Hello Blogstalkers! Sorry, just realised how long it’s been since the last update. Not to worry, here I am now. At present I am 30 kms away from Niagara Falls at a town called Fort Erie. How exciting is that?
Lots has happened in terms of the Yellow Thing. It has been windy, to varying degrees, pretty much constantly since the prairies. Because the YT sits so high, any amount of wind causes the bike to tap dance its way down the road. Amusing now, sitting in my safe little motel room. Bloody frightening when I’m out there. The principles of aerodynamics are miles above my head, but even Blind Freddy could see that the way I had it arranged was asking for trouble. So, of course, it’s taken me all these thousands of kilometres to finally rearrange the way everything sits on the bike. Quite complicated to explain. Boring enough for me to write, let alone for you to read, but suffice to say all my gear now sits lower and thus is not buffeted by the wind so much. Very pleasant ride today.
When I last said goodbye to you, adoring and adorable Blogreaders, I was taking pictures of beavers or otters or something and singing to bears. So you get a bit of context, here is a map showing from whence I have travelled since that time:
Part of this route involves a ferry which travels from Manitoulin Island to the southern part of Ontario. It’s accessible by road and this is kind of a short cut. Because we don’t have that many ferries in Australia, I wanted to go this way. I got a pic when the ferry left:
There were lots of other motorcyclists on the ferry. Most rode sports bikes or Harleys, and they were interested to see my bike and hear about the trip. I had a camera and a cell phone in my face at one stage! Hmm…am I an oddity or were they just testing the light? One rider told me, in a very nice way, that he felt inadequate after seeing my bike (why do men carry on like that…so silly). Nice bloke, and we had an extended chat about bikes and touring on the way.
Here’s the bike on the ferry:
Anyway, got off the ferry and went on my way, against the wind, of course. It took quite a while to ride down the coast to a campground near the island, but got there eventually. Most of the route consisted of farmlands, good roads though 🙂
Found a great campground close to the island and stayed there two nights. I took a day to explore Pelee, and arrived at the ferry terminal at sparrow fart. My bike sat there Nigelesquely for quite some time…
Presently a car pulled up, occupied by a young couple who were embroiled in an intense and ongoing domestic. It woke me up from my near-slumber. The domestic consisted of them yelling at each other, then stomping off in opposite directions to continue the spat by means of furious text messaging. Later, I noticed them on the ferry back to the mainland, still arguing. Hopefully they sorted it out, whatever it was.
Got chatting to a group of people who were also travelling to the island, four couples about my age I guess. They were all very interested in my trip and asked heaps of questions. I mentioned I was going to Quebec and they gave me some recommendations for places to see. They said not to worry that I don’t speak French. They told me Quebec wants to be a country by itself, and not part of Canada. I can’t understand that. Why would you not want to be part of Canada? I’d like to suggest to PM Julia that she cedes Queensland to Canada, and Aussieland can have Quebec.
I spent some time getting pics of the surroundings of the ferry terminal. It’s a lovely spot. A couple of blokes were fishing:
The ferry wasn’t that big, compared to BC ferries, but seemed to have plenty of room inside.
My main reason for travelling Pelee Island was to see Canada’s southernmost point, although I believe there is an uninhabited island or two further south from here. Upon reaching the island I jumped on the bike and set off. The island is only about 14 kms long by 6 kms wide, so I had plenty of time before the return ferry that afternoon. The island is crisscrossed with roads, some gravel. I headed in a southerly direction and came across this:
Thaddy liked the plonk a bit, I think, because he built Ontario’s first vineyard on this island. Here’s a replica of his house:
Travelled further down some country roads:
Got to this spot, where the walking trail to the southern tip commences:
Set off with the camera. It’s about a 1.6 km walk. It was a pretty warm day, about 32 degrees, so I was glad of the shade:
The trail led to the beach at Lake Erie:
Walked up the beach for a bit:
There it is, a little “V” jutting out into the lake:
In my planning for this trip, I envisaged standing at the very tip of the island. Unfortunately though, this particular day anyway, it was invaded by seagulls. Nothing against seagulls, it’s what comes out of their bums I don’t like. As you can see from the photo, some brave people went down there, but not I. Most likely, I would have slipped in seagull poo and gone skidding on my arse to the southern tip, rather than stepping out in my usual gait, that is, daintily and with dignity.
Checked out the vineyard on the way back:
Pelee Islanders are friendly, just like all the Canadians I’ve met so far. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but almost every time I stop someone comes over to chat. I was sitting at a cafe on the island waiting for the ferry to leave, had the bike parked across the road. A bloke passed by and said, “You’re that girl riding the motorcycle eh”. I confessed that I was, and we had a natter about bikes in general.
One thing about Canadians which is identical to Queenslanders: we both say “eh” at the end of our sentences, eh. Like Queenslanders, it seems to rarely be with a rising intonation, as in a question, it’s more a statement of confirmation. (Sorry, can’t think, at this late hour, of a better way to describe).
The time to leave came all too soon. Goodbye Pelee, lovely little island. I will visit you again someday.
That night there was a thunderstorm, a grandaddy of a thunderstorm actually, with thunder and lightning. I watched the lightning from the safety of the tent, and closely watched whilst the wind moved the tent quite strongly against the pegs. For one alarming moment it crossed my mind that the damn thing might blow away, then realised that would be unlikely with my great form inside, and bloody near impossible with the YT in there as well.
I drifted off to sleep as the rain began to tumble down, secure in the knowledge that the tent was going nowhere. Ah, I thought smugly, there’s nothing to putting up tents. What a good boy scout I am. The next morning, when packing up, I discovered I’d inadvertently left the ground sheet out a bit from the tent, causing a pool, no, a DAM of water to accumulate directly underneath! Oh dear…not such a good boy scout after all. Nothing like a good dose of humble pie!
Tomorrow I’m off to Niagara Falls, so will tell you more about that in the near future. ‘Bye for now.