Day 13: Riding Penticton to Sicamous
Unfortunately my accommodation in Malakwa fell through, as the hostel was full, so I rode to Sicamous to find a cheap motel, hoping that it wasn’t all booked out. I left my hostel at 6.30am and enjoyed the quiet roads, while most people were probably sleeping in after Canada Day. The crisp air and shade from the trees made the first half of the ride really easy and it was great to make so much progress before midday. At the halfway point I went to a Dairy Queen (one of many fast food joints) to get a fruit smoothie and relax in the air conditioned seating.
Getting back on the bike, I was concentrating on knocking out as many kilometres as possible, before the heat kicked in, but reminded myself to stop and appreciate my surroundings. The perfect blue skies and vast expanses of farmland and greenery were so beautiful and I made sure I soaked it in, instead of staring at my handlebars or the road in front of me.
Rolling into Sicamous was cool, because it’s part of the Shuswap Lake area, which is a giant H shaped lake with different streams extending into different towns. With no hostels in the Sicamous, I aimed to find any room under $100 and luckily Cedar Motel had a spot for me, when someone had to cancel their booking that morning. For $85 I had a beautiful cabin to myself, which was a bargain compared to other motels priced at $160 or more. The owner was so lovely and brought me some freshly picked cherries and some delicious, apple scented shampoo and conditioner.
I was quite tired from the long ride and relaxed by watching some TV before cooking up some pork chops for dinner. After staying in hostels, it was nice to have a comfy bed, stretch out in my own space and have some peace and quiet. The cabin was so lovely and I slept easily, which was a nice break from the last three hot nights.
Day 14: Riding Sicamous to Revelstoke
I was very proud of my efforts today, while the first half was mostly flat and speedy, I managed to push through the uphill bits to end up with an average speed of 20.4km/hour. Luckily there was a lot of shade from the trees today and I managed to get some lovely photos along the way. I found it peaceful to see the super long train running alongside me and there weren’t too many cars on the highway.
My hostel didn’t have check in until 3pm, so I had lunch in town, wandered around and bought some thongs (or what North Americans call flip flops) to replace my broken pair. Revelstoke is really laid back and nicknamed Revelstuck, for all the tourists who end up coming here for the skiing, mountain biking or hiking and end up sticking around. For dinner I went to the pub with a German girl called Sina and a French guy called Robin, and we listened to some live music in the street. With the long summer days and beautiful surroundings, I knew Revelstoke was the perfect place for a rest stop.
Day 15: Rest Day in Revelstoke
Around the corner from my hostel, Balu Yoga offers a free meditation class at 7am on Tuesdays. I went along to the class with two other guys, Simon and Adam and our teacher Anna, who took us to the park for the session. It was perfectly serene, which made it easy to relax and cut out all the racing thoughts, stresses and worries. As we turned to salute the sun, it felt so invigorating to be gently kissed by the morning sun, which was a nice change from the midday scorching I’ve been experiencing so far.
Afterwards we went out for coffee and got to know each other, hearing about how everyone ended up Revelstoke and why we decided to get up early for the meditation. Simon actually started cycling across Canada, but bought a motorbike half way through and has been cruising around the US and Canada too. It’s always reassuring to talk to other tourers who can understand what you’re up to and can confidently tell you “you’ll be fine” for the upcoming difficult rides. I spent the next few hours unwinding, with half an hour in the steam room at the aquatic centre, an hour long yoga lesson and a long nap after lunch.
In the afternoon, Anna came and picked us up to take us swimming in the creek. The water above the dam is a lot warmer (still cold though) and we walked through some sludgy creek and hung out on the shore. It was so easy to pass the time, just lying in the sun and feeling the cool breeze off the water. We left around 7.30pm and it was time to have dinner and pack all my bags for a ten hour ride the next day. Even though I only stayed for two nights, I felt like Revelstoke was just a cool place to be and I could understand why people get Revelstuck.