Watching the UK leave the EU from our bikes

087. Kinsol TrestleWe’re currently sat in the Cowichan Valley soaking up the news from the UK about the EU referendum.  We left Europe in January to go cycling and have a look at a few other countries to consider whether we’d want to emigrate. We’ve both been fallen in love with Canada, or more accurately British Columbia.  However, being away has also given us a chance to reflect upon life in the UK and we were actually thinking the UK seemed a pretty decent place to live.  OK, it has some downsides (the price of property and population density, especially in the south-east).  That’s now been put into a new perspective with over 50% of the electoral turnout voting to leave the EU.  We’ve not been following the news very closely, but knew that the polls were suggesting a narrow victory for the UK to leave the EU.  Historically referendums have resulted in nothing changing (such as the recent New Zealand flag vote; the Scottish independence question; the Alternative Vote referendum; Quebec’s referendums for independence) and we both assumed the same would happen on this occasion.  At about 2.30pm on Thursday we were sat in a café.  It was 10.30pm in the UK and Farage had admitted defeat.  Whoop.  We cycled down to our hosts, had dinner and then rechecked the news to discover that unbelievably things had changed.  Oh dear God. Continue reading

If you go down to the woods today…

073. Salt Spring wineryIt’s been nearly a week since we updated the blog, but as we’ve been using WarmShowers quite extensively to hide from the rain, rather than sitting around with only each other for company we have been sociable with our hosts, precluding much blog action. The most important news from this end is that WE HAVE SEEN OUR FIRST BEAR!!!!! Of course this is no big deal to the Canadians, but for us Brits used to living in a benign country with little to fear aside from our politicians, this was a major event. Continue reading

The Sunshine Coast: Part 2

043. Skookumchuck BakeryAfter our night in beautiful Pender Harbour we woke up to the sound of rain. Or rather water cascading off the tree we were camped underneath. Phew, it wasn’t actually raining, but it was certainly soggy. Before coming onto the Sunshine Coast we’d seen the forecast wasn’t great, but equally it wasn’t a great forecast for Jasper and Banff, which is the other area we want to explore. We knew we’d be getting wet at some point…. Continue reading

British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast

029. Bald eagleBefore we’d arrived in Canada we’d discussed the fact we would get need to remember how to cycle in the rain, something we’d forgotten about after getting wet for 35km of the 2,850km we rode in Australia.  Saying that, it was pretty warm in British Columbia for our first five days, then we woke up on Wednesday morning to the sound of rain.  That’s the Canada we’d been expecting.  Fortunately we were pretty sheltered under the trees and the tent wasn’t too wet, but by the time we’d started the ride back to Squamish we were getting pretty wet and quickly grabbed more clothes to wear. Continue reading

We’re in Canada!

003. Vancovuer from the Lions Gate BridgeWe’ve been in Canada for a few days now and are still getting over some jetlag (I seem to be sleepy around 1-2pm but wide awake at 1-2am – sigh) and adjusting to crossing the dateline on our 13½ hour flight over, arriving before we left. We spent a couple of days relaxing in Vancouver and since then have cycled up to Whistler, where the 2010 Winter Olympics were hosted. We have a vague plan of what we are going to do in Canada, which involves Vancouver Island and the Icefields Parkway, but our plans have a habit of changing so we shall see… Continue reading