Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen (Part III)

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. 

Bikes parked to see the Axe

Here it is:

Naturally, I just had to hop up there...

Park surrounding the axe...beautiful and very peaceful place

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:

Not one speck...

Not one speck II

 

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.

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15 Responses to Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen (Part III)

  1. Tim says:

    Wow!! What a fantastic, sort of sad, ending to your trip!! Thanks for writing all this. I’ve been so envious of your trip! I’ve been to some of the same places but had a totallly diffferent experience. Mine was a weeks holiday here and there. So, I never really experienced the immersion you did. So, I travelled with you vicariously and thought it was wonderful!! Your “real” comments and earthy descriptions of people, places and things often made me feel like I was there!! I live in the US but am a Canadian by birth and all your comments about Canada are dead on. My “Canadianess” comes out here and I’ll say a hearty thank you for all the time you took writing so the rest of us could also enjoy your trip!!

    Safe travels back to Oz my friend!!
    Tim
    N.Y., N.Y.

    • Janette says:

      Thank you for your kind comments Tim. Sounds like you enjoyed the blog, and I have to say I am very much looking forward to my next visit to Canada (whenever that may be…). For now, it’s back to the real world!

  2. Elaine says:

    Thank you feels inadequate, but thank you for your increadable writing. You have put together a fantasic story and it has been a privilege and a joy to read. TAKER EASY eh

    • Janette says:

      “Taker easy”…I love that expression! Glad you enjoyed my scribblings and I have to say – those three weeks with you two was the icing on the cake. It was relaxing and peaceful, with great food, nice cups of tea, and good company – so thank you too!

  3. IT"S ME says:

    Yes, I agree with Tim, ” a sort of sad ending to your trip ” and I guess you felt it too. However, your ability to take the reader into every aspect of your trip, your get up and go attitude, ( which you have had even as a little thing ! ) and all that you have accomplished in your life so far which many of your readers would not be aware of, has to make you an example to others. An A1 effort !

    We are proud of you, but it’s great to have you home again, …. until the next travel bug bites. ! Very well done, indeed!

    Love Always
    It’s Me. !

    • Janette says:

      Thank you Mum, #1 fan! I guess it was a bit of a sad ending to the trip, but I always tried to be true to what I was feeling when writing these blogs. Thanks for all your support with this and everything. I like writing because you and Dad read to us so much when we were little. Even though you may not have felt like reading “The Cat in the Hat Comes Back” for the 10,000th time, you did, and that’s what made the difference.

  4. rattratt says:

    Well worth the wait (and the nagging) Janetty.

    TR

    • Janette says:

      High praise indeed TR! Thank you for your comments throughout and for being such good company, both through NS and at home. I forgive the nagging, by the way…

  5. Denise M says:

    And so it is and we have bid you a fond farewell. Ironic, in my opinion, that you have managed to catch the warmth and the spirit of this vast land; perhaps better than anyone living here. It has been a great honour to have you look upon its great beauty as a people, a culture, and as a nation, and to have your generous reflections returned to us with such warmth and dignity.
    Our door shall remain open for you and yours, It was grand!
    D & P

    • Janette says:

      Wow, thank you Denise. Like I said, everyone made me feel so welcome. Aussies – when Canadians say, “You’re welcome”, they really mean it!

      Looking forward to seeing you and Paula again, whenever that may be. Perhaps you could come for a holiday to Aussieland some day?

  6. IT"S ME says:

    Janette, what lovely remarks from Denise. Something to always remember. File it away somewhere.
    B.xxx

  7. IT"S ME says:

    Now that you are a Person of Leisure without week–end work, I guess your book is underway. I,with many others await the finished product . It will be a good read.
    B,xxx

  8. IT"S ME says:

    And so say all of us, rattratt. !!

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