Touch down in Vancouver
I arrived at Vancouver airport after a 9 hour direct flight from London Heathrow, and took a 20 minute transfer to my hotel located near English Bay. My fight landed around 11:00, so I had some time freshen up at the hotel and head out for a quick bite to eat at a local bar overlooking the lovely English Bay beach area. It was a lovely sunny afternoon, with lots of people out enjoying the sunshine and the local bars and restaurants.
I got up early on day two in Canada, eager to pick up my rental bike from BC Rentals, a fifteen minute drive across Vancouver from my hotel in English Bay. My chosen bike for the twenty day trip was the BMW F800GT, installed with factory hard luggage and top box. I’d also opted to hire a satnav for the 20 days, primarily for ease of mind when trying to navigate unfamiliar large cities such as Vancouver and Victoria.
After packing the panniers and dealing with various paperwork, it was time to hit the road. It always a little time to get used to riding on the wrong side of the road again, so I decided to take my time navigating my way out of Vancouver towards Whistler via the Sea to Sky Highway. After leaving the city limits, the road starts to become less congested, allowing you to settle in to a relaxed pace and in the amazing views as you start to climb higher above the sea level.
Having travelled some of the east cost of Canada in the 1990’s, I started to recall the great time I had riding in Canada, and the relaxed friendly atmosphere as I made my way to Cache Creek. My first stop was Whistler, a town widely known for being the host of the 2010 Olympic Games and the amazing winter sports. Whilst I enjoyed stopping for a coffee at Whistler, I did find it a bit too tourist focused with lots of coaches and limited parking spaces for anyone not staying within the resort. However it was nice to have a brief rest stop, and started to back on highway 99 towards Pemberton. Whilst stopping for fuel at Pemberton I was fortunate enough to start chatting to a resident to Pemberton who recommended some great places to stop and visit on my travels.
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Whilst some were already on my planned route, I made some notes and marked some additional places of interest. The fuel stop was also close to a local farm and ice cream shop, so we decided to continue the discussion over an ice cream out of the very hot midday sun. With the delicious ice cream consumed, it was time thank my new friend for his advice and start making my way towards Cache Creek. After taking a leisurely pace during the afternoon, I arrived Cache Creek during the early evening, with plenty of time to enjoy dinner whilst watching the sun go down over the mountains, and chatting to a couple who were also travelling via bike in British Columbia. I had previously seen them at the same rental company in Vancouver but hadn’t recognised them at first, perhaps too much sun was to blame for my lack of memory during the evening!
Cache Creek is a small town with a history as a transportation hub, and felt very friendly and welcoming during the stay at the small local hotel. I slept very well after my first day on the road, and looked forward to an early start towards Revelstoke.