After the Newfoundland trip I spent three weeks freeloading with the TOW, and thanks to you both for your hospitality, by the way. During that time, we went on a few rides with some friends. I want to show you some photos from a trip we did to Nackawic, New Brunswick, home of the world’s biggest axe. It’s 55 tons and over 60 feet tall. We jumped on the bikes and took a lovely ride down the river to see this place.
Here it is:
Apart from rides, there were other things to do, including walks to take photos of the pretty colours. This is my second-favourite season in Canada, after winter, of course. The colours are just spectacular.
Before I knew it the time came to get everything ready to return to Aussieland. That included getting the bike prepared. A lot of the questions I’ve had thus far have been about the bike: how did I get it home? Well, before that happened the thing had to be mega-cleaned. Wouldn’t do for Australian Quarantine to find even one speck of tainted North American dirt secreted within any hidden crevices. So it was a fine and sunny weekend when I and the TOW set to and got the bike cleaned. Here are some pics:
Thank you to you both for all your assistance on getting the thing cleaned – I couldn’t have done it on my own!
Here is the bike in its crate. From Fredericton it went to Montreal, and then goes to Brisbane via ship. Thanks to MacLeans Sports in Fredericton for putting the crate together for me.
And so the trip ends, yes, just like that. It’s hard to even look at the photos. Yesterday I had to go down to the pub and put some bets on the horses, which rarely happens, because I’m blank when it comes to thinking about the last six months and I needed something to do. But I’ve put my mind to it, and here are some highlights, or best parts (in no particular order):
Dipping my feet in the Arctic Ocean. It was cold, but not unbearably so. Don’t reckon I’ll ever get to do that again. It was an unforgettable moment.
Riding through Nova Scotia and the Cabot Trail with TR. Yes, we copped a muddy road, and the peanut butter threw up in my pannier, but the company and the scenery was A1.
Listening to Canadians talking on the ferry to Vancouver Island, just after I’d arrived in Canada. It was like I’d come home.
Seeing bears on the Cassier Highway, and wondering how the heck I was going to get past them.
Denise handing me a beer at the campground, and showing me the country.
The tundra in northern Alaska: the sense that there was no-one for hundreds of miles, and the silence, the aloneness of it all.
The “hotel” at Coldfoot in Alaska, and chasing mosquitoes around the laundry.
Attempting to speak French in Quebec. What a joke. Poor Quebec people are probably still wondering what I was on about.
Spaghetti sauce, Ab Fab, and cups of tea, courtesy of the TOW.
All the way across Canada I spoke to the most friendly and hospitable people imaginable. I was met with courtesy and kindness at every turn. At each stop were Canadians who were interested in my trip, who encouraged me. Around every corner was something more beautiful. Canadians, don’t ever forget that this is what makes your country stand out against so many. Okay, you might not blow them all out of the water at the Olympics. You’re not a superpower, and the world doesn’t copy your culture. There are few people who’d know the name of your Prime Minister. But you are known throughout the world for your friendliness, and the way you make people feel welcome. I certainly did. I love your country, loved every minute of it.
It was time to return to Australia. I farewelled the TOW in New Brunswick, and flew to Toronto. It is here I left Canada, enroute to the US and then home. In Toronto, I settled into the seat, and prepared myself to say goodbye. From the window there’s a small quadrangle of trees, colours of which I’ve shown you in the above photos, for this is the fall in North America. The plane rose, and wispy clouds covered the blazing reds and golds. Quickly they faded, then were gone.