Weekend Wanderings

We’ve been on the island 3 months now and in that time we have felt like we have been tourists because everything has been so new and exciting. So many new things to absorb and experience. I think however, we are fast becoming locals because we have started revisiting some places we have previously enjoyed. It doesn’t make it any less enjoyable because there is always something to learn and enjoy.

We do love the Islandhopping life so on Saturday we returned to Saltspring Island to visit the famous market and to bike the ‘north loop’ of the island that we did not get to on our previous trip.

The market has only re-opened at the beginning of August. I remember it being much bigger with more produce vendors, and more crowded. We didn’t miss the crowds but we did miss the food vendors. We were at least hoping to see the Saltspring Cheese Factory to buy some more yummy goat cheese. They were not there. But we enjoyed the various crafts and did pick up a delicious baguette that we enjoyed on our seaside picnic lunch.

It was a really nice ride on the northern side of the island. Of course it was hilly (what else is new). Thankfully the hills were shorter but they were steeper. The Tour setting on my bike got a workout. There was a lovely section by the water that was relatively flat which was a nice break. Tide was out and there was a large exposed beach that we explored a bit. There were houses of various sizes and we could see how people could enjoy island life. Even though Saltspring is a large island, I think we would find it too isolated but it’s lovely to visit.

One highlight was a ‘bakery by the side of the road’ based totally on the honour system. It had everything from bread to cookies to loafs to tarts and scones. I boosted the local economy by enjoying a cinnamon bun!

Even though there was a lot of ups and downs, the roads were quiet and the island had a peaceful idyllic feeling. We enjoyed the seaside views along the east side, the pastoral farmlands on the west side, and of course the towering trees that provided welcome shade. It was a great ride.

Today we returned to the Stony Hill walk with Nicky and Derek. It’s such a great trail and the views from the top into Samsun Narrows, into Maple Bay and then further south to Cowichan Bay and beyond are really special. There was a lot of boat traffic in the narrows, and lots of people on the trail enjoying the views and great weather.

I’m sure we will be doing this one over and over. I don’t think we will tire of the views. The plan was to visit a local winery for a late lunch but that was thwarted by some late afternoon rain so we enjoyed Casa Pearce instead. Thanks for the hospitality!

This week we will have to do lots more bike riding. We have signed up for the virtual version of the RBC GranFondo Whistler. The ‘real’ event is a 122 km ride on the Sea to Sky highway from Vancouver to Whistler. I’m not sure we could do that but this year’s version is virtual. All we have to do is ride 150 km between Sept 1 and 12 and that we can do. Funds from entry fees are being raised for various charities so it’s a great way to have fun, get exercise and do some good.

Then on September 12 we are riding another virtual charity event for World Bicycle Relief to raise funds to provide bikes for those that need them. Check this link to learn more if you are interested.

So we will be busy on our bikes but for good causes!

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