Was starting to think the Canadians might send me back across the border. I got stopped at immigration in Victoria after the ninety minute ferry ride from Port Angeles. I was sent to a secondary area where I was asked a whole bunch of questions about my travel plans. I tried to keep it fairly honest and admitted I wasn’t really sure where I was heading or when. This led to more questions about how I was supporting myself and a thorough inspection of all the stamps in my passport. Another guy asked me to start listing all the items I was carrying, pannier by pannier and then asked if he could look through my food pannier. They seemed to be satisfied with that, and after 45 minutes, finally let me out into the streets of beautiful Victoria city. A bit of a shock, being the first big city I’ve been in since leaving Oakland. Was a bit apprehensive leaving my bike outside a busy supermarket and when I returned with my shopping an old guy with a bicycle came running over.
“Ah, there he is!”, he cried with excitement, “I want to ask you a few questions!”.
I was immediately on the this-is-a-crazy-man defensive and kept packing my food into my panniers, only giving him the briefest acknowledgements to his babbling.
He eagerly told me that he’d seen so many bicycle tourists and had just done some small trips himself but he had never, never seen anyone carrying as much stuff as me. I started talking with him a little and pretty soon I got to like having this funny conversation with this frothing-excitedly-at-the-mouth man whose name turned out to be Ed. Ed and I talked for a half hour until he wished me well on my way, concluding that I was indeed an extraordinary person. This conversation with Ed left me smiling for the rest of the day.
Followed an easy, interesting bike path up to Schwartz to catch a twenty minute ferry over to Saltspring Island. Headed straight to the state-owned campground nestled closely against the east coast of the island from where it was possible to see the large ferries pass by. Just after I finished my dinner of beans and rice the lady camping next door donated their leftover zucchini for my desert and five plums that her grandsons wouldn’t touch.
It’s good to be back in a country with Queen Lizzie gracing the coins.