Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag Days 0, 1, 2, and 3
6 juni 2017
Days 0, 1, 2, and 3
On Friday June 2, my dad and I flew in a tiny plane from Vancouver to Sandspit. Because the taxi didn't show, we had to stuff 2 bikes and 4 bags (and 2 people) in my car, rush to the airport, and leave it there. But we caught the flight.
Sandspit is a small place, with about 10 houses and an airport that reminds me of the Fabuland airport we played with as kids. The weather was nice when we landed and we stayed in a hotel right next to the airport (as in, a 30m walk). We were welcomed by the staff, Max the tour leader, Vilma the cook, Peter the mechanic and Will chef media and miscellaneous. Peter assembled my bike in a few minutes while dad took care of his own bike. We explored the island by bike for a few minutes, had a lovely meal and went to bed early to make sure we'd be well rested for day 1.
Day 1: Masset - Tlell 67km
We got up before 6am, and had breakfast while the staff loaded 4 vehicles with the bags and bikes of the 14 riders. We started with a cultural experience; after driving and sailing by ferry to Queen Charlotte, we visited the Haida Gwaii heritage museum. A lovely young lady from the eagle clan explained the meaning of about 6 totem poles and told us various ancient tales in a very entertaining manner. I don't really like museums, but I very much enjoyed her stories.
We went on by car for another 90km to the very north end of the Island where our bike adventure would actually start. The staff put out all ingredients for a solid sandwich lunch, and we were lucky to have shelter in a, well, I guess a native shed or garage-like venue. It was drizzling when we left by bike for our first 67km ride. The wind, storm force, was more problematic though. I had envisioned biking in June slightly differently. Fortunately, I packed water proof gloves and a hat, and I was nice and warm during the entire ride. My dad and I left with a steady pace around 22km/h and took turns every 5km. After 45km we stopped for some hot homemade chili soup. Only 22k left before we arrived on the campsite. This campsite had a nice communal sheltered area where the staff had already set up the kitchen. After putting up our tent and having dinner, we had a quick look at the beautiful stormy beach, but we retreated in our tents soon because it was simply too cold to stay outside.
Although I had warned my dad for bears, and assured him that he really should not leave any food in the tent, I had completely forgotten to put my food supply away and at 11pm, I woke up suddenly realizing I had the perfect meal for about 10 bears in my tent - nuts, butter and tons of granola bars. I left a bag with all my food in the long drop toilet, pretty sure it would be gone in the morning, but then at least I wouldn't have any bear visiting my tent.
Day 2: Tlell - Queen Charlotte 49km
My food and bag were still there in the morning. I guess the bears didn't really like the smell of the toilet either.
I don't think I haven complained too much about the weather yet, so I'll do that now briefly. Except for right after our landing in Sandspit, we haven't seen the sun yet. And it has been raining either non stop or every 10 minutes. You'll get used to it though.
Because we had only a very short bike ride, and because I couldn't really fit everything in my bag, I decided to bike in my rain jacket and rain pants. And also because it rained obviously. 45km flew by easily, because the wind was not as strong as the day before. Even though we had had a good breakfast in the morning, I was starving at 9:30am when we arrived in Queen Charlotte. Perfect time for a second breakfast. Which we had in one of the two restaurants in town. A few old fishermen, well, at least residents of Queen Charlotte, were hanging out there on this quiet Sunday morning. Although I guess every morning is quiet in Queen Charlotte. One of them was quite interested in what we were doing here by bike and we explained our mission. An explanation we'd have to give many more times in the next few days.
After breakfast we rode to camp where we found a very basic "bunk house" where are rather peculiar guy had his even more peculiar home. It's hard to describe. Go back 50 years in time and envision a wooden house with a gravel floor and a lot of mess. But at least there was a shower, even though very primitive, it was wonderful to get cleaned up after two days of biking. We put up our tent, took a shower, walked to the village (3 houses), got soaked by the rain, and found a lovely coffee shop where I bought knitting needles and yarn, given the scheduled 7 hour ferry trip of the next day.
After dinner, I biked with one of the riders, Robert, to a trail head 10km from our camp. I had taken a nap in the afternoon, and since it is daylight till 11pm, really did not feel like sitting in my tent at 8pm already. The trail was only 2 to 3km, and looped through a rain forest and around a beautiful old lake. Three staff members joined later, and we were so lucky to get a ride back home.
Day 3: Ferry Queen Charlotte - Prince Rupert
Not a lot to write about this day. We had to be at the ferry 2 hours before departure because this ferry needs every car to load backwards on it (why oh why?). But I had prepared for a day of waiting and doing nothing so it didn't bother me. Plus, I am reading a book that is hard to put down, so 8 hours of reading is absolutely no punishment. Also, I don't think I mentioned this yet, but Sunday before departure, I threw out my back while chasing after Kai and trying to lift him. Perfect timing. Biking and sitting aren't really great for my back so this day of rest was very welcome. My dad found a perfect couch on which I could lay down the entire ferry ride. Except for some seasickness, the ferry ride was very relaxing. I slept, read and then we arrived in Prince Rupert where we stay in a hotel. We dried all our stuff and cleaned our bikes in our hotel room. Tomorrow is the first big day, 150km but not much elevation. The bikes are clean again, and it may actually not rain. So I'm excited for biking without rain gear.
Foto's bij verslag (7)
6 juni 2017 13:14 | Door: jokekroeze
Lieve Lieke en Paul,
Wat een avontuur om samen zo'n prachtige tocht te fietsen.
Wens jullie heel veel fietsplezier en geniet van de mooie natuur.
Maar vooral lekker fietsen, goed eten en heerlijke nachtrust.
Ik kijk al weer uit naar jullie volgende reisverslagen.
7 juni 2017 22:23 | Door: Bas
Lieve zus en papa,
Fijn om de verhalen te lezen van jullie mooie avontuur.
Veel plezier op de fiets en geniet ervan.
Hoop dat jullie de zon wat meer mogen zien de komende dagen.