Tag Archives: Algonquin

My Personal A to Z of Canada – C is for Camping

I am continuing with my personal A-Z of Canada and this time – C is for camping in Canisbay Lake

One of the things we love about Canada the most is the vast, beautiful wilderness.  Opportunities to go camping are abundant in every type of environment whether it is beaches, lakes, mountains or forests. On the long weekend last week we packed up the truck and headed 3 hours north to Algonquin Provincial Park.  Something I should point out is that to Canadians camping is an Rv/Motorhome or Trailer/Caravan.  When I say camping (which they call tenting!) I mean under canvas.

This was the first sight that greeted us at the entrance to the campground and I admit it freaked me out a bit. :-0

Although there were bear sightings close by we didn’t see any although we did see moose which I was really excited about.

Algonquin attracts over 250,000 visitors every year the vast majority of which are here for the camping, canoeing and hiking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unlike most UK campsites that are usually just a big field, Canadian campsites are often in forests with each site having it’s own little clearing complete with a fire pit.

One of my favourite parts of camping is sitting around the fire during the evening with a glass of wine while the kids toast marshmallows.

 

Another great thing about camping in Provincial or National parks is the hiking opportunities.  Hiking trails are marked and advertised so you can get out right into the wilderness and see sights like these.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beaver Dam

Beaver Lodge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Teen and the Tween also enjoyed themselves despite two days with no phone signal or internet access!

 

 

 

 

 

 

This summer we are planning more camping trips to get out and enjoy this stunning country we live in.

Close Encounters of the Moose Kind – Magic Moments #2

I had a real ‘magic moment’ last Saturday while we were camping in the Canadian wilderness, Algonquin Provincial Park.  We had researched the area before we went and I was excited to discover that May is the best time of year for Moose Viewing.   I had never seen a moose in the flesh before we came to Canada and despite many visits all over the country into mountains and parks we had never been lucky enough come across them.  We have a couple in the Toronto Zoo but it’s just not the same as seeing them in the wild.  One of the many things I love about Canada is the variety of huge animals that live here.

 

So we were out and about travelling through the park with our eyes scouring the forest to each side of us trying to spot wildlife and suddenly there right by the road in front of us was a young moose, she bolted back into the forest edge and stood there for just a few seconds before running off.  My cousin-in-law turned to me with a smug look on her face and said ‘there, you wanted moose I gave you moose, happy?’ She rolled her eyes when I replied that it was lovely to see one but now I want a photo!   We jumped back in the car and just a few minutes later we managed to spot this Moosive (sorry I couldn’t resist! 😉 ) bull moose grazing, he must have been 6 feet to his shoulders.  He was totally unperturbed by us jumping out of the cars and watching him and stood there happily munching on some grass.

So that’s my magic Moment this week.  I ‘m not high maintenance, I don’t need diamonds or pearls just give me a close encounter with a moose and I’m a happy camper! 😀

Changing Lives

As I stood looking out on Canisbay Lake in Algonquin Provincial Park last Saturday I literally had to pinch myself.  I couldn’t help but exclaim out loud. “I live here, I live HERE”.  

After almost two years of our expat life I’m finally starting to feel more content with our new lives, dare I even say settled?  The bad bits are still there of course but the bouts of homesickness are now becoming less severe and shorter.  Chatting with my family on skype now seems as normal as popping round for a cup of tea would have felt two years ago.

It’s been quite a journey to get this far and I admit there has been many a time when I wanted to get off the expat emotional roller coaster, I wanted to throw my hands up in surrender and say ‘I give up, I can’t cope with living in a different continent to my family and friends’. There are still days when I would give anything to have Sunday dinner at my parents house surrounded by family or have a glass of wine or five with my friends and chat into the early hours.

As I stood on that beach looking at that spectacular place, that is only a couple of hours from our new home, I began to reflect on our journey and how far we have come.  Little remains of our former lives now and for the most part that is not a bad thing.  I don’t miss the days of 12 hours in the office and trying to juggle the needs of our business with the needs of our boys.  I don’t miss barely keeping up with the housework or running out in the middle of sports day to take a call from an important client. I am a ‘stay at home mum’ right now, I am there to take the boys to school and pick them up afterwards.  All four of us have dinner together every single night. We are relaxed and calm and spend more time together than ever before.

I have discovered more about myself in the last two years than I ever thought possible, when you live outside of your comfort zone your strengths and weaknesses become so apparent.  I have surprised myself with my own bravery and realized I can live perfectly well without constant reassurance from my nearest and dearest.  I have become more assertive and more decisive.

The boys are blossoming in a newfound confidence.  Something that happens with migrant kids is they develop skills to cope with change and the experience of living in different cultures broadens their horizons.

Emigrating was the toughest decision of my life but it has been the most exhilarating journey

 

 

The Gallery – Drink

Tara at Sticky Fingers has given us ‘Drink’ for this weeks Gallery Theme.  Anyone who knows me would expect me to post a picture of an icy cold glass of Pinot Grigio but I decided not to be predictable!

I love the first cup of tea in the morning when the house is quiet, I like to take ten minutes with a cuppa to wake up properly and think through my day before the mad rush to get out of the door starts.

But the best cup of tea is first thing in the morning while we’re camping when  the sun is still low in the sky and the birds are singing while the rest of the campground is still and quiet.  The crackle of the campfire from under the kettle is the only other sound as I sit in my deck chair and enjoy the fresh air and the peace and quiet around me…perfection