‘Wolf warning in effect’, read the poster at the start of the Rainforest trail we were about to walk. Supposedly, a pact of wolves was active in the area, showing 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 or let alone run away! Then, to step backwards while raising our arms to make ourselves appear 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!’.
In less than a month, I will be returning to my home country, the Netherlands. Therefore, this is a recap of the 10 things I will miss the most about living in Montréal.
10) My favourite hotspot: the anti-café. This is a place where you pay per minute, rather than per drink. What this means is that you pay 3 dollars for the first hour you are there, and 2 dollars for the following hours (with a maximum of 9$). Basically, during your time at this cafe you can consume as many cups of tea and coffee as you would like, in addition to having unlimited cookies and snacks. If you know me, you know that I drink a crazy amount of tea every day and that I hope to have a huge tea corner in my future dream house. Therefore, this place completely suits me.
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 regards to hiding all of our food in a bear proof manner. Storing your food ‘bear proof’ is done by placing all of it 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 smell. Cheyen heard about this right after he had put on his perfume and feared he would be the first to be taken by a bear…
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. Continue reading “Adventures in Canada”
My obsession for Canada started when 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 hear; “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. The trip exceeded my expectations. Perhaps not surprising, but 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.