After 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….
We only had a short ride ahead of us to Egmont and we set off into greyness. It was all very stunning, in a bleak sort of way. Undoubtedly it would look very different under blue skies, but what wouldn’t change is the attitude of the car drivers, who on the whole have been fantastic and this added to our enjoyment of cycling the Sunshine Coast.
We were heading to Egmont to visit the Skookumchuck Narrows where, twice a day, the water from the surrounding inlets is funneled through a tiny area, resulting in whirlpools and tidal waves. We weren’t in a rush because the tide would be doing it’s magic until gone 4pm. We walked out to the Skookumchuck Narrows through the British Columbia woodland, hoping not to have to run away from elks or stand our ground against bears. The Narrows were very impressive and as the clouds rolled away we could also see snow capped mountains raising up in the British Columbia interior. Philippa had found the Strongwater bunkhouse in Egmont and so we spent the evening in a quaint wooden hut, complete with heating which helped to dry out our tent. Dinner was booked on the deck outside and we had tasty pudding from the Skookumchuck Bakery.
Sunday involved backtracking to Earls Cove (like a lot of place names that we’ve come across the apostrophe that probably should be present has vanished), but not before we’d revisited the Skookumchuck Bakery for an amazingly delicious cinnamon bun. From Earls Cove we had another ferry ride from one part of the mainland to another. Upon disembarking at Saltery Bay we let the cars go ahead and that meant we had the road to ourselves. The skies were still grey, but the cycling was still great. The major town on this part of the coast is Powell River where we’d thought about stopping. However, we’d elected to continue to Lund, which was the right decision because Powell River seemed pretty run down, whereas Lund was a beautiful little village at the end of the Sunshine Coast highway. There’s a 0 mile marker in Lund for the start of Highway 101 that runs south down the Pacific Coast through the USA and as we will use a lot of 101 we got a photograph of the marker.
This morning (Monday) we were woken up by more rain and worryingly the brand new outer part of our tent hadn’t done a very good job of keeping out the couple of hours of rain. We may have to contact eXXpozed. Again. At least the rain had stopped by the time we had to take down the tent, so we set off back to Powell River after saying goodbye to the friendly campsite owner. (Why is everyone in Canada so friendly and cheerful? Philippa thinks she’d get deported if she lived here for being too grumpy.) We did have to make a detour via the Lund bakery to collect a blackberry and a pecan bun.
We’re now on the ferry over to Vancouver Island. Before boarding we ate the blackberry bun, which was incredible. So much so that Philippa had difficultly not eating it all herself. We’ve still got the pecan one to sample. Tonight we are being hosted in Merville and then we’re going to head onto Quadra Island for two nights. Hopefully the blue skies will reappear at some point.