Wilderness and Birthday!

Well I said I would update you on my holiday with Benn. It has been such a fun-packed awesome week I decided to take stock midway to tell you about it.

We picked up an RV just north of Toronto city, we had booked a 2 man camper but they didn’t have any in stock so we ended up in this 8 sleeper beast. Yep that is 10m by 3m of house on wheels, and I have been driving it round the countryside of Ontario, mega proud, only hit one low hanging branch so far (and apparently a cone, but I didn’t see it, so it doesn’t count).

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We had our first night just north of Barrie and then onto our first Provincial Park – Killbear. Hella nicer than the name suggests it was our first endeavour to bear country. It was also the beginning of crazy lake country which unfortunately even the best photos don’t show the vast yumminess of, but I’ll obs pop some in. Canada did not lie about the whole ‘country with the most lakes in the world’ thing, it has been awesome to drive along and every few km come across another stunning lake.

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Killbear provided us with a beautiful lakeside walk with huge pine trees just growing straight up out of rocks with dramatic quartz lines under our feet. Some of the most people friendly deer I have ever seen, they happily munched while we watched in awe.

img-20180607-wa0011Moving up out of Killbear continuing to trek north, we braved the bears leaving the safety of campsites and just winging it in forest laybys.

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This was incredible, I sat at the edge of a lake watching beavers building their dams in the evening sun (can’t say I’m keen to go home haha). The dams are hidden in the tree shadow.

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Guess where we went next? To another lake! More lakeside walks and deliciousness but bugs… Oh bugs, how they love me. Bathing in deets, 32 bites and counting, my entire body has swollen up, my face it very puffy, much to Benn’s amusement. That only slightly detracts from the awesome calmness that is this area.

On the morning of my birthday we went into Killarny town, population 500, worked out we could fit at least 10% of the population in our RV. Sat eating breakfast on the pier, local anglers pulled up on the deck shouting ‘Hey buddy’ ‘Hey there buddy’ ‘Good to see you buddy’ over and over off the back of the boat for a good 5 minutes. As the boat came towards us I thought we were about to meet the ‘person’ of the village, you know, the odd one. Turns out he was talking to a family of otters that follow his boat to port each day for his fish. We got to watch feeding time from about 4ft away and after the fishermen left the otters got in their boat to make absolutely sure each fishy morsel was gone, a real unexpected treat.

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The afternoon of my birthday has to be the highlight of my trip so far (I know right, better than otters?!), we rented a canoe and took to George Lake. Sat in the sun in the middle of the water surrounded by mountainous rocks and mega pines. This is a big reason I wanted to explore Canada in the first place and it surpassed expectation. I have honestly never seen such a beautiful sight, bit like Capri but with pine trees, thanks for the awesome birthday Canada! Alighted for a picnic, found bear poo and a bear scratching post, but no bears… yet!

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Not a bad way to bring in my 27th year. Happy enough with my body to put up a bikini blog post, wuh, feeling much more mentally healthy than most of 26, and loving the location. This was definitely in my ‘Top 10 days’ of all time, the weather was much prettier than the photo depicts. I mean look at that view. Come visit me so we can see more of this!

Last night was another wilderness stop on a little lake beach in Gore Bay, where I learnt there is a game I can beat Benn at – uno, at least there is one, well, uno. Bright red sunrise over the lake, didn’t even have to get out of bed, just open the curtain, that’s my kind of wilderness (I was not about to crawl out from the duvet to find my phone for a photo, sorry guys it was 5am, and you know how I love mornings…). We hit the road this morning and have come back to the civilization of campsite land, partly for electricity and partly because I need more antihistamine having actually doubled in size due to bug bites.

So that gets you up to date for now, we have another week of RV exploration to go so stay tuned for news on the caterpillar outbreak, a map of our route and more of me going on about how much I love lakes. Everyone cross their fingers for bear and moose sightings please, so keen to see big mammal wilderness! Missing all your faces xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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Hey Everybody I’m baaaack!

Well what a month… I left you on the way back from Niagara I believe. Got myself back to Toronto and Jen carried on her journey. Headed to the store on my way home, full basket, went to pay, card declined. As per with me, card troubles. Now I’m pretty sure Duncan had bets on how long this would take haha, but it becomes slightly more of an issue when your nearest branch is in a different country. Absolute numpty I am, only had $3.50 (About £1.80) cash to my name, no way of accessing funds, everyone in the UK in bed, Jen on a plane. I have honestly never felt so vulnerable, lost and stupid. I bought 50 cent noodles and slunk out the store feeling very sorry for myself. But that is the joy of travel! It isn’t all sunshine and roses. Long story short with help from one of my amazing brothers I got sorted but it made for a not very fun time.

 

The rest of the month has been not the most exciting on a blogging level but really exciting for me. I have sorted a place to live, right in the heart of Kensington Market *dream location*. Actually I’ve been a bit rubbish on the old photography this month so I’ll just intersperse with street art from around my new digs.

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This beaut sits at the entrance to Graffiti Alley, that face.

That broke and miserable time spurred me to stop having so much fun and write a CV (silver lining) from which I managed to land a job. Well similarly to buses I landed 3! But settled for a 9-5er for a bit of routine for the first time since… College? Woah. Weekends off, the dream is being lived. While I wait for the job to start I’ve picked up some shifts at a Gelato place, probably eaten enough sorbet to fill a pool this month, at minimum a hot tub.

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Not the best photo, but I was trying to be discreet. When I went to print CVs these examples at the printing shop made me chuckle. 

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I have seen some awesome local city wildlife. Turns out raccoons are flipping massive, to the point where people cross the street from them. Last night on the way home from shift I saw a skunk. Well to be honest I smelt something nastier than fox poo, looked up and then saw a skunk. I thought they only stank when they sprayed? Unless it saw me and sprayed, It was 2am I probs terrified it!

dsc_0040.jpgdsc_0041.jpgDiscovered that Toronto is one of the few cities in the world to have a cinema dedicated to documentaries and its 20mins walk from my front door! Very happy about this and have already become a member. This month was their film festival, I did a couple of days of binge screenings where I sat firmly in my element.

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One for the gamers among us

Think that is about all my waffle for you today, got a pretty quiet couple of weeks lined up so it might be another month before the next one. Really excited to kick off June with my next visitor, the boy, who will be here for my birthday. We’ve rented an RV and we’re off to discover some Canadian countryside so prepare for BEARS! Watch this space and I’ll let you all know how it goes.

Masses of love and all that xxxxxxxxxxxx

Hey everybody! I told a few of you I’d write a blog so here we are…

It feels a bit self-indulgent to do this but you don’t have to read it and hopefully it is a little interesting/prevents me repeating myself to you all via text/phone call.

I’ll try to keep it short, with pictures and stuff and not babble too regularly. I won’t mention any names/put photos up without people’s permission because we all deserve a little privacy.

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Enjoy, share, comment, please tell me all what you are up to – I super feel the distance from everyone and it makes me feel a bit closer to your beautiful faces.

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I cannot believe I have been here almost a month, time is absolutely flying at the moment I’ll tell you about my first 2 weeks and then put the rest on here soon, the sun is shining and the park is calling.

For my first week here I stayed on Sherborne Street. When the cab guy dropped me off from the airport he was ‘not pleased’ to be leaving a ‘young lady’ there haha! It is unfortunately a pretty sad area of the city. So much mental health, so many homeless people migrating up and down all day and open crack smoking everywhere – even on the bledy bus.

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Yonge-Dundas Square AKA Toronto’s Time Square

 

It wasn’t the nicest of spots, and it was a pretty tough week but ever the unicorn, I was determined to get my money’s worth from that Guesthouse. And damn it is a good reminder to be grateful for being born in beautiful sunny (namely crack-free) Cornwall!

In this week I managed to annoy the manager of the Guesthouse by being too sociable, oops. I made friends with an awesome couple from Mexico who are trailing a month of living here hoping to move. They are into good beer so we drank and played board games (they kicked my ass at Taboo).

They introduced me to a chap doing the same immigration process as them but from Japan. He is a game developer, I’ve played some of the games he has worked on! *Fangirl moment*

Week two was great! My wonderful big sister arranged a holiday in Toronto. Perfect timing, I was just beginning to think I was mad, quitting my job and leaving everyone I love with no plans, especially after the Sherbourne experience… Luckily she has been around to reassure me, I’ve got this, she is a fellow unicorn after all, so she is obviously right.

As per with Jen it’s been about checking out great local beer and Toronto has not disappointed one bit! I am so lucky to have a sister who will guaranteed find the best beer, coffee and brunch in any place we travel. I love you dude. The stand out beer has to be from Great Lakes Brewery, Jen is friends with one of their managers so we went for a tour and a cheeky tasting, deliciously squiffy by mid afternoon.

We discovered Kensington Market. Part of Toronto best described in Brit terms as the lovechild of Bristol, Brighton’s Lanes with a dash of Camden. Locals have refused planning for Subway, Starbucks and the like. So much lefty, liberal vegan goodness but without the gentrified price tag, I am in love. I’ll have lots more to say about this place soon, it is where I’m living as of May 1st.

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The street art in Kensington is something else and I haven’t even made it to ‘Graffiti Alley’ yet!

To round off Jen’s trip we stayed outside the city in Port Credit, a lovely town on the edge of Mississauga. Unfortunately there was an unexpected ice storm which even the locals were freaked by! It’s best described as harder than hail, like a thousand tiny round ice cubes hitting your face.

Undeterred  we managed to hot tub at the Air B&B mid storm before catching a coach to Niagara Falls.  I will leave you with some photos of our snowy trip to Niagara, no photo will do this place justice, the size, the sound, I can only recommend you visit.

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Look at them pretty chumps having morning coffee in the tub.
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Here I stand in Canada, waving across to America, turns out Niagara Falls is all about the Casinos so loads of huge ones both sides of the river like Blackpool on roids
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This is right of the last pic, so much waterfall, so so much.

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This isn’t snow, it is just frozen spray coming off the waterfall. It was blooming freezing. I’m coming back to Niagara in June, really excited to see it after the big melt. You wouldn’t believe it was like that 2 weeks ago its been blazing sunshine since.

Masses of love to everyone at home! Please comment/tell me what you are up to, it is always lovely to hear from all of you! Oh and subscribe so you see the next installment Xxxxx