Victoria to the Waddling Dog (Sidney, BC) - Grampies and the Waddling Dog - CycleBlaze

July 27, 2016

Victoria to the Waddling Dog (Sidney, BC)

It has been six months since we have been out with the bikes, long enough to feel nostalgic seeing those Ortlieb bags piled up and ready to go. Of course with kids, before you go there may be other important matters to attend to. In this case, the kids detected a banana slug making a "run for it" and trying to get into the house. They slammed the door in his face, causing hurt feelings. So eventually we relocated him to a leaf by the garden pond.

We were then clear to head down to Victoria, and Aunt Karyn's house, which has been fortunately located right on the bike way. The camera snapped a selfie for us, and we were off!

The high priority banana slug
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Notalgia in a pile of equipment
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Stanley the Cat wants to come too.
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Note the cycling shirt. Meersburg on the Bodensee - a favourite destination.
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Our selfie before setting off
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This kid is ready to go
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This kid (the old pro) is ready too
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Even in mid week, the Lochside Trail is popular, so we joined a good stream of other cyclists, runners, dog walkers, and suchlike. It was encouraging to see all these others, and to feel that we are part of something a little larger than just ourselves.

Very quickly too we were into the very pleasant aspects of the trail - wooden bridges, green marshlands, arching canopy of trees.

The Lochside Trail. We are here!
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The Lochside is lovely
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This statue of a farmer is an intresting feature of this bridge
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A duck on a vivid background of green
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We have entered the Cordova Bay neighbourhood. Houses are moderate size but have great water views.
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Seemingly in no time we were approaching Mattick's Farm, which not only is the first ice cream stop on this route, but also features quality sandwiches and baked goods.

Just before Mattick's, though, we were greeted by two of the cyclists on the trail, who turned out to be Nick and James, two of my old and dear former work colleagues. It's not as if we are particularly well known in Victoria, or anywhere actually, but it does seem that every time our on the Lochside we encounter someone who knows us or our cycling blogs. At Mattick's this continued, as Mike Perkuhn came up and introduced himself. Mike is primarily a hiker, but has cycled in Europe as well, and has been reading Grampies blogs for a few years. What fun it is to talk to people with whom you have an instant connection like that!

The same happened with a young family that shared our picnic table on the terrace at Mattick's. They arrived with three youngsters, two in a trailer and one just beginning to go along on his own bike. Naturally there was a lot of jabbeer about Wee Hoos, Trail a Gators, and possible routes in the vicinity. The lady had also ridden the circle of Hawaii big island, and lived in Montreal. Add how much water do you need to cycle up to Volcano, whether Fairmount or St Viateur bagels are better in Montreal, and ... you can just imagine!

Two years ago with a Wee Hoo we had stopped at Matticks because Amelia insisted (correctly) that a cycle tour is nothing woithout ice cream. I took her photo then in front of the ice cream sign. Do you think she has changed?

For me a big intrest in Mattick's stems from their apple strudel. I would not say that strudel is a more important part of cycling than ice cream, but it is still plenty important. After the giant sandwiches we got, the strudel was not necessary - nutritionally. But emotionally - it's essential!

The ice cream sign, and an old customer.
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Spot the similarities and differences!
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Lunch at Mattick's Farm
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Stuffed with ice cream and strudel,we are ready for the second half of the day.
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After Mattick's, the next blockbuster attraction is the giant pigs. Everybody knows this stop, and the big question is whether the pigs will be out, or hiding. Concensus at Mattick's among cyclists coming South was that they were hiding.

Maybe influenced by this, we almost flew past their yard, but my keen eyes spotted them napping in their house. The nosey Cannon camera poked right in there and recorded their early afternoon snooze.

We had been spotting a lot of horse poo. Now we have tracked down the source.
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Where are the famous giant pigs?
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The pigs are taking their afternoon nap!
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The next ice cream stop up the line from Mattick's Farm is Mitchell's Farm. Mitchell's now has an adjunct called Harvest Rd. It's to the side of Mitchell's main building, and looked great -like what in Germany would be a "Radler Treff" - or cyclist's rest stop. We only glanced at it, in the end, and went around to the "real" Mitchell's. What stick in the mud conservatives!

Amelia favours turning in at Harvest Rd
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Of course, it was really too soon for another ice cream, but Dodie and the kids went in to see what else looked good. They came out with blackberries. This was a bit of an odd choice, because in this season the trail is dripping with wild blackberries. These however were cultivated blackberries, and were both bigger and with a milder flavour. They were not only a big hit, but I scored what I think is the nicest photo of the trip so far:

Check out these blackberries!
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The kids are attracting some cows.
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Yes, they have quite a herd.
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It is not so far from Mitchell's to the Waddling Dog, so we rolled up to the place where we had reserved a room very early in the afternoon. Our plan was to see our room, drop off some gear, and carry on for fun in seaside Sidney.

The first hiccup came as the lady at the desk seemed more interested in launching a call to some help desk about a problem with her point of sale terminal than in dealing with the old cyclists and hot little kids in front of her. When we finally did get her attention, she did at least concede that we had an already paid for room. However from not offering any storage spot for the bikes to it being a upstairs room to demanding a credit card swipe though the room was paid, the Quality Inns part of the Waddling Dog will be hearing from us on Yelp.

The Waddling Dog part of the Waddling Dog, though, was delightful. There were lovely flowers out front, and there was dark wainscotting and beams throughout. Best of all, there was John, the actual waddling dog. We learned that John is actually John V in the line, reflecting just how long this place has been here.

(Ok, we checked it out. The place only stems from 1980. It was constructed in Tudor style by a Scottish architect, but like so many things here in the West, can not claim an ancient heritage. Five "John"'s in 36 years does not say much for their longevity, though!)

The Waddling Dog
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Nice planting at the Waddling Dog
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Little photographers capture the ambiance at the Waddling Dog
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Oh, oh, Waddling Dog Gefahr
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Inside the Dog
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The actual Dog- John the Fifth
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Our restful room
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Carrying on with our plan, we dropped the kids back in the Wee Hoos and prepared to head on up to Sidney. Evee, as she has been for this whole trip, was gamely ready to give it a try. But we could see she really did not have the strength for it. We stood down the Wee Hoos, returned to the room, and in 5 minutes she was fast asleep. Poor little munchkin!

Amelia still had some energy, and had a go with a paint set that had come along with us. Unfortunately, this cheap dollar store effort did not work at all. So a plan hatched to go find another dollar store and see if something better could be found. Amelia was set to go right away, but first a search needed to be done on the computer to see where such a store might be found. When I reported that it was 7 long kms away, Amelia ran in tears to Grandma with the devastating news. However, within 60 seconds of getting a comforting hug, she too was zonked out.

This cycle touring sure is tough!

This kid has had it.
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This one too!
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Not going to Sidney limited our supper choice to ---uggh
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At least they have a play structure. Gave me a chance to update this blog.
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Today's ride: 18 km (11 miles)
Total: 18 km (11 miles)

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