McCharles family, travel

My Year of Living Safely

I’ve been a year (mostly) sheltering in place on Vancouver Island.

Off the island only twice.

Three times if you count my first flight — to Calgary for my 1st jab: Thursday, March 18th.

I did have one helicopter ride last July.

In small town Parksville, most of the year we had zero COVID cases. In fact, right now is worst, so far. I’m double masking.

Highlights have been spending time with my parents. Mom and Dad get their first vaccine dose next week.

15 multi-day cycling trips along with plenty of local hiking. I’ll do more of that in 2021, for sure.

My main new hobby with all that COVID time is video editing.

I’m building up a new hiking YouTube channel. Subscribe.

Waterfront Walkway, Parksville

cycling, hiking, product endorsements, travel

My 1st SERIOUS Tripod

The MeFOTO RoadTrip Air. Weight 2.5 lbs (1.1 kg)

It get’s well deserved GREAT REVIEWS.

I got the RoadTrip rather than the Backpacker — even though it’s a half pound heavier — mainly for the superior ballhead.


I’ll use this day-to-day at home. And on bikepacking trips.

Won’t likely carry it on long hikes because of weight, though the detachable selfie stick is an option.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Looks great. But — in reality — I use my Fotopro uFO 2 tripod 90% of the time.

I like it better than the GorillaPods I’ve used. You can attach to things more reliably.

And it’s only .5 lbs (227 gm)

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

best bike rides, cycling, travel

I want to cycle the Tuscany Trail, Italy

I’ve been researching the best bike rides worldwide. This one appeals.

The Tuscany Trail.

Mountain biking 336 mile (541km) independently … but with many others.

The event starts 30th MAY 2021, but I won’t be there due to the pandemic.  Perhaps 2022.

Click PLAY or watch the 2020 COVID edition on YouTube.

NOTE – video editor is clearly in COVID denial.

Click PLAY or watch it on Vimeo.

travel, travel Mexico

Tulum – my FAVOURITE beach

Tulum, Mexico, 130km south of Cancun.

I was there in 2006.


At the time it was $6 / night to tent. $12 / night for a concrete cabana.


The only time I ever enjoyed Yoga.


The highlight for me was daily walks to the pre-Columbian Mayan walled city.

By Popo le Chien

Cenotes are another local highlight.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.