Our last day in the campsite near Ottawa was a lovely lazy one which involved uploading my blog, reading and enjoying the sunshine. It has been a real relief to not get rained on and, although it has been pretty hot, the humidity is a lot lower here. The campsite is full of nice people and happy families and we have watched the huge great butterflies and bees and cute chipmunks around the place. Sometimes you just have to stop and chill.
We moved onwards on Sunday, thinking this would be a good day to find a campsite without booking. I really enjoyed the route westward; there were swathes of wildflowers on the roadside,
We wanted to go to Toronto, but wanted to break the journey half way to avoid a long drive and to just take a break from city visits. Using one of my apps we found a nice, unpretentious camps at Cedar Bay, just off Ontario lake at Wellers Bay. The facilities are pretty basic (to say the least and pretty grubby) but the view sort of made up for that.
After setting up, getting extremely ‘gently glowing’ and the traditional post setting up beer (it was very hot and sunny, it seems the weather gets better the further west we go)(not that we need any excuse to drink beer), we got chatting to some of the people in the campsite. The people in the tent next to us were clearing up after taking their teenage daughter to play in a soccer tournament; football is much more of a girl’s sport over here.
A couple of guys (Danny and Bill) came over and sat down with us for a while and told us about how they like hunting for food not sport, so they only catch what they can use between them and their friends. They were really friendly and Bill went off home and fetched us back a couple of venison burgers, even though he had to drive there to do it. He also promised to bring us back a boat to borrow! A really friendly lady who was staying in an RV close by came over for a chat and ended up offering me a line dancing lesson. I am constantly amazed at how nice and helpful and generous the Canadians we meet are.
The next day we cycled the 10 odd miles into Brighton (past the Speedway track that wasn’t quite as smart as the Brighton Racecourse, UK)
and had a nice lunch at the Smokehouse Pub (not much else there apart from the Beer Store. Yeh!!!!, they are not allowed to sell beer in supermarkets here in Ontario). Brighton itself was very unremarkable, but we loved the wetland ‘water polishing’ scheme to purify the waste water from the town before it gets into lake Ontario.
We got back and were kind of relieved to see there was no boat parked next to our tent, as I would be very embarrassed to damage someone else’s property, but then we found a nice note on our windscreen, saying that Bill couldn’t get his trailer out of his drive as they were ‘ripping up the road nearby. I was a little concerned about the weather reports and the look of the sky, so we put both side up on the awning. Just as well, the rain absolutely hammered down; we heard later that there was over 6 cm of rain. As we huddled under the shelter of the awning, we were very thankful that the wind was not blowing too hard, the lightning was over a mile away and it was still pretty mild so, despite the fact we got a bit wet, we didn’t get cold. (So much for the weather getting better)
The following morning was glorious, and as we ate our breakfast drinking in the view over the bay (just off Lake Ontario) we had to agree it was possibly one of the best (bar Iceland, of course) we had experienced in our travels.
I then had a nasty thought; the insurance company was meant to have sent me an invoice, so I emailed our agent to find out what was going on. We then cycled the ten miles the other way into the other local town of Trenton. It was about lunchtime then so we tracked down a gastro pub (closest thing to a pub around there) and ordered drinks and food. I decided to check my email and, to my horror, our agent sent us an invoice which said we were overdue on the insurance payment and if we didn’t sort it out right away the policy could be cancelled. AAAAAARGH! I obviously was enjoying myself way too much and the stress gods had decided I was too relaxed. It was doubly annoying as I had tried really hard to pay for the insurance before we left the UK but they said I had to wait for the invoice, which DID NOT ARRIVE! I phoned up the payment people for the insurance company and, after they used up all my very expensive credit on my phone, they told me that I could not pay them over the phone, as I didn’t have an American address. The same applied via they online payment service. I phoned our insurance agent and she said to try again, using the port address we and used to get the insurance in the first place. It almost worked, but of course it meant that the credit card people in the UK refused the transfer. I then tried to talk to the help desk people, but being held in an international queue gets very expensive. I emailed them and asked if I could send a money order and headed off to the post office. The most wonderfully helpful and caring woman behind the counter gave us great advice and we headed out to find an AMT to get out $1500 (Canadian). It was a lot easier than in America, and the nice lady behind the counter both put the notes through their automatic counter and then changed all the twenties to fifties to make it easier for us. Back to the post office and the lovely counter lady helped us fill in all the forms and made us check everything was ok at the other end. She even made me take a photo of the documentation to prove we had done it all OK and finally we started getting emails that implied it was all going to work.
The steam had just about stopped coming out of my ears, but Tim took me for another glass of wine to help my blood pressure return to normal.
The cycle back to the campsite was great for me, but Tim was suffering a bit] because his lowest gear was not working. When we got back, I went for a stroll and found these at the end of the dock.
It had threatened to rain, but all we had was the rainbow
The wildlife has been fantastic in Cedar Cove; I have seen loads of different butterflies, some nearly as big as your hand, American robins, a humming bird, a beautiful crane, a family of swans, geese, swallows and a whole host of seabirds.
We got chatting to our very friendly French Canadian neighbour, Alain, who was very interested in our Bromptons.
He also told us all about how car insurance works in Canada; it’s all no blame. If you get hit, your insurance company sorts it out. He had to make three claims in one year, only one of which was his fault and his insurance company chucked him off their books. Later on he invited us over to share his campfire and we had a lovely evening chatting to him and his wife Dianne (well, Tim managed the latter part, as she had no English and my French is poor to say the least). It was wonderful; we spent the whole evening chatting about stuff and watching the stars come out. We even saw the first of the shooting stars from the Perseids.