Another great sleep! I could get used to this. It’s Monday June 4 2018. I was in bed early last night so I was up at 5 AM and figured it was the perfect time to catch up on blogging. I do not have to catch the next ferry to Lopez Island until 12:45 PM and check out at the hotel is at 11 AM. I put that provided French Press ground coffee to good use and lay in bed blogging away happily for about 90 minutes. How relaxing. It’s amazing how almost anything can be done with a smartphone. As I type away, the sun comes up and it is a lovely, sunny morning here. Fantastic! Hopefully it will continue as I pack up, have a shower, breakfast and eventually make my way to the Anacortes Ferry terminal about 8 km away. I am now at this moment officially caught up and blogging live! Wahoo!! Hopefully, I will stay disciplined and blog daily as I proceed with my tour.
I arrive at the Anacortes Ferry Terminal early. I have time to read and have a latte-are you surprised? The sun feels warm and relaxing on my body. I look for my microfibre cloth which seems to be playing hide and seek. No luck. Is this the first lost item on this trip? I decide I will look for it later. I notice a South African couple who are also waiting at the terminal. They have bikes as well. I say the requisite hello but no other conversation flows.
It’s time to board. This ferry is definitely quieter. Also, once you pay for your ticket (included in my tour with Macs Adventures- check them out) to get out to the San Juan Islands all inter-island transfers are free. Sweet! The ferry ride is pleasant and quite short. The Lopez Island terminal at Port Stanley is very small. Bikes and foot passengers off first and the bikes (all three of us) are sent to a “staging area” to wait for vehicle traffic to get by us. I talk to the South African couple and take a picture for them on their cellphone. They are most appreciative. We chat about the Lopez Loop Tour which we will both be doing. They will proceed up the Loop Tour forthwith while I take a detour to Lopez Village to drop off some of my heavy panniers before I also do the Loop Tour. Why work harder than you need to?
The roads are in excellent condition, quiet and the surrounding land is rural and pastoral. Perfect! I am in my element. After dropping off two of the heavy rear panniers at my B&B, the Edenwild Inn, I’m off. There is a bit of a stiff headwind but nothing too bad.
I eventually end up at Agate Beach Park on the other end of the island. A great place to have a few snacks and admire the open bay view. My two South African cyclists pass by and stop and we have a more in depth conversation. It turns out the woman is a GP in Vernon BC. Small world! We immediately bond. As usual, friends are easily made on these adventures. They carry on up to Iceberg Point while I decide it’s time for a bathroom break. Just inside the entrance to Agate Beach Park is an unassuming outhouse. Imagine my surprise when I open the door to be greeted with the most welcoming and beautiful outhouse I have ever seen! Gorgeous colours, flowers, humorous signs and the New Yorker magazine as one “gets down to business”. This outhouse was more inviting than many hotels I have stayed in! Lopez Island is known as the “Friendly Island”. This is certainly true when so much care is spent on their outhouses!
I then proceed up to Iceberg Point which is about a 4 km walk one way (no bikes allowed). It juts into the ocean and has a day-marker with expansive views along the coastline and out to the ocean. A nice place for photos and peaceful as well. Of course, my South African friends are there but I decide to leave them be to eat their lunch.
It’s getting a little late, about 4:45 PM, so it’s time to get back to Lopez Village as many of the restaurants close early. Food is essential as you burn many calories cycle touring. It is a most pleasant ride back. I miss one turn going back but realize my mistake and double back and behold my South African friends have caught up with me. We ride and chat the rest of the way back. We get back to Lopez Village by about 6:45 PM and it turns out my South African friends are staying at the same B&B. We have a good laugh. I tell them about a couple of restaurants close by and the need to get in quickly before they close. I head over and choose Bucky Lopez Island Grill. Open until 8 PM. Fantastic! I am famished and wolf down a really good seafood marinara pasta dish as well as a local English style bitter ale. Yum! As I am leaving, you can see this coming, the South Africans are there! I’ve had enough and proceed to introduce myself formally and they do the same. Louise and Tinis are their names. I find out he has run 61 marathons and they both love doing these adventures. It gets weirder when I find out they have ordered exactly the same main as me. They are also on a Macs Adventure which is identical to mine in itinerary. Drop the mike I’m sold! I expect to run into them over and over for the remainder of this week and I am happy for it. We joke for over 20 minutes (we have the same sense of humour) before I say my goodnight, take a few photos in Lopez Village and then head back to the B&B for a shower and blog session (this one, in fact).
Tomorrow is a much earlier start than today and the tour on Orcas, the next island, is much tougher with a ride up to the top of Mount Constitution. Will I have the constitution? Only time will tell.
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