The last time I was in Canada was way back in 2005 when I went to Montreal to compete in my first World Championships at the age of 16. 11 years later and I was pretty excited at the prospect of visiting again. Not only is the country huge and beautiful and there’s a whole lot to see but it’s also where my boyfriend Ryan lives. And yes before you ask we are doing the long distance thing, since meeting him 2 years ago in Peru he’s visited me in Aus and we’ve met up in Hawaii a couple of times and he joined me at the start of my adventure this year for 2 months though Nepal and India. Our relationship is full of incredible adventures and amazing memories, its petty amazing as far as I’m concerned! But anyway I’m getting sidetracked… 2 years in and it was about time I made the trip to the land of moose, bears, ice hockey and Ryan!
From Rio I flew through Panama and then on to Toronto. Ryan picked me up and we headed back to his place, he lives on a farm in a town called Petrolia and he has goats! I’d arrived a little earlier then we had originally planned and he still had to work a few days so I spent most of my time hanging out with the goats and trying to sort through my thousands of photos I’d taken during the year so far.
We also went on a couple of little trips close to home between his shifts. We hit up Point Pelee National Park where we set foot on the southern most point of Canada. And we went blueberry picking where I’m pretty sure I ate more as I went than what I ended up collecting!
We took off on a mini overnight road trip with pit stops at the lakeside town of Grand Bend, Elora Goege and Elora Quarry on our way to the town of Colligwood where we spent the night. We then hit up Metcalfe rock and Sauble Falls on our way to Bruce Peninsula National Park. I should mention that this was all during the last weekend of the Canadian Summer holidays so everywhere was kind of crazy busy with people trying to squeeze in some last minute time in the sunshine.
When we arrived at the main entrance to Bruce Peninsula National Park we were pretty bummed to see a “car park full” sign but we headed in to the entrance booth to find out what the story was only to be told to come back and try again in a few hours, the beach was full. We’d driven quite a distance to visit this park and we really didn’t have much interest in the beach, we were there for the hiking trails but we weren’t allowed to use them. Disheartened we started driving off and I just thought I’d check that there weren’t any other entrances to the park. I spotted 2 access roads on google maps, the first was private but the second one took us to Little Cove Beach, in the national park, and it had access to the Bruce trail! This is the trail I’d picked out at the start of the day, so we were pretty stoked that we’d found this gem and also kind of annoyed that the lady who turned us away at the main entrance had failed to mention it to us!
The main thing is we were on the trail! The Bruce trail is Canada’s oldest and longest trail covering a huge 890kms! If we’d had the time we could have hiked 12 kms back towards to the main entrance of the park and we would have been where I’d originally planned to start the trail but it was after midday when we started hiking so in the end we made it about 8 kms along the trail before we turned around to make our way back. The trail is magnificent, it winds through acres and acres of pine forests and spits you out onto the incredible lake Huron every so often where you can meander along pebble beaches, tip toe on the edge of lakeside cliffs or clamber over giant limestone rocks and boulders. It’s a real treat and I can see why its one of the best trails in Canada!
After our tough hike we were left with legs like jelly and we loaded ourselves into the car for the drive back to Ryan’s house. And that brings me to the end of my first week in Canada, not too bad if you ask me. Where to next you might ask, Niagara Falls of course and I couldn’t be more excited!