Study Abroad: Toronto

“Whats is the craziest thing you have ever done?”

It’s officially fall here in in Canada, the weather is still great but I think things will soon change. With this in mind my flatmates and I decided to rent a car and head 180 miles north-east of Toronto to the Algonquin Provincial Park to catch the last of the great weather and see Autumn begin to show its colours.

It was a 3-hour journey, but it took us nearer 4 after getting lost along the way I was navigating so that’s probably why. We rented a small charming cabin which looked out onto a great lake. The cabin offered all kinds of great boating equipment which we took full advantage of. I jumped in a paddleboat and after about 5 minutes of going around in a circle I realised this wasn’t going to work. So we all got together grabbed oars and jumped into a boat and we paddled out to the middle of the lake where it was so peaceful. We had a good laugh and watched as day turned to night. One of the residents from another house on the lake was out on his fishing boat and he told us that if we got up early, sailed to the other side of the lake and were very lucky we would see some Moose (More on that later). The night finished off with us playing cards and having some beers and we talked. One of the main topics of conversation that came up was the question “What is the craziest thing you have ever done?”

Guys if you reading this I’m still trying to come up with an answer, maybe I’m just boring or maybe it’s yet to happen…

So the next morning we got up early jumped back in the car and headed for Algonquin Park, I was on navigation again but this time we didn’t get lost. The park had so much to offer and it was hard to decide where to begin. We really wanted to see some stunning views of the whole park so we decided to hike along a trail called Booth’s Rock which was 5.1km and all of us were all wearing trainers!

The trail included a lot of uphill hiking and it was extremely tiring, but in the end it was also extremely rewarding. The trail opened up onto a cliff face which overlooked the park and it was beautiful. It’s hard to put into words what a sight it was and as they say a picture speaks a 1000 words.

 

 

After spending time taking 100’s of selfies and pictures of the same view we carried on with the trail. Now I had very high expectations of seeing a bear in Algonquin park and I had even done some research in the chance we did stumble across one. Sadly, that did not happen but on the bright side least I know what to do if I ever stumble across one. I did not see a bear but the park was home to some other forest critters and along the way we did see an abundance of chipmunks so that was still cool. After finishing the trail, we had some lunch, then drove to Canoe lake where we did some… yeah you guessed it Canoeing.

I love being out on water but back home never really get the chance and the weather is always terrible, got to love Scotland. It took us some time to get the technique down, but after some time we were unstoppable. The lake was huge and offered some great sights along the way. We stopped at a small island in the centre of the lake to soak up some sun and to take a break. Now me being the great adventurer I am decided to walk along some stepping stones that lead to a lone boulder out on the lake… in my converse trainers. So as you might expect trainers and slippery rocks are not a good idea. I lost my footing and I had no option but to let my foot go under the water and that is the craziest thing I HAVE EVER DONE! Pathetic I know don’t worry I’ll do something crazy by the end of my time here.

With wet feet I climbed back into the canoe and we all sailed for the mainland and travelled back to our little cabin. The cabin offered a fire pit right beside the lake and we brought marshmallows all that was missing was a guitar and would have been a real campout. It took us about three attempts to get the fire going, Well I say us I was of no use even after my dad’s attempts toteach me so many times to make a fire so instead I took some pictures. The fire was great, the company was great and of course the marshmallows were pretty great as well (mines caught fire). The best thing about that night though was looking up at the stars. It was incredible, with being away from the city the sky was just full of them. We could see The Big Dipper, Orion’s belt and even The Milky Way it was absolutely incredible and its memory I don’t want to ever forget.

We agreed that it would be a good idea to take the neighbours advice and head out early to see some moose. It was 6am and the sun was yet to come out as we stumbled into our trusty boat and paddled our way to the other side of the lake. It took about 40minutes and we were all exhausted by the time we reached the other side. As we sat out on the lake, we listened and with every sound that came from the treeline we would turn our heads in a hope that we would see some moose. The sun had begun to rise now and we decided to head back. Looking back, I feel that maybe the neighbour’s advice was some joke they play on newbies! but we did get to see the sunrise which was just as good. This was our last day but we wanted to go back to Algonquin once more before heading back to city life in Toronto. We did one more trail which was “Track and Tower”, this one was a real killer. Like Booth’s Rock it offered some stunning views and some great scenery but it was 7.5km and by the end we were all exhausted. For the last time we jumped back in the car and we drove back to Toronto.

 

Algonquin Park and this experience was one I won’t forget. I saw some incredible things and had so much fun along the way.

 

-TimTreks

 

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