities I paid for and hopefully no one tonight will try my door at 2am like at the hostel at least black Betty is there for defence. 

 

Oh another thing this trip is playing havoc with my hair so I apologise now no brushes and no hair dryer and everyday with be a bad hair day taken to wearing a bandana  as Ella suggested so see how I get on

Tired but finally here 15/16th May

Arrived after a long flight then battle my way to the youth hostel at the beach. I left home at 5am flight left at 1135 only to be hit with ground hog day as it was only 1.30pm when I arrived. I battled to stay awake but a hot shower and off to bed at around 8pm Vancouver time God knows what time I’ll wake tomorrow.

Awoke at  2am ridicules reached for a drink of fizzy bottled water only to be sprayed all over the room quick to have another shower and read then off to sleep again.

Today Saturday has been filled with getting use to wrong side of the rd crossings and getting food and of course my good old bear spray. They make you show ID hopefully I will not have cause to use the stuff.

I’ve now finished putting the bike together in nice sunshine  and am now heading across from my hostel on to Jericho beach. Now sitting in the sailing club having my first proper meal and beer .over looking the Pacific Ocean and the Skyline of Vancouver on a balmy evening. Tomorrow my hosts from Hope are picking me up and ferrying me out of the city so the biking then starts. Looking forward  to starting as you spend more dollars staying in the one place. Although it is just the initial out lay of things I was not allowed to take on the plane.

I also managed to sort out a SIM card for my phone so the family can contact me if I have no wifi as I’m not to sure of the coverage when in the mountains.

Some pictures taken from Jericho beach which is directly across from the hostel   
 

Almost there

Hi folks nerves are now kicking in. The bike is now packed up ready for the flight to Vancouver. Packing there’s a tale I laid it out on the grass last weekend to go through what needs to be taken. Then comes along my son who ruthlessly went through it again chopping it down. I thought a nail file and body buff was essential he had other ideas!!! Well you have to have some luxury don’t you and I do like to smell nice for the occasional bear? 

My flight leaves from Gatwick this Friday morning and I get into Vancover just after lunch time Friday. Saturday  is going to be busy as I need to go shopping and check out the MEC for my last minute stuff. Essentials like bear spray and bear bangers plus food  and a knife yes going all Ray Mears, and then back to reality a new SIM card for my phone I’m not that stupid!!!

I have made my first contact with my warm showers hosts in Hope and Hilary and Pete have kindly offered to put me up  in there place. They have updated me the weekend is the first Bank Holiday across there so traffic will be very heavy and they have come up trumps. They are down in Vancouver for the weekend and on Sunday are coming across to pick me up from my hostel and going to drop me off just outside Vancouver to get me started which is very kind of them indeed. I will then cycle to Mission or thereabouts for the night and then make my way up to Hope and their place on Monday one day ahead of my planned departure.

My last few days have been spent out on my bike and going out for Some very nice meals out with family and friends. Tomorrow is a girly day out with my daughter before she heads out west on Monday but she is going to America so we will not be meeting up. 
 

All my panniers packed 21kg plus what the bike weighs now not sure now I have put on the racks etc. scary the thought of carrying all the gear but I’ll manage I’m sure. Will blog again from the other side of the pond.