As promised, this is a sequel to my story about camping in Canada. During our second week in Canada we moved to another campsite in Alconquin Park, where we met a Canadian family with whom we spent most of our final week with. In general, I find that Canadian people are probably thé nicest people in the world. Very open, very welcoming and enthusiastic to have a chat. For example, one evening, a couple sitting by a campfire invited us over. They gave us some corncobs which we heated above the fire and talked to us all about Canada and their adventures whilst camping. When it turned dark, the lady even started singing a few songs for us.
Not long afterwards we met the Green family. My mum and I were swimming in the lake by the campsite, wondering out loud if there were many leeches and what we would have to do if one would bite us, when Bill came swimming towards us to offer some advise. He had been camping at Alconquin for many years and knew all about the animals around. His son in particular was fascinated by the local wildlife and could spot animals from a remarkable distance.
So it was that one day his son spotted a moose on the other side of the lake, that to us looked like perhaps a little rock. Bill invited us to join him in his canoe to go see the animal from up close. It was indescribably beautiful to be on the lake and to have the impressive animal so nearby and silence all around us. We stayed on the lake till sunset, the nature shone bright green and the sky was coloured red. Otters sometimes appeared to show their little heads. Bill told us that if we wanted to, we could borrow his canoe any time and for example make a fishing trip.
This seemed like a brilliant idea. As a child I always loved to fish, so we thanked him and accepted the proposal. However, going fishing in Canada didn’t turn out to be as easy as it is in the Netherlands. We first had to go collect a fishing license, something I had never previously even heard of. To get the license we drove from place to place, but everywhere they told us they didn’t provide licenses, but if we would drive on we would find a place where they did. In Canada, the distances from one place to another are nothing compared to back home, and it took us the whole morning to find a location where they provided the licenses. To get one, we had to give a lot of detailed information, even something so trivial as the colour of our eyes… We paid for the license, and finally, we got it. After half a day of trying to obtain a license, we were ready to go fishing!
Bill and his sons helped us to put the canoe in the water and set up the fishing rod, and off we went. What happened next is not one of my proudest moments… Everyone had helped us to get ready for fishing, we had spent so much time to finally get in the canoe, when, after only half an hour, spoiled me realized she didn’t like fishing that much after all. The current was quite powerful, and my mum and I had to work hard to keep the canoe under control whilst I also had to pay attention to the bobber. Instead of it sticking in an upright position in the water, it laid diagonally on the water which rendered it impossible for me to determine whether a fish bit into it yet. Every time I checked, the bait was gone. However, there was no fish to be found and I became grumpier and grumpier. My mum told me that after so much preparation we couldn’t just give up, so we continued for some time. However, my mood didn’t improve, especially not when we found out that a huge toad was sitting in the tip of the boat and we were in the middle of the lake. I felt bad, but I asked my mum if we could please turn around and red from embarrassment I arrived at the lake shore. I had been the one who insisted on going fishing, and had driven my mum to despair whilst trying to obtain the fishing license. The whole family had helped us with setting up the fishing equipment and with the canoe, and now, only about an hour after, we were already back. Fortunately, they were really nice about it and we undertook many more activities with them.
We went picking blackberries in an area in the vicinity of bears and even went to a garbage dump where many bears tried to unravel a meal. I saw them from a distance cause I stayed safe and sound in the car, but my mum, brave as she is, went with the family up to the dump and saw them from up close!
The Greens also took us to a little river, where we could jump off a bridge. Me and the guys really enjoyed this and took many stunt pictures. We also went swimming in a small stream with waterfalls, which was a wonderful place we would have never found on our own.
Similarly, one day we went hiking with them along narrow paths we would have never dared to walk on by ourselves because of the risk of bears in the area. Here, I have seen the absolute tallest trees in my life and after a climb, the most beautiful view as well.
On one of our last evenings in Ontario, we all went to a little town an hour’s drive away from our campsite to see the latest and last Harry Potter movie. On the way back, it was already pitch dark and the roads weren’t lit. We followed Bill’s car, which was all we could see. Suddenly, they parked by the side of the road. Therefore, we did the same, not knowing what was going on. Really sad, but the car in front of them had hit a deer! We got out of the car, and saw the deer lying on the road. It had already died, it’s neck laid in a weird angle and its big eyes stared at us. A very sad image that is still stuck in my mind.
Fortunately, most images of my time in Canada are really nice. Everyone has been so extremely friendly. We started off with only a little tent, but by the end of our stay we had been given many camping gifts such as an extra chair, jerry can and party tent against mosquitoes. When we left, I was really sad and determined to come back one day. Hopefully, we will soon!