Since the summer has started and schools are on holidays, we have transitioned to talking to summer caps along our way. Both Mischa and I are fond of the camp life filled with high energy, days outside and a strong sense of community. We were also excited to go to back to the place where we have spent many fond summer days; at the Take Action Camp in Bethany, ON. We spent two days at Me to We’s social justice camp and were inspired by the camper’s enthusiasm and curiosity about the world. We got to take part in the ‘global lunch’ where the camp ate in solidarity with the way that the world eats and were sectioned into different levels of income and got to experience first hand the disproportionate global food system. Both Mischa and I will always hold a place in our hearts for Me to We and are grateful for the people we have met because of it. It was so lovely to be welcomed to camp with wide open arms, hugs and support.
Another camp highlight includes a spontaneous presentation at a brand new camp in Montreal. This day camp aims to fill the gaps of regular education and promotes well-being. The campers practice yoga each morning, enjoy guest presentations and are put in such a positive environment thanks to their staff. We were grateful to spend the morning with them.
Much of our time right now has been devoted to cycling. We have covered quite a lot of ground in the last week and a half and are now just about to leave Quebec City. A few highlights of the road include:
Our campsite at Bull Lake off Highway 7. After a full day on the bike we saw a sign for a camp site 5km off the side. The road quickly turned to tough gravel and my mood followed. ‘I hate this,’ I repeated but after a shaky ride we were welcomed by the nicest couple who runs the camp site. We slept right on the water and they even drove us out to the road the following morning. Definitely well worth it.
Mischa’s enjoyment from eating ‘The Hungry Man’s Breakfast’ enroute to Ottawa after a morning cycle in one of the most epic rains of the trip. Three eggs, hash browns, three pieces of toast, bacon + sausages, three dense pancakes and a sliced tomato.
Kindness through cucumbers. Just before we reached Ottawa we were caught in another epic rain storm and decided to stay in a motel. The owner saw how sopping wet we were and let us do laundry in his machines. Unfortunately I forgot about the packet of peanut butter I had taken from the restaurant earlier that day (karma) and it coated our clothes and his dryer in peanut butter. I felt so bad! He felt bad that I felt so bad and did our laundry again and on the way out in the morning, showed us his garden out back and insisted that we take the only cucumber growing for our lunch. He said to go quickly before his wife hits him; apparently she had been singing to the plants for them to finally grow.
Being back in Ottawa! How incredible it was to cycle in my own city right by parliament and up familiar streets. We ate giant bowls of food at the Wild Oat and spend a night in the best of company at my apartment. There is something so incredible to reunite with old friends and feel like nothing has changed.
Gaining a new member of the cycling team. My cousin Evan joined us for a few days on our cycle from Ottawa to Montreal. He lives in Montreal and cycled to the capital in one day to meet us. That is a 2 hour drive, 180km, or 11 hours on a bike. What a hero! We enjoyed two amazing cycling days along the Ottawa River and it was lovely sharing our routine and getting to enjoy the experience with Evan.
A day off in Montreal. We got to eat bagels and catch up with old friends in the beautiful city of Montreal and enjoy reminiscing, life chats and laughter in good company. The best.
Being taken in by strangers. After a day’s bike east of Montreal we were eating dinner outside of a Metro grocery store. A friendly couple who spoken english saw the bikes and asked us where we were coming from. After a few minutes of chatting they welcomed us to stay at their chalet up the road that was on a small island just off the highway. They were so excited to be apart of our journey and fed us, gave us a bed and sent us off with information and ‘must-sees’ for the road ahead.
Fruit stands. It is fruit season in Quebec and there isn’t anything quite as satisfying as pulling over to a farm stall and eating fresh berries that have been picked that morning from the field you are standing on.
In other exciting news; we have completed our gaol of 30 presentations this trip! We have had the opportunity to reach out to just over 6000 students in places all across Canada. Thanks to all that have supported us in this adventure.