Toronto to Nanaimo
There may be a bit of a delay in delivery of reports due to lack of computer access on my handlebars so bear with me.
Naturally my trip starts with rain, which on all other vacations has been followed by nothing genuinely bad happening. Note: I'm typing this nursing a dog bite, it's not severe but more about that later.
The flight was much as any other, but thanks go out to Westjet staff for pointing out the oversize baggage drop better suited to bikes than the closest one and the ground staff for delivering my pride and joy safely to Vancouver on the right flight.
On arrival at YVR I was greeted by my travelling companion, Trepid Explorer, who is more lovely in real life than in correspondence and is turning out to be both an enjoyable and very valuable travelling companion. She guided me out of the airport post bike rebiuld and introduced me to the amazing scenery of British Columbia. Warm sun against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains is how I would like to arrive at any destination ever.
Vancouver is amazing as far as cycling is concerned and I hope to find time to explore the city sometime. The major road leading out of the airport and over a freeway bridge off the island has full and spacious cycle lanes and the drivers, despite some reputations are some of the most bike friendly I have experienced in a big city. Time was only wasted on coffee before rolling through lush green Stanley Park into North Vancouver where a a long and winding Marine Drive took us past a Gleneagles Golf range and some veritable mansions to Horseshoe Bay. We made it just in the nick of time for the 6.15 sailing to Nanaimo. The decor and food was rather reminiscent of the England to France cross channel ferries that haven't quite made it out of the 80's. However, this was more than compensated for by the view of mountains everywhere. Jaw and eyes agape whilst in the back of my mind there niggles the thought that I will be crossing these soon.
The first nights accomodation was to be found in the reccomendable Nicol St. Hostel, comfy if a little compact.