Posted by: Silver | April 10, 2011

Oliver to Osoyoos

Distance: 31 km
Ascent: 202 m
Cycling time: 1 hour 48 minutes

In spite of the valley continuing to remain ‘socked in’ as the locals say, my ride down to Osoyoos was nevertheless very pleasant: for the first 6km, I was again able to use the lovely hike and bike path along the river, and even once I rejoined the highway, I was still treated to wide shoulders, light traffic and interesting views of seemingly endless orchards between the mountains. In literally just a few days, I suspect this area will be the most glorious riot of blossom and green leaves… But not quite yet… Oh well, I guess it’s just a good job this journey isn’t about the tourism!

Of course, what this journey is all about is SOS Children’s Villages, and I had yet more chances here in Osoyoos to tell people all about the love they bring into the lives of orphans around the world. Throughout this journey, I’ve always emphasised to people that I’m trying to raise awareness, not funds: I want to inspire people to find out more about what the charity does – and hopefully encourage them to go on to become supporters – rather than expecting them to simply hand over some cash just because I happen to be crazy enough to cycle across the country for two and a half years. I’ve also always emphasised that, if anyone does feel moved to make a donation on account of what I’m doing, I would want them to give the money to support SOS Children’s Villages, not my journey: I run on passion and the kindness of strangers*, but it takes hard cash to raise a child! Nevertheless, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the Rotary Club of Osoyoos, who, in spite of my exhortations to the contrary, insisted on making a donation to help me on my journey; although unsought and unexpected, their kind and generous contribution will undoubtedly make a huge difference to me, and several people in the town did make donations to SOS Children’s Villages as well, so the charity will also benefit from the wonderful generosity of the people of Osoyoos. 🙂

( *and the bit of money I raised by selling my ‘world-famous’ homemade cakes to my friends and colleagues back in the UK – hi guys, and thanks again for your support! )

Ranger enjoying the bike path south of Oliver, and showing off the reflective printing on his safety flag

So, here's a use for recycled milk cartons that you possibly hadn't thought of! Many of the Okanagan's orchards are being replaced with vineyards, and the cartons protect the new vines - there were literally thousands of them along my route

Spotted Lake in Osoyoos: the rings are formed by crystallized mineral salts. Also spotted in Osoyoos: some sunshine at last!

Especially for all my Slovenian blog followers: this very attractive bench/monument by the lake commemorates the Slovenian pioneers of Osoyoos!

The Osoyoos Indian Band is widely regarded as one of the most forward-thinking and successful bands in the country, and their desert cultural centre is well worth at least a couple of hours' visit (incidentally, the name of the centre is pronounced 'inkameep' and refers to the bottomland on which the centre is situated)

With apologies for the inadequate zoom capabilities of my camera, here is an osprey I saw guarding her nest; birds of prey are definitely more common and visible here than they are in the UK

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