14th July 2015

Friday, July 10th – Tuesday, July 14th 2015: Vancouver Island : more than expected ….

The ride on the ferry from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy was long but the scenery was again just breathtaking – we even got the chance to watch some humpback whales; I just was not speedy enough to take any pictures, I'll have to work on that if I intend to increase my wild animal count ;-)
I again had the chance of talking to a nice lady sitting next to me; she was from Powell River coming originally from Hungary and used to have a restaurant before retiring – so there was a lot of interesting topics to talk about.
After a speedy check-in at the hostel, shortly before midnight, I got a really nice 2 person room. The other girl was not in, just her luggage and the backpack (on the nice big bed) showed that I was not alone that night.
But she did not show up all night, missed the expensive ferry and referring to the smell of her lugagge she spent the night partying.
So I had a nice and cheap single room and decided in the morning to stay another night. I took the chance of driving a windy road to Port Alice. Not much to see there but the ride was worth it anyway.
After that I again tried to sort out my luggage to a reasonable way of packing. Though I packed just a few things I have already realised I've taken too many things with me. First thing to do in Port Angeles therefore was to send some stuff back home.
On Sunday morning I took off to Campbell River. As it was not that far away I decided to take the longer gravel road – even though it was slightly raining. Didn’t have any problems finding the junction but then it got somehow difficult. No road signs and my GPS did not know that nice gravel road. I just drove on and quite soon realised that it was not funny with the high pressure (meant for paved road conditions) I had in my tyres. So I just lowered the pressure and from then on it was REALLY nice driving. Different to what I’m used as driving normally off-road tyres but I am getting used to the "Heidenau K60 Scout“ and it seems to be as good as I was told before. Somehow I got back to the highway – not exactly where I wanted to be - came out in the north instead of south, so I was traveling back towards Port Hardy instead of driving towards Campbell River. But I didn’t care, it was a nice drive and I could train my off-road skills again – though looking like a pig meanwhile before getting back to the highway I tried the little compressor I had with me: and hey, it just works fine. Good to know! Means that from now on, I will always lower the pressure from my tyres when driving on heavy gravel roads.
After just a short night in Campbell River – next to my tent site three somehow symphatic motorbikers on a brewery-tour !!! and therefore with a sleeping habit that was quite noisy… I think they did not see the Quite Zone sign ;-)
In the morning I decide to shorten my stay on Vancouver Islands – feel like I need a different scenery now; had enough of mountains and woods and was longing to see the coast, the beaches of the West Coast. So I drove down to Victoria and booked a ferry to Port Angeles (WA) for the next morning. Victoria by the way is a really nice English looking like city where you can spend hours of just strolling around.
A last night at a cosy camp-ground next to the river…. The perfect ending of the first part of my journey. Vancouver Islands: almost 4000km driven so far and it just feels good to be on the road.
No real problems so far, people are absolutely friendly and curious about my journey; most of them admiring what I'm doing – not just because they think it is a brave thing to do at all and not just because I was traveling alone (as a woman) and not just because they had been afraid of all the "dangerous“ countries on my way south but I also felt because they just never got the chance to do something like that; never crossed the border of their own country. I know that it is a privilege and I really appreciate having the chance to do it. I take every day of my travel as a gift and enjoy whatever is coming up.