Day 6: Ladysmith to Ganges - Grampies' World Class Local Tour - CycleBlaze

October 17, 2021

Day 6: Ladysmith to Ganges

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We were the only ones at the Marina Inn last night, so with all the keys, we were basically in charge. That was good, because we had to spread out a fair bit beyond our small and inconvenient room.  Having now seen a sample of motels in this region, it seems that they are overpriced (by about double), and frankly pretty poor in general. So we will scratch accommodation off our World Class list, at least for now.

Admittedly the Marina location was great, and the bikes, anyway, seemed to enjoy the elegant surroundings:

Sure, bikes are happy they don't need a desk for blogging.
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Ready to go. (Actually this is a small deception - the photo was taken by the Price's when we left yesterday. One difference is that no rain pants were needed today - despite the forecast.)
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The inlet, it must also be said, was a beautiful location, particularly in morning.

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But the lack of food anywhere near the Marina (hmm, "Marina" could be a hint. I think we are really meant to come by boat!) had us planning a return to Old Town Bakery, about 10 km off in downtown Ladysmith. Now this is not World Class, but we sure have seen it elsewhere in the world - the bakery was closed.  Kind of "French". Ok fine, we still had a sandwich from the super QF.

A closed bakery is a familiar disappointment
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Last review about Ladysmith before blowing town
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Our route mostly followed the way we had come out, back through Chemainus.  But before we could get there, I noticed a piece of what looked like schmutz (dirt) going around on Dodie's back tire. We stopped to clean it and found to our dismay what appeared to be a split in the tire.  Upside down went the bike, while we thought oh,oh, the trip is over, plus we really can't call on the Price's again for a rescue.  But actually what we had was that the tire bead  was coming off the rim. This tire cites its pressure range as 35-70 psi, and the other day I had set it to 70. It must not be quite up to it.  So, I reset to 40, and the Price's got to enjoy a quiet Sunday!

Easily fixed! The tour carries on!
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Sue PriceWell, you know we enjoyed our sleep in, but would have come if called!
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1 year ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Sue PriceGlad to know you would have come to the rescue. REALLY glad we did not need to call on you.
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The backtracking part of the route afforded a chance to pick up at least one more murals photo. And back at the chainsaw carver, a carved trunk and root that Dodie particularly liked.

Back at Chemainus. About eight murals photo'd and 39 left to go!
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From the chainsaw carver.
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Here is a new "gefahr" for the books.
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It was an easy ride into Crofton. Crofton has two claims to fame. One is a large paper mill that has been a significant employer in this area, and the other is the terminal for the ferry to Salt Spring Island. As we approached, the many smokestacks of the mill were apparent. In the old days the sulphur smell of the  mill was a big thing, and we could sometimes smell it way down at our house. Premier W.A.C. Bill Bennett (premier of BC from 1952 to 1972) used to call this "the smell of money".  But now there was nothing that we could detect.

We had just missed the Saltspring ferry, so we got to hang around a bit. Dodie pulled out an old BC Ferries card where we apparently had prepaid some trips to the Gulf Islands. So this time around we did not have to pay. The ferry cashier said we could go wait anywhere and come back when the ferry was arriving. We asked how she would remember that we had paid and she replied "Oh, I'll remember you!". That's one advantage to wearing all yellow and being the only ones on bikes.

Would you remember this yellow lady?
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Keith KleinMust be the hat!
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Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Keith KleinYeah, for sure it is just the hat.
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Waiting to go to Saltspring Island.
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One view of the paper plant.
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The beach at Crofton
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One other view of the paper plant
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My Halloween contribution - down in the water, a seal skeleton?
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The ferry arrives!
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Off the ferry at Vesuvius Bay there is the customary climb from the water. Half way up we spied a large clump of dahlias on offer for free! Dahlias are like gold (to us) so they could not be left behind. Hill or not, we slammed on the brakes.

Seriously, free dahlias!
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Suzanne GibsonShow us pictres when they bloom next year! If you aren't gadding about in Europe...
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Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Suzanne GibsonWe plan on Europe spring and fall, so may be at home if they bloom in midsummer.
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Dodie found a way to strap the dahlias to our packs.
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Laurie MarczakSo now you'll need photos of your companion dahlias in front of various World Class sights along the remainder of your route...
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Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Laurie MarczakWouldn't that be for "dwarf" dahlias?
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The road from Vesuvius to Ganges to Fulford Harbor is the main one on the Island, and it is notorious for a lot of traffic and not very careful drivers. There is a movement afoot to make a bike trail across the whole Island, but we have not seen much progress. On the other hand from about 6 km out of Ganges a bike trail appeared that we do not remember having been there before.

A new bike trail, we think.
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Saltspring Island is known for its complement of hippy type artistic activists. So when we stopped at a grocery, I was not surprised to see bumper stickers like this one:

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And by the roadside, mushrooms collected from the forest:

Mushroom ID, someone?
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Bill ShaneyfeltChanterelle! One of the few I know!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chanterelle
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Andrea BrownMmmm. Chanterelles.
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Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Andrea BrownI didn't check the price or other details because these were on the other side of the road. The sign, though, also said morels.
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1 year ago
Scott AndersonTo Steve Miller/GrampiesThe sign is wrong. You should have swapped the dahlias for the chanterelles. These really are gold.
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1 year ago
Suzanne GibsonPfifferlinge! :)
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1 year ago
Keith KleinGirolles! (En Français)
I agree with Scott. Yum!
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Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Scott AndersonBut the dahlias last longer.
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Dodie loaded our bags with stuff from the grocery, and now for the first time mine looked like I expect to see it in Europe:

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We rolled then into Ganges, so easily, and pedaled about a bit. Since Ganges lacks any real central square or main retail area, it's hard to capture the place with a photo.  I guess mainly you look at the harbour, and then at the spread out retail establishments:

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At Ganges harbour.
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Everything you need is in Ganges, just spread out in sort of non descript buildings.
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But finally, at the end of town, is the Embe Bakery, and yes, it's open!

Despite the grocery store stop, Dodie picked up even more baked goods here. You can never have too much baking, or can you?
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Also at the end of town, up the big hell there, was our motel. This time, at long last, we struck it lucky. The grounds are lovely,  the room is huge, and at $98 (68 euros) the price is right.

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While we were at the office someone drove up and began unloading many boxes of muffins and cakes. I asked the motel owner if in fact they were now offering breakfast (with Covid, most or all have abandoned breakfasts). He said no, but here, have a box of muffins. I said no, because we had just come from the grocery, but he insisted. Then as we were backing our bikes into the large room, he came along and pressed a pound cake on us.

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So now we are set up with enough food probably for the rest of this tour.

We have it arranged in the kitchen that is also part of our room. We have a kettle, coffee maker, stove, microwave, fridge, sink, hooray!

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Scott AndersonWould look even better with some chanterelles in there.
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1 year ago
Keith KleinAgain, Scott is right, and it seems that you have a stove top to sauté them on.
Cheers,
Keith
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1 year ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Keith KleinUnfortunately, no pan to sure them IN.
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Steve Miller/GrampiesDamn autocorrect. Saute, saute....
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Probably the most appreciated thing by me is an actual desk for writing the blog. In yesterday's place there was the bed and one sort of low chair, and that was it. Hello? But here, we are so happy. Our room 103 is our new favourite. We would come back to Saltspring just to sit at this desk with a coffee from the kitchen and a pastry from Embe Bakery!

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Today's ride: 41 km (25 miles)
Total: 317 km (197 miles)

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Kathleen ClassenI laughed out loud at the big hell to get to your motel. Not sure if it was a typo or not, but it really made me laugh. That hill is hell!!!
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1 year ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Kathleen ClassenOK, I'm going to leave the big hell in there!
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