Despite best intentions of an early start we were slow getting up and out today, partly due to another bacon and eggs breakfast and partly due to Paula and Tom, our neighbours, and their big fluffy labrador Mac. Paula and Tom are from Ontario and we whiled away half an hour or so just chatting and with them giving us loads of information about where to go in Ontario. Mac is an absolutely gorgeous dog.
|It's the "Spot the Dutchman" game!|
We finally left to walk from Herring Cove towards Point Wolfe just before midday only to find Paul, Tom and Mac on the same walk. The walk was through pine and fir forest pretty much all the way but it was much fresher than yesterday so it was bearable. Towards Matthews Head there is a steep uphill then a steep downhill, the reward though is fabulous views across the bay and back to Alma. While Paula, Tom and Mac turned back to go to Hopewell we carried on. There was a small uphill and them a relatively flat walk through the forest.
All along the path was criss-crossed with tree roots so you had to keep watch of where you were putting your feet. It was beautiful though and very peaceful, for the next two hours we saw no-one else but did have a splattering of Germans on the way back. Although the park is home to cougar, moose and brown bears we did not see any. We saw plenty of red squirrels though (one had paid Mortimer a visit yesterday but fled quickly on seeing me inside). They make an odd chirping noise high up in the trees, almost sounding like birds. Most of the time we saw them they were on the path munching away on a fir cone.
We followed the path to the end of the second section of the Matthews Head trail before turning back. We back tracked to Squaws Cap where a lookout gives views over the bay and stopped there for our picnic lunch. The walk back seemed to be long and more difficult than the way out. The breezes had dropped and it had got hotter and more humid,. My legs were rebelling not wanting to go any further!
In total we walked for about four and a half hours but only covered eight kilometres. The uphill bits were steep but the views were also so beautiful that we lingered longer than we normally would! If we lived in Canada this is probably the sort of place we would come to for a week or so just to enjoy the countryside.
|Lobsters and beer, yes, we're slumming it!|
Back in Alma we bought more lobster for dinner then headed back to the campsite with much needed cold beers in tow. The campsite is quite small compared to others we have been to. Each site has loads of space so you do not feel crammed in. Lots of people here had dogs who were obviously used to camping as they all seemed quite happy to be tied up and just watching the world go by.
Paula and Tom invited us over to their trailer and we spent a very pleasant next hour or so chatting about Canada, our travel plans and their traveling. They enjoy the open air, either boat camping around the lake near to where they live or golfing from their Florida time share. Trailer camping is relatively new to them, they only bought their trailer last year. Its spacious inside, a palace compared to Mortimer. Tom has camped a lot and seems to have traveled far and wide in Canada and Europe. As well as recommending more places to go to, we also have an invitation to stop off and visit them on our way through and to enjoy a typically Canadian dinner (moose amongst other delicacies).
We also talked about the indigenous Indians and the feeling we are building from people we have met that there is friction between their communities and the rest of Canadians. The Indians live on reserves, pay no tax (which is a definite source of friction) and basically live off state benefits. As such they have no incentive or motivation to improve their lot. It sounds though as if they have not exactly been fairly treated by the colonists and that both sides need to change to improve the state of play. Every year one of the Indian communities cross to the US en masse and go on one big shopping spree, refusing to pay taxes or declare items at customers on their way back. They claim to be upholding the rights given to them by an old treaty which gave them dual US/Canadian nationality.