The first 2000 kms

Oh Boy, I don’t even know where to start. The last two weeks have been mind-blowing in every single way.

We had the luck to stay with the lovely Belgian family “Marchand” in Sooke. They welcomed us in the best way possible and we’re really grateful for that. Renaat was a perfect help in getting Pieters bike ready and told us story after story. What an amazing character. Friends for life its what its called I guess. Renaat dropped us in his electric car of on the way to the “Juan de Fuca trail” together with his son Arno. Dropped, because the electric car didn’t have enough electricity to make the whole trip. So we had to hitchhike, which is after motorcycling and sailing, the third best way of travelling. We got an easy ride and started the 18km hike along the west coast of VC island. No words can describe it. Abandoned beaches, fairy tale forests, ocean viewpoints. The ranger alerted us for a black bear with two cubs which we didn’t see (I forgot the bear spray anyways :-). We camped on the seashore with a view on the US and sea lions that were observing us. Magic.

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From Sooke we finally started riding to Tofino, a surfing spot. The 350km ride was a winding road, lakes on the side, mountains on the other. I mean, motorcycling doesn’t get better than this. We stayed with Clair, who we met through the ‘Adventure Rider Tent Space Map’. Its like a worldmap where people offer a couch or there yard for bikers.  We stayed in Tofino for two days, Claire took us on a nice hike along a downhill mountainbike trail with an astonishing view on top. Never seen sea planes landing or taking off from the water, pretty cool. We went fishing for salmon and had our first BBQ and Dark and stormy’s. I’ve slept next to the wooden stove because it could get pretty cold in this part of the island, perfect.

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Cumberland was next on the list. There was a brewery in town, so that called for a stop. We got pretty lightheaded after two pints because we tend to forget to eat (except for bananas (I think we ate a whole banana plantation by now) while riding. There was a pizzeria next to the brewery. When crossing the road, another KLR rider (same bike as Pieters) passed and gave us the shackle. 50 meters further his chain fell off. So it was our turn to give him the shackle ;-). Unfortunately we were unable to help. In the pizza place we got offered free beer because a guy liked our story and our bikes. How easy can it get. Dawn was coming upon us so we set for the campground. My gps went totally loco and sent us on a logroute with loose gravel. This was a true challenge in the condition we were in. And Pieter and me have like zero off road experience. After 10km’s the road ended in the forest and we decided to turn back in pitch black. Helping each other to turn the bike on the logs and loose rocks. First adrenaline rush was a fact. Pretty proud we managed to tackle it.

Because we were halfway Vancouver Island we decided we want to see all of it. (its a little bit bigger than Belgium). Another 350kms on the local highway (single lane, winding roads , snowy mountains lakes and signs of wildlife crossing) we ended up in Port McNeill where we met again with Femke and Bert. They are Belgians on a working holiday visa, lovely people. We went to a free campground near a river to spent two days. (Oh boy, I love camping!) Here we met Jim, a 70 year old figure who came to fish and camp. Great figure and the first guy in Canada who could get us in higher spheres. He wanted to take us on a speedboat trip but he blew up the engine before that :-). His friends would arrive the next day to go fishing. One of these guys was Scotty, who grew up in the seventies and had the most amazing stories: he owns 7 boats, free dives in Mexico, was married two times and he lives on Malcom Island where he has a tomato plantation and invited us over. I mean, sometimes we think it can’t get crazier.

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That was pretty easy… He showed us his property (16 hectare, he told us he gets lost on his own property) and we crashed in the growing room (no cops on the island). While waiting for the ferry we met this girl called Patricia, a 22 year old who is on a solo sailing trip. Yes indeed, it DOES get crazier sometimes. She set sail for the island and we picked her up in Scotty’s oldskool gypsy RAM truck. Things were getting perfect with campfire and beers. The day after Patricia took us sailing, and I fell in love with the sport immediately. She wants to participate in the Golden Globe race in four years and she has our deepest respect. What a beautiful soul.

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After Malcom Island we decided to leave VC island and go for the mainland. After two ferries trough the most beautiful scenery (we saw humpback whales in the distance), we camped wild (got woken by seals in the night), Pieter lost his keys while waiting for the ferry, we arrived on the mainland. Now we stay with Jorge and Misty in Whistler (snowboard and mountainbike mecca) in one of the most perfect houses I’ve seen. Jorge has a printing shop and is printing my stickers right now. Crazy how fate stumbles on our path.

Next on is the Hurley Road, 90 kilometers of logging road and according to the local people and the internet it is “some of the most fantastic scenery in Canada”. It takes us to an abandoned gold mining town. Looking forward!

The bikes are doing really good. We get a lot of attention on the way and thumbs up. Been sleeping on the ground for 10 days and only paid two times for a place to sleep. Sometimes I have to pinch myself this is real. Living the dream…

 

 

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