Sunday, November 23, 2014

Karate, TV-news, BMW ... more from Victoria (08. - 16.11.2014)


The days went by and we took it easy in Victoria. The grocery shop was in walking distance and had a good selection of organic produce as well as many vegan food options in the deli. Skippy had some more Karate, girls enjoyed playing in the park and the restaurant and motel guests admired our trip and bikes. Our new mixer Magic Bullet was already broken after two weeks of daily usage. Lucky us we got our money back from Walmart (good policies!) and ordered from internet a Tribest mixer – the same we used before during Europe and West-Africa.
Thank you Sensei Danny McKee and Sensei Oliver Fitzpatrick from Shintani Wadokai for great trainings! I had great fun and learned many new things! :)
My call for help to the local biker community was answered by a few (thanks folks!) and the most convenient was the one from Rod and Nora. Rod had a dry garage (very important at that time of the year) where I could do a big yet regular maintenance of my GS. The maintenance went well, and as I was screwing around a few deer came by to say hello. My improvised fix of the hole which covers the wheel to adjust the OT-point did simple fall off when I tried to tight the screw. My new improvised fix consisted of a piece of duck-tape.

It got pretty late, early dark and it seemed to start freeze as well. Rod and Nora offered already earlier that I could stay there over night and so I did. Nora made some vegan food for me – Thank you very much! We had a few excellent beer and talked about all sorts of things. I have not been drinking any beer for quite a while and then instantly four .... or even five? I was pretty much done :)
Nora & Rod
Beautiful sunshine brightened my day on the next morning and after a quick breakfast I hit the road. It was a lovely yet chilly ride back to my girls.

We met some other people in the city (special “hi” to Quinn and Lavender), found a vegan chocolate shop (the goodies from the Portland one tasted better though) and tested some of the vegan restaurants in downtown. The days were typically dry and sunny with temperatures around +10C whereas the nights brought already frost.
Pure Loving Chocolate - all vegan!!!
Raw-vegan Cafe Bliss (well almost vegan, they do use some honey!)
Really delicious raw vegan pizza slize and mushroom burger!
Single-use coffee mugs create plenty of trash. Get a re-usable travel mug and be at least a bit more environmental friendlier!
Victoria harbor.
Good advice at Green Cuisine's female washroom :D
Chinatown in Victoria, BC is the oldest Chinatown in Canada and second oldest in North America.
Chinatown ... must have a dragon somewhere.
We had our big day on the November 15th when we had a “meet and greet” event at Island BMW motorcycle dealer in Victoria. Bill was absolutely fantastic in organizing everything from the BBQ to the local TV news channel. Yep – BBQ! When I went the first time to Island BMW to meet Bill and in order to prepare the event, he noted instantly that oops you are vegan, so killing some animals to promote your journey will not do. He organized some vegan sausages, sauerkraut and vegetarian burgers!

Well done and thank you very much for organizing this event!

The weather was inviting, sunny and even warm in the sun (I guess many bikers regret that they canceled their insurance already). We had a great time, met about 30 other bikers, some who came just to see us and others by chance. We got interviewed by Chek News and made it to the evening news on the local TV. I made an updated video which ran in the background and our donation jars got some content. Thank you all very very much for your generous contributions – we appreciate it and will take it to a good cause.
Getting ready for the event...
The official Island BMW "guardian".
Hertta stayed in her favorite spot - the sidecar.
Dylan from Chek News recording...
and me telling our stories :)
Thanks for all the donations as well as the food :D
Vegan sausages and vegetarian burgers (Photo by Bill, Island BMW)
... and when can I ride in such a cool sidecar???? (Photo by Bill, Island BMW)
Group-photo (Photo by Island BMW)
This time two travelogues by Skippy:



~ Wolfi

Friday, November 14, 2014

Victoria - Vancouver Island 31.10. - 07.11.2014

Skippy enjoying her Datorate.
Finally we arrived in Victoria, Vancouver Island in the hope that Skippy can again train her beloved Karate ;) and besides Karate she had some fun in a photo-shoot!
Plenty of delicious vegan options in the grocery store, so no need to tease the poor cows!
Really - hippie food?
Some parts of the neighborhood were a bit spooky.
Girls needed a shower and Ulpu tried to hide under Hertta :D
I needed to find a place to do some regular maintenance on my bike and I tried first the local BMW club - BMW riders Vancouver Island. So happened they had one of their regular meetings and I was able to meet Klaus - a German who lived here for many years and he also rode a sidecar. Anyway the word went around and I had a few options to choose from depending on how our travel across the island went - that was a promising start.

Klaus was really eager in helping us and spread the message that some world travelers were in Victoria right now. The local BMW dealer got very interested to meet us and Bill - the manager - offered to organize a "meet & greet" event. Based on the experiences from our first event in Portland, I did some changes to our background video. Let's see how it will work out this time...
That's the location for our "meet & greet" event 15Nov 11-15.
We had a few sunny days in Victoria and we used one of them to explore the south island a bit. We made a loop from Victoria via Sooke, HWY 14, Port Renfrew, Mesachie Lake, HWY18, Duncan and back to Victoria - all on asphalt. It was a nice ride and the part between Sooke and Mesachie Lake was really beautiful. We had to watch out for slippery road condition due to all the needles and leaves on the road - otherwise real fun.
The stones made strange noises in the waves.
Beautiful scenery (nearby Port Renfrew).
Besides all that fun stuff there were a few things to be organized and so I posted in some internet forums to ask for support, help and advice. I must say that we accumulated a bunch of negative comments for asking those questions and additionally negative comments on our blog - I guess I hit an area where "besserwissers" felt obliged to answer. That was really putting me off and I was very happy to read that some of our fans stepped in and put some things straight. Thanks a lot for your mental support!

We have now been 19 months on the road and road-life ain't easy. Having to deal with such garbage talk in addition is NOT fun at all. In hindsight it might belong to the chapter "lessons learned on asking questions in internet".
Our bikes were parked strategically well for collecting some support. Thank you all who chipped in a few dollars!
Going crazy over great karate clubs! :D
Our track after arrival on Vancouver Island - 620km
Skippy made another travelogue. Enjoy!


~ Wolfi

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Our first ever vegan potluck ... ever!

The main reason we came to Vancouver Island was that Tarah (from 40BelowFruity) had invited to a raw vegan potluck with extra fun. It was our first ever vegan potluck and the food was delicious and there was plenty of it :) The original idea was to party outside but it was raining a lot and instead we played "cards against humanity" besides the warming fireplace. We all had a great time and laughed until many had tears in their eyes. Thank you very much Tarah - it was great!
Ryan and Tarah
Next morning: Blue sky and warm ... BEAUTIFUL.
Pepsi jumped with joy into the sidecar:D
The next day we rode the enormous distance of 15km to Courtenay where we stayed in a hotel for few days. I was still feeling a bit sick and since we got a room with kitchenette there was a chance to get some goodies made by Skippy. During the evening walk on our first night with girls along the river we saw a bunch of seals sneaking their head out of the water – cute fellows.
Courtenay bay.
Skippy in action.
Happy me - Skippy made me a vegan "Snickers cake"
For the following days it was mostly raining and once the sun came out we took that opportunity to have a walk in the nearby Seal Bay Park. There was a lovely forest and when we were at the beach we even saw a seal lying on a stone :)
Stunning forest
with heavy dark-green fern.
+

Cute little mushroom - no idea whether eatable or poisonous?
Trees.



Seal
Skippy - the veggie lover ;)
Magnificent tree.

Once more enjoy the reality show of our family life :D






~ Wolfi

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Arriving at Vancouver Island

Since that whole border crossing went rather smooth we were able to make it to 17:00 ferry to Vancouver Island. Soon I realized that the traffic was a bit heavy and some sense of urgency came up. Unfortunately Skippy did not share that and so we had later on again one of our usual arguments about driving styles. The check-in was already closed for cars but was still open for motorbikes and so we made it in the last minute :)

It was late and dark when we arrived to Nanaimo. The hotel was already pre-booked - one stress item less for that night. As it happened before, the hotel info in booking.com was according to the owner incorrect and (also as it happened before) the owner made it sound like it would be our fault.

Pets were supposed to be for free and after I complained about the high price the lady did not charge for pets. The check-out was at 11AM even though it was supposed to be at noon. Well, we had those kind of troubles earlier, so we knew that we could expect fair treatment from booking.com. However such hick-ups always caused a moment of frustration as they typically happened in the end of long and exhausting riding day.

Nope, we were not picky and we had a good reason to stay in the motel as long as possible. The ride to Tarah on the next day was short and it was raining a lot. Lingering around somewhere just to kill time was not a pleasant option in our mind.

Skippy made another travelogue. Enjoy!


~ Wolfi