Tuesday, 4 August 2015

On a warm welcome in Dyers Bay

The disadvantage of staying with relatives is that I spend so much time chatting that I don't have the time to write proper entries! In fact, I even forgot to record my stats on the 31st and neglected to reset the bike computer! This caused "calibration" issues for the next couple of days, i.e. I had trouble gauging my performance in order to predict how it would be in future.

I left my motel in Manitowaning and set out in for South Baymouth with an eye out for a restaurant connected to a garden centre in the hopes of a second breakfast. I was lured onto a side road by a sign and was rewarded by the sight of a couple of sandhill cranes followed by a fish hatchery. When I got the place it was closed which was odd, but I didn't mind.  Returning to Highway 6, I rolled along and finally found the place I was looking for. I had a second breakfast of eggs, bacon and perogies.

I was surprised by the small size of South Baymouth. It proved to be only a little more than the ferry terminal, a few motels, gift shops, restaurants and a museum. The latter had a section of the ferries past and present. One of the former was the Nindewayma which as I informed the staff person was in the wonderful movie "Bon cop, bad cop". She was quite interested by this and took down the information for future use.

There were eight cyclists waiting for the ferry: two short distance riders on hybrids, three through Trans Canada cyclists, a couple going around Georgian Bay and yours truly. We, the long distance cyclists, chatted a fair bit comparing notes on X, Y and Z.  When the Chi-Cheemaun (or Big Canoe in Ojibwe) arrived, one of the cyclists getting off was a young woman who looked as if she might be First Nations asked our group for biking info. I dug out a biking map of Manitoulin Island I happened to have and gave it to her.

Once on the ferry and heading for Tobermory, I noticed it had a list to the port (and no sails (in rags or otherwise) and I did not see the cook in the scuppers). I joked with some of the cyclists that it was the weight of our bikes lashed against the port side that was causing the list. One of the others suggested the crew had put all the SUVs on that side. Actually, it was the wind on the starboard beam.

The ferry company laid on entertainment in the form of Falcon Migwans, an Ojibwe drummer and singer who explained to us a lot about First Nations drumming, singing and pow-wows. It was fascinating.

From Tobermory, I took Highway 6 South, in company of a lot of cars off the ferry. At times, the South bound lane was full of cars as far as the eye could see given that the road was very straight. Ontario has something of a fetish for straight roads laid out in a grid that fails to align with the cardinals points or even other grids. ;-). The Ontarians also have a tendency towards numbering their roads in a slightly bewildering succession of roads, concessions, side roads, lines and highways based on counties rather than the province. It paid to keep an eye on the map.

I turned off (Provincial) Highway 6, onto Dyer's Bay Road which brought me to cousin Mary's house on the shores of the Georgian Bay. I had never met her before and she is in fact a cousin of my cousin Michael, a.k.a. The Mole or El Topo Potente (as opposed to Cathy's Mike whose house I am writing this in.).  However distant the connection, the Mole had put me in contact with her and she was most welcoming. As mentioned earlier in this entry, the chatting precluded blogging. She, her husband and some friends from London, Ontario (my birthplace) were almost overly impressed at my venture to the point I was almost embarrassed to mention that, err, um, my parents (who were a few years older than they were) would be joining me for the Toronto to Montreal leg. ;-)

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