Monday, July 23, 2007

The Canada files

That's right folks, here I am, on holiday with my man. So, first off, here's my never-been-camping-or-without-access-to-a-hairdryer-for-more-than-24hrs guide to camping in the wild, beautiful north of Canada.

I am so sorry not to have posted in so long, this is my holiday from the ship, and, to be honest, other things always seem to come up when you're on vacation. But now, in lovely not-so-sunny Dorset sitting with my man while he re-blisters up his fingers via bass-guitar (being a musician must be one of the only professions for which the callouses on your fingers are most definitely encouraged) I will recount my time in Eric's home-country in the form of a guide.

1) Campsites in Canada are seriously spacious compared to England. And you can have fire!

1a) This is a cone-shaped fire, tried with relative success by Eric. He wasn't entirely happy with it, as you can see, and ultimately better for the size of wood we had (larger chunks of pine and maple, maple is harder, heavier and so slower-burning don't you know) was

1b) The criss-cross stacking technique as shown here, on his second attempt the following evening.
Our site in Mont Tremblant, part of the Sepaq institution of beautifully maintained national parks, consisted of a fire-ring, a picnic table and plenty of room for our two tents, plus the marquee we put up.

2) This is the out-house. No, it didn`t have a flush facility, and I learnt quickly that on many occassions a secluded spot AWAY from any other tents or walkers was a more pleasant option.

3) You can bring walking sticks, they're useful for longer walks or walks involving steep hills like our trip up to La Roche, here we are somewhere near the top. Sadly, I hadn't yet worked out that you actually lengthen the sticks before you start walking.

4) You should most definitely bring chairs. They`re good for sitting by the fire, and also on the beach where you can get your boyfriend to perform reflexology on your feet.
5) Putting up the tent, and any shelter facilities you have is usually done at Beer o'clock.

6) Staying in a tent of this size requires you learning to master the skill of horizontal dressing.

7) Stay alert. In and around the campsite you may see all manner of wildlife. I found tadpoles the size of my fist (bullfrog babies), chipmunks, tiny toads, deer (I love this picture of Celine, see the deer just off her shoulder?) and sadly no wolves or bears but that doesn't mean there wenren't any!

8) Pointing is allowed on walks providing it's justified. Also, take a sketch-pad, this kind of scenery will make you think of that man on cable who used to have a programme called "The Joy of Painting" ("So many happy little trees")

9) Take hooded tops for the evening. It keeps the heat in and it's just a camping thing.

10) In mountainous regions, mobile phone reception is scarce. Even on long walks, be prepared to take calls from family while you can!

11) If at all possible, all family should be around. And your boyfriend.

12) ALWAYS remember where the car keys are.

13) Um, yeah....

14) Canoeing, walking, swimming and all such outdoor persuits are rewarding and fun, but it does all get you very tired at the end of the day.

15) The dismantling of the tent should be done preferrarbly (make that MUCH MORE preferrably) in clear weather, and at Beer o'clock as before, even if Beer o'clock happens to be significantly earlier than any previous experience.


Ex-Shammickite said...

Great Post Beckster!
Now you have enjoyed the Real North American Camping Experience!
Looks like you had lotsa fun.... but you didn't mention the nmosquitoes? Didn't you see any?

H said...

I'm glad you had fun camping. I was up in the wilderness this weekend, fishing, friends, and fun.

Hamish and I miss you, come have fun with us on Regent Voyager!