Day 136: October 15: Victoria to Pender Island

I was going to go up to Salt Spring Island, but the ferry schedule wasn't good for that. So I rode up the length of Victoria along a bike path, then alternated between roads through expensive housing areas and city paths through the trees. I took the ferry up to Pender Island without having been able to reach the hostel there by phone. I'd left a couple of messages, and figured that if I couldn't reach them, I could either go somewhere else by ferry or find somewhere else on the island to stay.

It turned out that there isn't too much on Pender Island except some houses and farms, and a few shops and B&B's. I finally got in touch with the hostel owner, Bob Cooper, who said to come on over.

I rode along the island, finding it at least as hilly as Orcas Island had been. I even found a short hill that was marked as being a 30% grade (!), which I was able to climb with difficulty. Getting lost once gave me a chance to do some sightseeing on the island.

Cooper's Landing (the hostel) is located on a beach on a protected cove at the southeast end of the island, down by the bridge to South Pender Island. It has a lodge building that is an old farmhouse and has beds for 16 people in several rooms, as well as the cabin that Bob lives in. He's trying to define what his rental strategy is, and he's leaning toward trying to rent the entire lodge and/or cabin (he says he'll just find somewhere else to sleep) for larger groups. I guess that means that the hostel business will be eliminated.

I had the lodge building to myself, so I spread out. I took the opportunity to unpack my guitar, and found that it'd been wet for some time (several days, since I'd ridden in the rain in Victoria). My heart sank when I found that the neck had warped and the strings were buzzing against the first fret. In an attempt to recover the guitar, I released the tension of the strings and the neck tensioner, then left it out to dry.