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A weekend in northern Ontario

It was in August. The government recently gave the green light to allow people to visit the national parks. The main issue for our small group was to find a place to sleep (knowing that it was a long weekend). Once we found our accommodation, we got in the car and set off on our long drive towards Manitoulin Island..

Along the way, we had many choices for taking short hikes. After a few hours of driving, we stopped at Brundy Lake. Here, we were able to sit down to eat and swim. The area was very nice, and many families were present with the essentials of "basic Canadian": that is to say huge coolers, deckchairs, giant buoys. When Canadians do something, it's not half! After a well-deserved meal, we hiked the Brundy lake trail which makes a loop of an hour but with a magnificent landscape to observe.

Back on the road to adventure, our next stop was the French River. I had already been there the previous year but in autumn which gives a completely different landscape to observe (and the possibility of swimming). A little advice too, come with long pants. On the menu: rattlesnakes and Poison Ivy (a very stinging plant). Personally, I haven't seen any, but safe than sorry. ;)

Finally, we drove straight to our motel: Espanola. If the name can make you smile, the city has nothing to envy. The place is quite deserted and few shops are open after 8-9 a.m.

The next day, we took the car to Cup and Saucer on Manitoulin Island. If the hike took us a few hours, the view at the edge of the cliffs is breath-taking. Once we have reached the top ... the immensity that awaits us. On the way also we saw something surprising .... I would call it a chewing gum tree. Some people thought it was good to want to create a rite: that of sticking chewing gum on a dead tree trunk.

Once this trail was over, we set off again for other adventures. Our goal was to get close to the lake for a swim. The weather was not with us, and the room temperature was rather cool for August. At that time, we decided to take a dip in the water which should only be 13 degrees ... what a slap !! A freezing cold has invaded all my limbs. I felt the cold for a whole minute like needles being stuck in my flesh. Then, my limbs became slightly numb; the difficulty of the cold was much more bearable. After ten minutes or so, we came out of the water with our bodies red from having struggled against the temperature of the water. After an effort like this, we ran into a good ice cream and end our day in a diner.

The next morning, the last day of our trip awaited us. I took the wheel towards Parry Sound, where we had booked a cruise to admire the islands of Lake Georgian Bay. On the way, I was annoying everyone so that we can go see the Giant Nickel. A giant statue of a Nickel that can be found north of Sudbury. Something not necessarily exciting to go see ... but anyway, we lacked time to make the detour.

We arrive at Parry Sound 1 hour before departure, time for us to rest a little. Once on board, I finally realize one of the positive effects of the Covid: we are a limited number of people on board and therefore have a lot of space. During this cruise we can appreciate the different cottages that are on the many islands. The architectures differ which brings charm to the landscape. We also see many people bathing in the cold water of the lake, and some even take advantage of the wake of our boat to make jumps with their speedboat.

Our tour finished, we leave for Toronto, making a final stop in Midland. This city by the lake has its charm with its murals and its seaside-type restaurants. We wanted to swim one last time in the lake present in this city but impossible. As we approach, we observe that swimming was not allowed due to the presence of algae that can have harmful effects on health. We then decide to get our fill for the last time in a restaurant before heading back to Toronto and ending this long weekend.

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