Chapter 9 – Algonquin

“I have got a SAUSAGE!”

Catrin was clearly very pleased with her breakfast choice today as she announced to anyone passing that she did, indeed, have sausages. She needed those sausages to provide the energy to walk further than she has ever walked as we headed into the wilderness of Algonquin Park to go hiking.

Baby trekking with Bear Grylls
Baby trekking with Bear Grylls

We chose to follow the Tower and Track trail (following part of a former railway track). It was just one of the many trails on offer in the enormous expanse of unspoilt woodland (approximately the size of Wales) and was around 4.5 miles long with lots of up and down bits.

A really beautiful place
A really beautiful place

On the way from the West Gate of the park to the start of the trail we educated ourselves on the subject of what to do if a bear attacks you. Apparently the family in ‘Bear Hunt’ had it all wrong when they ran from the bear…no wonder it chased them back to their house. They should have faced the bear and made lots of noise as a group, flapped arms and even thrown things…(but only on leaving the bear’s cave as they should have ensured that the bear had an escape route). Running only encourages the bear to follow you (as does climbing trees).

As this was bear and moose country (which sounds like the next John Lewis Christmas advertising campaign), we were on the lookout for them all day. We did see bear tracks in the mud, a bear scratching post, bear poo (they seem to like wild blueberries) and moose poo. But the only bear we saw was the bear on a space hopper on my brother-in-law’s t-shirt.

We did see lots of chipmunks and red squirrels, though (different red squirrels to the UK variety). When we stopped for lunch at a beautiful viewpoint, the cheeky chipmunks made several attempts to make off with the cookies and savoury mix.

Catrin's new friend
Catrin’s new friend

The view at the top of the hill was amazing – trees for as far as the eye could see – all part of the Park. It must have been like that before people existed…and hopefully it will be preserved so it can always look like that. I have never seen such a huge area of (almost) untouched land; it was extremely beautiful.

Grandpa and Catrin taking in the view
Grandpa and Catrin taking in the view

We were all a bit sticky by the end of the walk in 30 degree heat and I took Bethan into the pool when we returned to the hotel. She splashed and kicked so hard that it was surprising that any water was left in the pool. She developed quite an audience of people laughing at/with her as she giggled, squealed and flapped wildly. I think she liked it.

We made the most of the bright sunshine and heat today as hefty thunderstorms and torrential rain are due to arrive tomorrow morning. Sadly, the cloud had rolled in by nightfall so there were no shooting stars to be seen tonight.

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