Climbing to the [Canadian] finish line; Princeton (British Columbia) to Vancouver (British Columbia)

Leg; 285 miles / 459 km
Total; 3,382 miles / 5,443 km

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Leaving Princeton we immediately hit the steep climb that leads up to Minehill. We knew the day would be hilly but weren’t quite prepared for over 40 miles of climbing and nearly 4,000ft of elevation gain; by far the hilliest day of our whole trip to date. The next morning we climbed the remaining 400ft to Allison Pass and then enjoyed a days’ descending into Hope. It was an awesome day. We really felt rewarded for all the previous days climbing, and we got passed by loads of numbered Lamborghini Aventadors who were probably driving further that day, than we had gone in the last week!

We followed the Fraser River out of Hope, through the countryside were they filmed Rambo. We were promised a completely flat day but it certainly wasn’t! Our steepest hill of the trip (at that point) was round Woodside Mountain. Its only short but a challenge fully loaded! We crossed the Fraser over the Golden Ears Bridge and zigzagged through the Surrey Suburbs to Tsawwassen.

We were meeting Chris’ parents in Vancouver but arrived early so we took a ferry the next day to Salt Spring Island. The ferry route is incredible; we took the slow ferry that takes you right up to each Island so you have a great view. We cycled from Long Harbour to the main town Ganges, which is a very cool, laidback place with local shops, cafes and a fancy marina. We camped at a unique place called Garden Faire. All the pitches were amongst the trees, and it had an outdoor hot shower coming out of a tree!

We went on one ride while on Salt Spring. We loved the quiet roads and amazing little beaches, but it was by far the steepest place we’ve cycled. Plenty of 15% hills, and one 19% hill leaving / going to Bader’s beach. We definitely recommend cycling to Beddis beach and Ruckles Provincial Park. Both are perched on a stunning coastline and are very quiet. On the ferry back to Tsawwassen we were lucky enough to spot a pod of killer whales. It was an incredible sight, and we were amazed how big their jet black dorsal fins are!

When we got back to the mainland we camped in a farmers field with horses, which was a unique experience! The next day we edged our way through the suburbs back to the Fraser River, before Chris’ gears stopped working at Burnaby; 5 miles from Vancouver. We both lamented that our bikes had behaved immaculately for over 3,300 miles and then 5 miles from the end of leg one, we had no choice but to push…

Wildlife spots; killer whales