Beauty, Burgers & Blogs

Upsala to Kenora

It was glorious sunshine as we woke up the next morning and I cruelly made Tim get out of bed to take a picture of the sun rising. He was not in the best mood as he’d had a nightmare about the car being swept away in a storm (oops)! The shower was glorious and the pain au chocolat we’d bought the day before were much appreciated. We returned the pillow cases to the owner and assured her we had swept her trailer for which was very grateful and bid us a safe journey. We felt a little better once we’d past the 40 km we had already done the previous day… There were so many beautiful trees on our route with all sorts of greens, yellows and really bright reds which were almost fuschia pink!

Some of the things I’ve noticed about Canada:

  • There don’t seem to be many people (or at least it doesn’t feel like it)
  • There are loads of derelict, empty towns
  • There are hundreds of abandoned and boarded-up houses, overgrown areas with enormous collapsed barns and run down or burnt buildings with abandoned vehicles and rusty old boats and farm machinery – it’s so sad to see because there is so much they could do with the land and buildings!
  • Not many people have ‘normal’ sized cars – they are generally 4×4’s, trucks or even bigger trucks and trailers or maybe even 5 or 6 trucks (I have no idea why this is necessary)!

We had lunch at a place recommended by our couch surfing host that evening. It was call Kokom’s Bannock Shack and it was first nation/aboriginal food. The food was good with the same big portions you get everywhere else and the service was great. It was a cool space with aboriginal paintings for sale and a visitor’s signature wall in the entrance. After lunch we needed some fuel so we stopped at Petro Canada where Tim was excited to use his new points card!

We were kept amused on our journey by the radio as the guy who puts the song titles/artist on the screen seemed to be having a very bad day. It went from ‘you aidmno with me’ to ‘you arenga with me’ – I never actually found out the name of that song apart from it being by Taylor Swift! It got even worse to the point that nothing on the radio screen was actually legible anymore!

We passed an awesome kids playground with mini golf, but I didn’t get the camera out in time to grab a picture (sorry). We also saw a bald eagle just chilling on the side of the road guarding its kill from the nearby crows. The town of Kenora (The Lake of the Woods) was pretty with never-ending lakes along the way and we sat in Tim Horton’s waiting for our host to get back from work.

Our host was super friendly and chatty and gave us a warm welcome. Tim had fun parking the car in her driveway with spinning wheels and wonky rocks. We were given some delicious home-made guacamole with herby crisps which was amazing. We had a long chat about our travels, Canada, canoeing, photography, blogs, GoPro’s and book printing as she’d got loads of her pictures from canoeing printed into a hardback book (it looked really good)! She told us this story about a blogger who decided to travel from the most northern part of Europe to the most Southern part of Europe and wrote about his experiences being followed by a posing reindeer! Apparently the reindeer had gotten really used to being around people as it had been in loads of films – a bummer for this guy as he was trying to get rid of it!

Dinner was delicious as we were given some home-made tomato soup. She told us about some of her couch surfing experiences in the US and about one lady who was on house arrest and was also part of a turtle rescue program which our host got to go and witness in action! Despite sleeping on sofas, they were so comfy and we even saw what could have either been a raccoon or groundhog outside her window!


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