We had a lovely breakfast here with our friends and got a little later start which was fine because we knew we had an easier day. OR did we? We had planned to go from Duncan to Victoria today. Yesterday at the Duncan Info centre they suggested rather than taking the Malahat which is the main (and only) highway direct to Victoria from the rest of the Island. They said it was dangerous with all the construction they are doing and suggested we ride down and take the Mill Bay ferry to Brentwood, then ride down to Victoria or go check out Sidney. So that was our plan. We also planned to take Telegraph Road down rather than the main highway. To get to Telegraph road we had to go through Duncan then go to Cowichan Bay.
We took a photo of the the giant hockey stick in Duncan. The shops along Cowichan Bay were really cool so I stopped to take photos of the street but missed the essence of it getting the sides of the building. We didn’t stop to shop because we had places to get to. Coming out of there was a steep climb. I also did not get a photo because as with all those steep hill photos, they don’t capture the essence of the steepness, nor the struggle to get up them. This particular climb gave me the new realization of my lack of fitness, both bike cardio as well as bike strength. I had to stop part way up and then struggled to get back on the bike. I suffer with balance issues at the best of times. I did manage to get on eventually and did finish the climb.
However, we also missed Telegraph Road which was somewhere at the top near the school. We didn’t realize it until we had gone down some and could see the highway. We ended up taking the highway the rest of the way.
We got our tickets at the Thrifty’s grocery store. It is 35% off for the ferry tickets if you buy them there. After talking to a couple people we found out there was an accident on the Malahat and our daughter wouldn’t be picking us up on the other side so we got tickets to come back as well. We were assured we would be able to get on the ferry as foot passengers with our bikes. It became apparent the magnitude of the situation when we approached the ferry area. There were cars parked along the road people had left to walk on the ferry, there was a very long (km or so) line of vehicles waiting for the ferry. The ferry we saw was able to transport about 25 vehicles (I could be way off on that but it wasn’t very big) so needless to say there were people waiting for a very long time. The ferry ride was about 40 minutes.
We got on the ferry half an hour after getting down there. We ate the Subway lunch we got and lined up to walk on. When we got to the other side we took a side road up which was less steep than the straight up which had just as many vehicles lined up. We road a few kilometers and turned around to go back to the ferry, not wanting to miss it due to too many foot passengers, and have to take the next one. We had dinner plans and wanted to get back. So we headed back, got some ice cream and lined up for an hour (because the ferry was half an hour late).
When we got to the other side again it was worse than it had been earlier. We had to walk quite a bit with the bike so stats are pretty wonky. We rode back to Thrifty’s for our daughter to pick us up.
Stats: Distance 44 km, Max speed 49 km/hr, Ave speed, under 20 due to that crazy climb and the walking with the bike to, on and off the ferry.
When we got back we realized the supper plans were on the other side of the Malahat and they had to be cancelled. We decided to take our friends out for supper and went to a nice little Thai place nearby which had great food. Spent a quiet evening visiting.
Our day didn’t work out like planned but it still worked out to be a good day. Tomorrow we will be doing touristy stuff and not riding. Regular posts to resume starting next week.