Tuesday 21st May 2019
We left Quetico this morning in glorious sunshine, prepared for a long drive. We had no destination in mind, deciding it was best to just see where we got to. We knew that if we found somewhere nice, we would stop, otherwise carry on in hope! Well we ended up driving 545 kilometres, which was more than anticipated and ended up crossing the border to Manitoba!
The drive from Quetico to Fort Francis on the US Minnesota border was one of the most picturesque so far; kilometre after kilometre of blue water, dark green spruce, maple, cedar and silver birch, rocky outcrops and a few little homesteads along the way. We saw a moose today as well as two squirrels, seven red deer, a flock of Canadian geese and quite a few pelicans. We have never seen the latter on freshwater before, so it was quite a surprise to see them.
At Fort Francis we left Highway 11 and facing due north, headed up Highway 71 to re-join the Trans Canada Highway at Kenora. This route took us along the shores of the Lake of the Woods, so called because this vast lake is
dotted with tiny wooded islands; the land around is divided by little rivers and waterfalls at every turn. Nestor Falls and Sioux Narrows are two very pretty lakeside resorts, so we stopped at the first for our picnic lunch and the second to just browse around.
When we drove into Kenora we checked out the hotels and motels and decided that they were over-priced and on busy thoroughfares so not for us. We went into a bar, got a few beers and got online to find an alternative. Well, there was nothing else until we crossed the border, so on we drove for another hour and here we are in Manitoba at a lovely place called Falcon Lake. Tomorrow we shall move on towards Winnipeg Wednesday 22nd May 2019
My mum was born on 22nd
May 1919, so had she still been with us she would have been celebrating her 100th
Birthday today. Well, she is still with us in heart and mind, so: “Happy 100th Birthday, Mum!” xxx
After a beautiful warm sunny day yesterday, Canada decided that she wasn’t ready for Spring just yet, so the heavens opened this morning, the
rain poured down and the temperature gauge took a dive! A guy walked into a store where we were buying some food and said ¨Hey! Summer was short! I blinked and nearly missed it¨!
We drove 145 kilometres from the Falcon Lake Provincial Park to Winnipeg, Manitoba´s capital city. Winnipeg is a really nice leafy green city and we liked it instinctively when driving in, despite the wind and rain. Earlier in the morning we had booked a place to stay online and when we found it, we were very pleased; we have found the cheaper part of Canada. Ontario is rather expensive; Manitoba is far more reasonable. Prices for accommodation and food are still high compared to at home, but more in our budget than Ontario was. We have a lovely little self-contained apartment in a well-kept Victorian, close to the city centre in a neighbourhood called Broadway. It is beautiful, free parking in the back yard and the cheapest accommodation so far!
About twenty kilometres before reaching the city we crossed a line stating that it was the Longitudinal Centre of Canada. This means we are now officially in the west and on the prairies. The
blue lakes and rocky shores and dense deep forests are now well behind us.
Being in the city is nice. We dodged the rain to get our bearings, are cooking in tonight but tomorrow will try a nice-looking Indian down the road. So far since arriving in Canada, our diet has not been particularly exciting or healthy so it will be nice to cook this evening and eat an Indian tomorrow. Canadians eat a lot of burgers, fries and pizza and sometimes that is all one can get!
Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be better so we plan to spend the whole day seeing the sights. We are lucky to be in walking distance of the city centre yet surrounded by trees. Winnipeg is a green, clean city and we have lots to see and explore tomorrow. Right now, we have some good sounds coming through our VAVA Voom speaker (Bluetooth from my phone) and the rain outside is no problem; it is outside! Time to cook our dinner! Hasta Mañana!
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