For a few years, we’ve been members of Warm Showers, a world-wide network for touring cyclists and hosts. We’ve hosted cyclists in our Vancouver home and we’ve stayed with members in Switzerland, Norway, Chile and Greece, to name a few.
This past month we hosted Martijn, a Dutch cyclist whose blog I stumbled on a couple of years ago when he was cycling from Amsterdam to Singapore. But there is a back story. Martijn’s last name, Doolaard, is the same as my mother’s family. I also have a cousin named Martijn Doolaard, from Amsterdam, and when I saw the first post by him, I thought it was my cousin. But as soon as I opened the blog, that proved not to be the case.
There are some interesting connections in our lives: we grew up on the same street, two houses and twenty years between us. We had moved from The Netherlands to Canada in 1980, three years before Martijn’s family moved there. His mom’s last name is the same as my grandmother’s. His grandfather had a store in our town next to my grandfather’s store. Small world. Somewhere, a generation or two ago, there is probably a familial connection but we haven’t figured out where. But none of that really matters. What matters is we met and made a connection. This is the raison d’être of Warm Showers.
Martijn spent a month in Vancouver getting ready for his next adventure. He’s riding south to Patagonia or wherever the road will take him. Last week, after building a bike and getting his gear sorted out, he was ready to hit the road and I joined him for a couple of days.
We cycled from our home to Horseshoe Bay and took the ferry to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. From there, we headed west on a logging road and found a sweet camp spot on a small lake in the hills. Unfortunately, the road ended abruptly, forcing us to backtrack to the coast and we decided to cross over to Saltspring Island.
In Swartz Bay, Martijn and I said our farewells as he headed to Victoria to take a ferry to Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula and continue his journey south. I took the ferry to Tsawwassen to ride home.
Jan and I are getting ready to leave for Helsinki and a bike trip in the Baltics. You can follow us here and on my instagram.