My first real step into my adventure
Trip Start Jun 03, 2010
129Trip End Feb 04, 2012
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Where I stayed
Couchsurfing with Francis and Julie
My last few days in Hamilton were marked by a mountain biking adventure, an earthquake, and another rainy laundry day. Mountain biking was really cool. Canada let me borrow her mountain bike, and I took it to the trails a few blocks from her house. At first I was really timid, but by the end I was doing pretty well. I got used to the feeling of the tires slipping through the mud and learned to trust that the bike would make it over clusters of tree roots. At first I would stop and carry the bike over logs, but someone had piled smaller logs (or big sticks) on either side of some of the logs so that you could ride over them. By the end of the day, I actually made it over one of these (as opposed to freaking out and putting my feet down halfway through). I also had a close encounter with the biggest deer I've ever seen, or maybe I've just never seen a deer that close. I was just coming out of a side trail as the deer came down the main trail and jumped into the forest. I was probably 10 feet from it. Maybe when I get back, or when I get to New Zealand, I'll take up mountain biking.
The earthquake was not that exciting for me, but apparently it was for all of eastern Canada, since everyone was talking about it. Apparently they don't get ones that big (5.0 ish) that often. What I did think was cool was how it lasted for a good 20 seconds, rocking back and forth. Most earthquakes I've been in are over before I can even stand up to head for the doorway.
On Thursday, we drove the five or so hours to Ottawa, where we stayed at Canada's parents' house for the weekend. Friday, we biked along the river into downtown, where we went to the Parliament Building and the Market. On Saturday, we explored another little popular area with lots of shops, and then we walked along the canal. We headed back to the Market area for dinner, and had beaver tails for dessert, which are these delicious little slabs of dough, fried and topped with tasty things. Mine was Nutella and powdered sugar, while Canada had sugar and cinnamon with lemon. Both were very yummy. Sunday morning, we tried to go for a hike, but the roads were open only for cyclists, which meant we couldn't drive to the lake trail, so we did a shorter trail.
And finally we get to Montreal, where I am doing my first couchsurfing! This is my first step away from people I know. It's also a step out of my comfort zone, since mostly everyone speaks French here, and all of the signs are in French, though some have English translations. Francis and Julie have been so nice, making me dinner and telling me all kinds of things to do in the city. I'll have to get brave and start practicing my French with them. It's been too long!
I have just a couple of new pictures, since I kept forgetting my camera, but no way to upload them as of yet. Maybe later this week...