Barrie, food, art and au revoir, not goodbye

12 May 2017

Our last stop of the day was the city of Barrie. On the map it looked like a huge sprawling thing, at least in comparison to Gravenhurst and Orillia. According to the sign we passed it had a population of 136,000, a little over half the number of people living in Southampton. There’d been precious little time for proper research so we really had no idea where to go or how easy it would be to find somewhere to park. More by luck than judgement, we ended up driving right into the centre of town where we found a car park on Lakeside Drive.  Continue reading Barrie, food, art and au revoir, not goodbye

Orillia and little black flies

12 May 2017

Yet again I was awake not long after five this morning. As it was our last sunrise on Gull Lake I sat on the balcony to enjoy it. When Commando woke up we had a leisurely breakfast and returned to the balcony for a coffee and a last whistful gaze at the wonderful view. Not knowing when, or even if, we’d be coming back it was bitter sweet. This wonderful country has really stolen our hearts and we were sad to be leaving.  Continue reading Orillia and little black flies

Let’s go to Huntsville

11 May 2017

My twisted body clock woke me at quarter to five this morning. It was quarter to two in Vancouver and quarter to ten in England so goodness only knows what time zone my brain was in. The merest hint of pink was just beginning to show above the tree line outside. I took a quick photo and then tried to go back to sleep. Half an hour later I gave up. My body was determined it was morning so I might as well listen. The sky was a little lighter now, the line of pink rising up to meet the midnight blue sky.  Continue reading Let’s go to Huntsville

A little tour of Muskoka

10 May 2017

After a wonderful week in Vancouver we’d had a nightmare forty eight hours. When I woke at five fifteen this morning though, the view from my window chased the nightmare away immediately. A peachy glow lit the sky above the pines on the opposite side of Gull Lake, fading to a deep midnight blue. The trees outside our window were silhouetted against the glorious pre dawn sky and the lake gently rippled by the breeze. Commando was still sleeping but I sneaked out of bed and took a photo through the window then I lay watching the sun slowly rise. After a while I pulled on a jumper and crept out onto the balcony. Sometimes jet lag has its advantages and waking to watch the sun come up is up is one of them. Continue reading A little tour of Muskoka

Eling Tide Mill – first published 24 August 2014

At the end of August 2014, I finally got round to the Eling Tide Mill walk. Even so, the walk started off in a grump. I’d intended to have a shortish walk, maybe five miles or so, and attempt the Eling Tide Mill on Tuesday. When I looked at the weather forecast it seemed Tuesday was going to be torrential downpours though. This rather put the cat among the pigeons. Then I realised I’d forgotten to charge my phone so I had to hang around drinking coffee while it charged. Not a happy bunny. Continue reading Eling Tide Mill – first published 24 August 2014

May miles

In reality, May began with a flight to Canada but all the while I was clocking up miles on my virtual walk across Europe to Africa. April ended in the Vézère valley near the caves prehistoric man once inhabited. I was in the Dordogne heading towards the mountains of the Pyrenees and Spain. Whether I’d reach them before the end of the month remained to be seen. Continue reading May miles

Post marathon wanderings

8 May 2017

Full of luscious Malaysian food and rested from sitting in the cool of the restaurant we decided we could all stand a bit more wandering along the seawall and Stanley Park. Apart from anything, Jen had a few things she wanted to show us. It was mid afternoon by the time we got back to the Devonian Harbour Park but a few of the slower marathon runners were still coming past in dribs and drabs.  Continue reading Post marathon wanderings

From sea to sky

6 May 2017

Our brief stop at Porteau Cove had showed me beauty beyond my wildest dreams. Now we all agreed it was time for lunch. Jen and Kevin knew just the place, The Howe Sound Brewing Company in Squamish, a one time hop Farm turned micro brewery. The rustic atmosphere ticked all the right boxes and the food was perfect. According to Commando, so was the beer, although it took him a while to choose. Replete and happy we found our way back onto Highway 99 and headed from the sea to the sky. Pretty soon we were looking up at the Sea to Sky Gondola and, behind the low wooden building, the tumbling water of Shannon Falls, the third highest waterfall in British Columbia. I had the feeling my dreams were going to get a lot wilder before the day was out.

Continue reading From sea to sky

Porteau Cove

6 May 2017

Today we were very excited to be going up into the mountains we’d been staring at since we arrived in Vancouver, courtesy of our wonderful tour guides, Jen and Kevin. The plan was to head towards Whistler on Highway 99, otherwise known as the Sea to Sky Highway, for obvious reasons. The highway crosses the causeway that cut the Lost Lagoon off from Vancouver Harbour and runs all the way to the United States border. It is two hundred and fifty four miles long and was listed in the Guardian newspaper as the fifth best road trip in the world. We would, of course, only be exploring a small part of it.  Continue reading Porteau Cove

Collecting the marathon pack

5 May 2017

All our miles of walking yesterday didn’t end with the Lost Lagoon. In the evening Jen wanted to take us out for a bite to eat at one of her favourite restaurants. We went in her car but, on the way, we stopped off at one of her favourite beaches, Spanish Banks, named in commemoration of the June 1792 meeting of the English under George Vancouver and the Spanish under Galiano and Valdés. This was the shoreline we’d been looking out at from English Beach earlier in the day.  Continue reading Collecting the marathon pack