Posted by: Silver | March 24, 2011

Merritt to Kamloops

Distance: 86 km
Ascent: 785 m
Cycling time: 6 hours, 43 minutes

“You will be taking the 5a, won’t you?” was a question I heard several times when my route to Kamloops was discussed. Local opinion was very much in agreement that the 5a would be quieter, flatter and more scenic than continuing along highway 5, and local opinion was very much right. I can see why most motorised traffic prefers the 5: the road is straighter, shorter, wider and better paved. But the 5a was a positive delight to cycle, especially in the company of enough bright sunshine to unexpectedly leave me with a little bit of a red nose by the end of the day. Who would have thought it, eh? Sunburn in March, in Canada! And I’d even slathered on some sun block!

Once again, I surprised myself with how attractive I found such a dry, largely treeless, landscape, but eventually, I think I partly figured it out: the rolling, grassy hills and rocky outcrops were not entirely dissimilar from the Peak District – the venue of many pleasant childhood outings back in England. I think an entirely new and foreign landscape was actually bringing back happy memories.

Kamloops itself, on the other hand, was startlingly similar to the area of California where my Dad now lives. Not just the semi-desert climate and largely barren mountains, but the architecture and even the chain stores were all very familiar. Kamloops even has a beach, although – 400km inland – the view isn’t quite the same as the Pacific Ocean vistas one can enjoy not far from my Dad’s house.

My time in Kamloops was pretty much a non-stop whirl of presentations, informal meetings, dinners and other opportunities to tell people about SOS Children’s Villages, so I don’t have too many more inspiring thoughts to offer about the city, but hopefully I’ve inspired at least a few people there to have some thoughts about the difference that a loving parent can make in the life of a child.

OK, so this was one of the less looking-like-the-Peak-District bits, but it was still very beautiful

Early morning in California, sorry, Kamloops

It may not quite be the Pacific Ocean, but the view isn't bad...



  1. Silver, Silver, Silver….
    Been to Canada, and there is nothing like California!

  2. Hi Tana,

    Good to hear the journey is going well and so glad you managed to have a roll down the 5a. It’s one of my favourites as well.

    If you’re ever back in Clearwater give me a dingle- I’ll keep the canoe warmed up just in case. It was great meeting you and I look forwards to your updates from life on the road.



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