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Watch out for wolves

‘Wolf warning in effect’, read the poster at the start of the Rainforest trail we were about to walk. Supposedly, there was a pact of wolves active in the area, which had shown bold behaviour towards people and dogs. There had been a number of recent attacks and therefore we were given advise on how to act if we were to come eye to eye with a wolf (or wolves!).  Most importantly, we were told to keep the ‘eye-to-eye’ contact  – to not turn around, let alone run away! Then, to step backwards while spreading out our arms to look larger and let the wolves know who is boss by speaking to them in a loud, impressive voice… something I simply didn’t see myself pulling off. If the wolves would approach us despite these precautions, we were meant to throw sticks and stones at them. The last sentence of the warning poster gave me no peace of mind either: ‘If all else fails, then fight!’.
Continue reading “Watch out for wolves”

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algonquin park, Canada

A Black Bear Blog

The first morning waking up in Canada, we were told by our park guards that there were seven ‘active’ bears on site. This meant that we had to be extra careful with hiding all of our food in a bear proof manner. Storing your food ‘bear proof’ is done by placing all of your food in a cool box, covering the cool box with a jacket and storing the cool box with the jacket in a car. This is necessary because bears are clever enough to recognize a cool box and break into the car to get to the food. Surprisingly, we were also told to hide all of our cosmetics such as shampoo, because the bears are attracted to the smells. Cheyen heard about this right after he had put on his perfume and feared he would be the first to be caught by a bear…

Continue reading “A Black Bear Blog”

Canada

Adventures in Canada

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’d meet a Canadian family we would spent most of our final week with. In general, I find that Canadian people are probably thé nicest people. Very open, very welcoming, enthusiastic to have a chat. One evening, a couple was sitting by a campfire when they invited us over.  They gave us some corncobs which we’d heat above the fire, and talked to us all about Canada and their adventures whilst camping. It turned dark and 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, wondering out loud if there were many leeches and what we would have to do if one would bite us, when Bill came swimming by us. He had been camping for many years and knew all about the animals around. His son 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 little rocks. 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. 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, after which they would dive under water again. Bill told us that if we wanted to, we could borrow his canoe any time and for example make a fishing trip.  Continue reading “Adventures in Canada”

Canada

Camping in Canada: sleeping with bears.

My obsession for Canada started every since I was a little girl. For unexplained reasons, I dreamt about going there someday. In primary school, my presentations would either be about Canada or Killer Whales, and all my friends would know “one day I will move and live in Canada.”
When I turned 18, and received my high school diploma, the day had come: my mum and I would visit Canada. Perhaps unbelievable, but the trip exceeded my expectations. Perhaps not unsurprising, I could go on and on about our time there. So much has happened, and so many wonderful people (and bears) have crossed our paths… that’s why I will probably write this story in two parts. Continue reading “Camping in Canada: sleeping with bears.”