Saturday, 8 October 2011

Vancouver, Canada - The shipping and other news

You may have seen the film, The Shipping News, a little favourite of mine. It was set in a small coastal town in Newfoundland but could equally have been set in the pretty little outpost of Friday Harbor on the San Juan Islands.

With the Boston to Seattle ride in the bag, Graham and I enjoyed a few days hopping on and off ferries to pedal around the islands of Puget Sound. The San Juans form a large archipelago of forested islands separated by narrow channels of calm waters. One day the sun shone, the sky was blue and the waters aquamarine. But mostly a light drizzle fell and a thin veil of mist hung over the islands, penetrated only by the boom of the ferries’ foghorns. And every day now there is a chill in the air and an autumn tint to the leaves as we move further into fall. On Lopez Island we had an idyllic camp spot by the beach where waves had cast up huge piles of bleached driftwood. On a night as black as coal, we hugged hot mugs of coffee as we watched the ferries come and go – in the inky night all we could see were their bright lights gliding along the flat-calm, pitch-black water. Our next jumping off point was Friday Harbor where colourful clapboard buildings were stacked above the bay which was busy with ferries, boats and float planes.

When we left Friday Harbor on the morning ferry, we left America and returned briefly to Canada to cycle through the russets of autumn woods and the orange of pumpkin patches and to enjoy wonderful Canadian hospitality in Victoria and Vancouver.

Of course, the news you really want to hear is who won “the bicycle diaries” competition. Judging by the high guess of some of your entries, you obviously think we spent most of the trip stuffing our faces with fries and milkshakes! Which of course we did … but not always in McDonalds! However Tigger has decided that the winner is Andrew Booth of Edinburgh with a guess of 51 which was closest to the correct number of 50 McDonalds consumed by me and Graham on our bicycle ride across the US. A prize is on the way!

As another winter approaches, it’s time for me to leave the northern hemisphere and head south once again … to the Land of the Long White Cloud … to New Zealand. I’ll be sure to send some news!

Photos on Flickr - pics from Vancouver and Vancouver Island in the "Canada" set.

1 comment:

  1. Ah! I am in Canada right now as well. Very close to Vancouver... between Vancouver Island and Vancouver, in fact, on a tiny island called Bowen Island.

    Your travels sound delightful!