Yesterday afternoon I reached Prince Rupert this will be sort of the last point on my Alaska–British Columbia-mainland tour; after 3000km I have positive memories so far – in spite of the small electronic and other difficulties. But they are sort of like "the salt in the soup“.
Didn’t have any problems to find my B&B which turned out to be the oldest resident house of Prince Rupert (1808) and is maintained by a really cool elderly lady. It’s overloaded with old bits and pieces but is nevertheless cute, has a perfect view over the harbour and is right in the middle of Prince Rupert.
After 7 days of camping a night in a 'normal' bed and the landlady – she calls herself Auntie Fifi - promised me a fabulous Canadian breakfast the next morning. So I was sitting at the breakfast table together with an English man and a Belgium couple, enjoying a rich breakfast. But that was just the beginning of what turned out to be the most weird breakfast I have ever had – in a positive way. Auntie Fifi used to earn her living in her young days as a Edith Piaf double touring around the theatres and casinos and so she sung us 3 original songs while we had our breakfast. And she did that absolutely perfect with that unmistakable French rrrrrr-Accent of Edith Piaf. What a start into the day!
I had decided to do some exercise for a change and got hiking maps at the tourist board for a round-trip up to Mount Hays: 18km wide and about 1500 up-and-down. They just had a detailed copy for the first part of the round-trip, from the second part I had to take a picture out of their visitors book with my cell-phone. As I am used to hiking from back home I thought that wouldn’t be a problem. Now I know better and I know why they did not have any copies anymore!
An easy way through the city, a short walk through a mystic forest and then up a gravel road - which would be a dream for any off-roader and even legal to drive! I walked up in a steady pace and reached the summit after 2 hours. What a view over Prince Rupert up there!
I did not rest for long and looked for the connecting trail to get to the other summit. No way. Even with the help of two other hikers. After a while I saw the tracks of a Quad into what I assumed to be the right direction. I followed that track slowly down the hill through a quite muddy area and when that tracks of the Quad ended I finally saw the connecting trail – or what was left of it. The wooden panels that should lead over the marsh and the little creeks were completely rotten, breaking at the lightest weight on it and rusty nails sticking out everywhere. It took me another 15 minutes to check whether it would get any better. But when I did I was lucky I did not get a rusty nail into my foot (after going straight through my heavy hiking boots) I decided to go back. I sort of struggled back up the hill to the former trail and returned to the city the same way. Back I went straight to the visitors board to inform them about the desolate trail and suggest them to take the second trail completely out of their hiking suggestions.
Lesson for today: the first sunburn on my shoulders, a big scratch in my leg, a hole in the hiking shoe but definitely the most funny, weird and adventurous day so far. And that even without driving the bike ;-)
Today I had to get up at 5 in the morning to get to the Ferry to Vancouver Island on time. During the 15 hours on the Ferry we even saw some dump whales and bucket whales but apart from that it was just an easy day cruising smoothly along the shores and through the narrow sound of the Islands towards Port Hardy where I will stay at a hostel.
My last booking so far. From now on, everything is unplanned and I can go spontaneously wherever I like to go. What a great feeling!!