August 30, 2007 GMT
Where's the maple syrup then?

I'm so made up over being allowed close enough to stroke Bonkers. Now she's gone that far I feel I can actually put her picture on the blog. Unfortunately she's been so badly treated before Nick and Emmah got her it'll take a lot more than a few days to become a friend in any way. But hey, she didn't shy off between each tidbit I fed her just before I left. Mishka on the other hand was all over me, wouldn't leave me as I packed and just waited at the door when I locked up.

Holy rooney (and its no reference to Wayne), Canada at last and it doesn't seem that different. Shops and houses look about the same, scenery is very similar to Washington state and prices are pretty similar. Actually, its similar but on a bigger scale. There are rivers rather than creeks and the lakes are brilliant, bigger than those I saw in Washington.

The people are definitely different, they have a sense of humour. They are also more relaxed, just as friendly but the towns are not as crowded and lack the hustle bustle of many towns and cities in the states.

The roads, well despite the fact I decided not to travel on Route 1 up the coast the tarmac seems to be prefect. Smooth as a babies bum, and cambered in the right direction. Unlike the states they have gone metric, so its back to km. But that's OK I just take the speed signs as if they mean mph. It certainly makes for a quicker ride and distances go much quicker than I'm used to. Well, leaving the main road was the right choice, I followed a minor road (route 18) across to lake Cowichan. Once at a small place called Youbou the road ran out and the route continued as a logging track/forestry trail. 62 miles of loose bumpy shite, what a ride! I loved it, felt confident and cruised through with no real problems. The views were spectacular, I even managed to stop and take a few photo's. I started going about 35 mph and soon was keeping it at a steady 40-45 mph. Strange how each time I meet another vehicle, and overtook it, I got a bit faster. Ended up blatting along at 50 mph and really having fun. Until I nearly lost it, that shook me a bit! Never mind, I've changed my underwear; as if!

Its the sharper bends that pose the problems, and when combined with huge swathes of deep, loose gravel its deadly. I'd got used to the rear end snaking a bit and the front end being twitchy; easy, just give it a bit more throttle. I just managed to keep the bike on the track and slowed down for a while after that. Forty felt quite relaxed as well, and I didn't go above 45 mph until back on the tarmac. Wow, what a great ride!!

Posted by Leslie Kay at August 30, 2007 01:33 AM GMT

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