Thursday, July 19th 2001
Moving on to the north "Wilderness": from Toronto to Pembroke at the Ottawa River

Today we leave the Toronto area. We had a wonderful start here and did some great things. However, I am ready to explore Canada as I have it in my mind; Open land, country side, never ending forests and lots of rivers and lakes.... So we decided to go to Pembroke. At the border between North Ontario and Quebec at the river Ottawa. This little town is close to the famous Algonquin Provincial Park. The next 3 days we will do riverrafting and hiking in the canyons and check the waterfalls.....

But first a nice ride of aprox 300km Motorway east (the 401 to Ottawa).
In the meantime we bought so many souvenirs, that we had to start our own transportation company.............

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Than, finally, turn north on the 41 for a very relaxing ride over 213km to Pembroke. Yes, this route was exactly what I expected it to be. Totally different atmosphere, beautiful nature and lots of trees and water !

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After a "classic" fuel-and-icecream-break we arrived at the Comfort Inn. Indeed very comfortable and with a great view over the river / lake

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Later that day, we explored the City of Pembroke a little bit more. After Toronto, I have to admit, a bit boring, but therefore a beautiful waterfront with a wooden boardwalk with over a few thousand ( !!! ) parts which has been personally donated by the members of the town!!! They are all numbered and have a metal shield with the name of the family who donated this particular piece of wood.  Nice community feeling, uh?

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At the music tent, every night there is live music for a small (senior) audience. This evening a real rock & roll band played and believe it or not: the bandleader said: "if the music is too loud, please raise your hand and we will turn it down a bit". Very friendly atmosphere... Hungry as we were from the trip, we tried to find a restaurant in the main street, but as you can see, this street isn't exactly the center of the universe...

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So we ended up at some kind of Chinese restaurant (I didn't want to go again to a fast-food chain...) where we had some good food (it was not all to clear what we ate, I guess, hehehe) and got some good tips for hiking from a local family. So the visit paid at the end !

Tomorrow the adventure: Riverrafting at the most wild river in Canada, I learned this evening from some one who did rafting as well in the rocky mountains. He assured me that the safety precautions were very good here. Do I really want to go??? If we survive, you will read about it tomorrow, cross fingers for us!

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