Cuba Summary
Finally, a hot shower!

July 1, 2015

What happened…

Andrew writes: Well I want to say that I got my wish today because I finally got to spend time with other cycle tourists. The piercing light of the sun baked me awake in my tent early this morning, perhaps more so than Amanda’s alarm clock. We had to make certain where we stepped while we were taking down the camp because of all the little cacti.

The trail down into Penticton was mostly downhill. We quickly made into Penticton and it was pretty windy, so we headed down to the beach see about flying kites. Unfortunately despite my high hopes, the wind just wasn’t strong enough. While we were there we met John, and ended up talking to him for what seems like forever. He gave us some directions to the store and on how to get back onto the Kettle Valley Railway.

The bikepath through Penticton was really nice paved, no traffic, no people, and it soon gave way to the fields and farms of Naramata. Suddenly all around us were grapes and pears and apples and all sorts of fruit. There came a point when we were about to cross a trestle and Amanda had gone on ahead so I could take her picture, when behind me I heard some people say quote these must be the the cyclists with the trailer. Then the two guys rode past and I took my picture. I caught up with them on the trestle and we spent a few minutes talking. It turns out that Garnet and Clayton were also headed to Chute Lake tonight. They had started riding the trail in Hope just like we had except because they have jobs, and lives, and kids, and homes, they were riding a lot faster. In fact they had reached the same point as us in five days, what had taken us about twice as long.

As soon as they left the trestle, I did my best to trying keep up with them, leaving Amanda in the dust. She doesn’t seem to mind, and it gave me not only a challenge, but also the camaraderie of riding with other guys at a speed slightly faster than a crawl. But alas, after about 15 minutes that’s such a punishing pace, I had to admit defeat and rejoin my wife. It’s not fair, they only have two small bags each, whereas I have six…and a kiteboard. As it turns out though, we would leapfrog each other a bit for not only today but tomorrow as well.

The Chute Lake portion of the kettle Valley Railway is basically straight uphill for 35 km at 2%. It is dragged on and on and on. I remember John, back in Penticton, saying that it would probably take us 4 1/2 to 5 hours to complete yet what with there being tunnels with detours, and trees blocking the path, I think our time was closer to seven hours all said and done including rest breaks.

So, we were pretty hungry when we pulled into they shoot lake wreck site in the early evening. I was a little sad that that you guys had decided to pay for camping at the resort across the lake, but I’ve heard that the pie there is really good so I can’t really blame them. After dinner, I even went over there and talk to them for little bit about their PVR exploits that wasn’t boy time that I wanted It was just talk To other cyclists especially ones that had been on the same trail as us.

Full moon tonight I think, so hopefully Amanda doesn’t turn into a werewolf and kill me in my sleep. Unless tomorrow’s the full moon in which case maybe I’ll live to survive another day.

Amanda writes:

I set the alarm clock this morning and totally annoyed Andrew in doing so. I just figured since we weren’t in a designated camping area that we should get moving early. After we packed up we went into Penticton and turned on our full ‘tourist’ mode. It’s such a great little town. We road along the boardwalk and Andrew checked the wind along the beach. It was oh so close to kiteable but not quite enough. As we were hanging out by the beach we were approached by a gentleman on another Surly Long Haul Trucker. John Timmers is a local Penticton-ite (if that’s a word). We chatted for almost an hour and exchanged stories and he gave us great directions to the grocery store and to the trail heading up to Chute Lake. He also helped us out with some internet connection challenges were having.

After buying a couple of beers for Canada Day celebration we headed out of Penticton around Noon. While riding through Naramata we came across a couple of other touring cyclists who had also come from Hope on the KVR. While I couldn’t keep up Andrew had a glorious time riding with them for a bit and exchanging war stories of our travels. In some ways it was kind of nice to let the three guys ride ahead and for me to have the trail all to myself. I really enjoy singing out loud when I’m alone and it’s only the birds and the bees that hear me. The trail was in pretty good condition all the way up to the lake. There were a few sandy sections and one part that a tree had fallen, but overall I’d say it was one of the best sections we had ridden yet. It was up hill the entire way but only at 1-2% so very manageable.

I enjoyed the ease of the day and having the familiarity of where we were going. We won’t have that for much longer and it was nice. After dinner Andrew went and hung out with the other touring cyclists and chatted for a bit and I had some more alone time and I enjoyed it quite a bit.


Today’s Photographs

Cuba Summary
Finally, a hot shower!