To date: 2,329 km
To go: 5,470 km
My mind and body normally refuse to operate without coffee and food first thing in the morning, but somehow I dragged myself up a long hill and 10 km into town…. I even kept my hunger induced anger in check as we looked for a place to eat (I do believe this is referred to as “hanger”).
The place we chose had to be the resident meeting place for the local senior population – so I fit in perfectly. I do believe this was the beginning of us ordering two entrees for one meal – I had french toast and a bunwich, and Alex had two bunwiches…. despite adequate quantity, the quality was rather lacking.
I was itching for a bit of wifi, so we stopped by Tim Hortons/Gas station before heading out. We sat outside on the curb while I used my computer – obviously travellers. A businessman came up to us and started chatting about bicycle touring and then offered to buy us coffee, we declined, but he persisted and after figuring out he owned the place, I figured a cappuccino wouldn’t be so bad. He brought us out drinks each as well as a bag of donuts for the road!
From Russell, we got on the 45 East – another small rural highway with little traffic. I stopped at Angusville for a look around and it was pretty much a ghost town. Closed businesses and empty storefronts. There was a historic Ukranian Church that was pretty cool – this area seems to have a lot of Ukranian influence. Yay! Perogies :)
Stopped again at Waywayseecappo, a First Nations reserve, and chatted with the locals. Two young girls (7 and 11) had all kinds of questions for me – “why do you have two water bottles?” – for some reason this is a common first question with kids….
One final rest break at Oakburn. I loved this town – they had a rest area for people travelling the Trans Canada Trail (a off-road path that crosses Canada, unfinished I do believe). They also had a good little convenience store and a public washroom – I was really hoping for some ice cream, but you can’t have everything!
Alex was waiting for me in Sandy Lake with a gin & tonic – proper with lime and ice. Its become a bit of a ritual for me to have one drink when we enter a new province – so this was my Manitoba drink. It was delicious!
We caught sight of Siggy in the distance, but before we could catch up to him, he disappeared. This was the last we would see of him. He had some issues with his bike and carried on down the road – taking the most direct route to Winnipeg to get some things fixed.
We had dinner at the Golf course at Hansel & Gretel’s – delicious home-made German food. We had the sampler plate ( 2 kinds of schnitzel, 3 kinds potato (roasted, croquette, spatzle), salad, veggies, two sauces and black forest cake for dessert) which was probably enough to feed four… well especially when you include our appetizer poutine!
The lovely man running the Lions Campground in town let us stay for free! We got a real taste of Manitoba bugs tonight…. there was no outside the tent time, we would be eaten alive. I even ran to and from the shower…… I hear it only gets worse…..
Real-time update: En-route to Thunder Bay today