Wow - did you know it takes 12 hours to get from Herbert to Winnipeg by bus?? We didn't! We got up at 3:00am to catch the 4:15am bus - which never showed, to our freezing-butts-off disgust. So we decided to forget about the tent, and slept under the skies (it was already getting light!) in our sleeping bags, until the 8:37am bus. That one came (turns out the earlier one was never suposed to have come in the first place!).
The ride was mostly uneventful - except for two things:
- The bus was swaying back and forth like mad. The same winds we had been fighting were stronger than ever today, and pushed the bus around quite a bit!
- Since Ian & I had been biking for a few days now, adn hadn't had showers, I was a little concerned about our smell (didn't seem bad to me) offending others on the bus. Turns out there was NO need to worry about this! There was a guy sitting directly in front of us who had the WORST body odour I have ever been forced to experience - it literally almost brought tears to my eyes! Every time he got up to go to the washroom (every 30-45mins) a huge wave of it would come over me, and I'd have to hold my breath for a minute. Normally, I'll ignore something like this, but this was unforgivable!! I don't know how he did it.
So 12 hours later we arrived in Winnipeg, and enjoyed our release from the StinkHound bus. Cycled to Ian's relative's place, and crashed for the night.
Wow, more rest days? Yup! We didn't want to take two, but since no shops were open yesterday (Victoria Day) we had to wait till today to get my bike fixed and run some other errands.
Winnipeg is awesome, that is all I have to say (grin). We were toured around yesterday by Ian's relatives, who have been incredibly nice to us! We saw a number of the nicer areas of Winnipeg, and a got a sense of what the city was like. The neatest area of town is called "The Forks" and it's where the Red River and the Assiniboine River meet. They have set up a beautiful parkland area, with shops and a farmer's market style area. It's full of nice areas to relax, and nice areas to eat and shop. We saw the Red River Spillway as well, which saved the city's butt in 1997 with the floods. Winnnipeg seems alive and vibrant - a city with a sprit that Toronto seems to be missing. I don't know if it's the smaller community, or what, but it has been a delight to be able to see the sights here for a couple days! If you check the pictures out, there are a bunch from Winnipeg (unlike Calgary - oops!)
Tomorrow we will head out again and near the Ontario border in a day or two. After that, the hills of Northern Ontario beckon! We are looking forward to it after those winds in the praries!
Heading out from Winnipeg, the first thing you notice is how FLAT it is. Not terribly far from Winnipeg trees start appearing in greater and greater numbers. The you see your first bit of rock - the good old Canadian Shield. By the time we reached West Hawk Lake (which is no more than 5km from the Ontario border), it feels like Ontario again. Rocks, hills, trees, flies, and mosquitos! It was almost a relief from the praries - after all, Ontario is my home, and coming "home" is always nice. We made good time today, but got a late start, so setting up the tent that night in the dark was fun! We saw a HUGE number of deer today - they were everywhere! They were also VERY spooked by our bikes. They would at the side of the road while cars and loud trucks passed by, but as soon as they saw or heard us on our bikes, they were off!
At the campsite, they were VERY tame - one came up to me, within a couple feet! I got a picture or two of it.. :)