One day, nine stories: Annika and Roberto in Canada

One day, nine stories: Annika and Roberto in Canada

Last but not least, we are Annika and Roberto. We left Germany in September 2011 and have cycled a thin line through Europe, Asia, Oceania and North America. During this travel we have discovered that bike travel is a great way to cultivate empathy.

Please enjoy our September 5th 2015.

Saturday, September 5th, Vernon, British Columbia, Canada, Northamerica, Northern Hemisphere, Planet Earth.


6.45 am: I hear noises from the kitchen upstairs. Our warmshowers hosts Tom and Sandra are awake and so are Claudia and Peter, the other two cycling guests.

6.55 am: We get up and I have a quick shower in the perfectly clean and very modern bathroom while Roberto starts squeezing the sleeping bags back into their bags.

7.00 am: sunrise (we’re not usually up that early)

7.05 am: I walk up the stairs to meet everybody for breakfast. Sandra and Tom prepared some delicious whole oats with banana, apple, nuts, granola, seeds and yoghurt. Roberto has a shower

7.30 am: Roberto has his first cup of tea, I have a second cup of coffee.

8.10 am: We start packing all our bags. There are seven bags on each bike and packing sometimes takes a while.

8.30 am: We hug everybody, Claudia signs our pannier, while Tom creatively decides to rather sign the sumo’s butt. Sandra even brings us some granola bars for the way.

8.35 am: Claudia and Peter get started on their recumbent tandem bike.

8.40 am: We get started too. One kilometer of a steep downhill, then 8 kilometers up.

9.30 am: Finally we’ve reached the top of the long hill!

9.31 am: Roberto’s tire goes “pfffffff”

9.32 am: There was a 3 cm long double-nail inside his tire!

10.00 am: We are ready to get going. The puncture is fixed, the tire double-checked.

10.30 am: Stop at the Lake Country Tourist Information Centre. 17-year old Charlie works here for his summer holiday. The travel-bug has caught him too and we talk about travel and cultures. He has five friends who are named Annika! He knows more Annikas than other Charlies!

11.00 am: It is time to continue. The road passes alongside the lake on the old highway. Traffic is low, views very nice.

11.45 am: We reach Winfield. “Pfffff” again Roberto’s rear tire. Seems like that long nail has gone into the tube and even left a tiny hole out on the other side. Roberto fixes and rides his halfway inflated bike back to a bike store where there is a free big pump (much faster than our tiny one).

12.15 pm: All done. What we don’t realize yet is that I forgot the pump in the grass.

12.20 pm: Stop at a bakery: Long John for Roberto, a filled Donut for me.

12.25 pm: Stop at the public library. They always have clean bathrooms. We are back on the big highway heading to Kelowna. Traffic is busy, shoulder full of debris.

1.50 pm: In order to keep cyclists off the big highway there are many signs installed to lead them through back roads. We end up between bushes under a bridge, in an industrial area, in the university and on a very long hilly road through an upper class neighborhood.

2.05 pm: Arrival at Kelowna Tourist Information. I finally get my map for the Kettle Valley Rail Trail, Roberto checks his emails with the free Wi-Fi, but without a plug we don’t stay too long.

2.25 pm: We bike to the supermarket in search for sandwich ingredients. They sell freshly made huge sandwiches with lots of vegetables and sauces. We get some iced teas and get back on the bike

3.10 pm: Finally the sun comes out!

3.15 pm: We reach the city park, extend our wet tent and take a seat on the picnic blanket. Lunch time!

3.35 pm: The sun disappears again. We’re getting cold I our fleeces. Some people are parasailing into the river behind a boat. I shiver when I see them touch the water.

3.50 pm: Tent is packed, we have a last sip of iced tea and make our way along the bike trails onto the bridge.

4.15 pm: Claudia and Peter are on the bridge! We all stop for a chat, before they head off to meet their host in West Kelowna.

4.30 pm: We ride up and down through the West Kelowna industry and eventually reach the Okanagan Lake.

6 pm: Touchdown in Peachland. Supermarket stop. Chat with a nice couple from Penticton who encourages us to try our luck on the state campgrounds, even though they are both marked as “full”. They say it’s a nice ride and not too far. They also tell us about their friend’s bike experience on the Kettle Valley Rail Trail. So far we’ve heard of both great and awful experiences and really don’t know what to believe.

6.15 pm: We leave the supermarket with 2 liters of super cheap about-to-be-expired lactose free milk, a little cake and some cream cheese.

6.18 pm: We’re ready to go when two local men talk to us and encourage us to take the next turn and ride along the beach promenade.

6.30 pm: The men were right, the ride along the lake is very scenic. Plenty of cafés, restaurants, bars, shops, some bed and breakfasts. Small-town feeling mixed with holiday-smells.

6.35 pm: Raindrops. Uh-oh.

6.50 pm: Rainbow over the lake! We have now climbed out of town and up the road and have a great view over the lake. Unfortunately some raindrops keep on falling and we don’t feel like stopping for pictures.

7.20 pm: It’s dry again. Arrival at the Okanagan Lake Provincial Park North Campground. “Full”. We have read that before. We’re cyclists. There’s nearly always space for a little tent and two bikes.

7.25 pm: We decide not to be shy and ask a couple that seemed friendly whether they were interested in sharing their site and sharing cost for the site. Kay and Kim from Vancouver are very nice and welcome us.

7.50 pm: After some chatting we have managed to pitch and fill the tent and to grab our food. Kim and Kay didn’t want to accept any money, so instead we give them our cake. We mix yesterday’s boiled potatoes with Kim’s homemade chickpea curry. She had cooked far too much.

8 pm: It’s getting quite dark

8.15: Now we know why the campground host doesn’t let anybody pitch their tent on the fluffy green grass: there are hidden sprinklers all over! We save the bikes and bags onto the gravel just in time.

8.20 pm: Today the campfire ban has been lifted. Kay gets a fire started. He and Kim prepare some S’mores and we chat about Game of Thrones, Japan (Kay grew up there), the upcoming elections, the MTV Music awards, food and travel.

8.40 pm: Woah! So many stars! Great views into the sky.

10.20 pm: It is about time to hit the hay.

Today’s Kilometers: 95.70, total time on the bikes: 5.48.18, Total Kilometers: 22,752


One day, nine stories is about empathizing with other travel cyclists: here’s the other eight stories!

Rachel and Patrick from the USA who follow the rather bumpy Congo Nile Trail in Rwanda: One day, nine stories: Rachel and Patrick in Rwanda

Heike from Germany who cycles through Japan and decides half way through to rather have a sick day: One day, nine stories: Heike in Japan

Baerbel and Johan from Germany and the Netherlands who biked along the Pamir Highway in Tajikistan bordering Afghanistan: One day, nine stories: Baerbel and Johan in Tajikistan

Astrid from Austria who enjoyed a rest day with new friends in Uruguay: One day, nine stories: Astrid in Uruguay

Claudia and Peter from Austria who spent their September 5th in British Columbia, Canada: One day, nine stories: Claudia and Peter in Canada

Gerd from Germany who is on his way around Australia: One day, nine stories: Gerd in Australia

Luzia and Denise from Germany who had an exhausting travel to a Canadian island: One day, nine stories: Luzia and Denise in Canada

Lisi and Torsten from Germany who biked through the harsh Australian sun: One day, nine stories: Lisi and Tosten in Australia

Or click the link on the red marker

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