My bike tour through Canada was rich in unforgettable nature experiences and encounters with Indians and Mennonites.
After an adventurous journey, the first thing I did was visiting the lively, international city of Toronto. How happy I was when I finally sat on my bike saddle and headed for Niagara Falls to escape the hustle and bustle of the city into nature. But what a disappointment! Deafening noise from numerous gigantic music speakers in the surrounding area, close together built hotels and fireworks over the two waterfalls drowned out the rush of the falls, which were also brightly and colourfully illuminated in constantly changing colours. For my taste it was just horrible: abused nature!
So let's get away! I drove along the Niagara River on the shores of Lake Erie towards Kitchener. The old junk bike I had rented had to be repaired several times on the way through Port Dover. My goal was the largest Mennonite market in St. Jacob's. I was very lucky to be hosted by different Pennsylvania-Dutch speaking Mennonite families. They live in a world without electricity, deeply anchored in faith, almost like in the Middle Ages! A fascinating, extremely touching experience that I am most grateful for.
Many wild trails that used to be narrow-gauge railways in the old days, guided me to Lake Huron, to reach Manitoulin Island by ferry via Point Clark. I considered myself lucky to celebrate and dance with the Indians of the Ojibwe Tribe at the Pow-Wow, their annual folk festival. This terrific experience was on the following day actually surpassed by the encounter with a brown bear who suddenly appeared in the wilderness in front of me. So my previous lecture in what-to-do-when-you-run-into-a-bear was a useful investment. The bear and I parted on good terms.
After an ice-cold bath in the Bridal Veil Falls in Kaghawang, sacred to the local tribes, I crossed the swing bridge from Little Current turning south again. Immediately after Espanola I was fascinated by the many jumping fish in the pool of the White Fish River Waterfall. Following the information from the Tourist Offices in Sudbury and Hunsville, I searched again for the wild trails. They also existed on maps, as previously planned but not realized until today, but were not to be found in the area. A canoe trip into the wilderness at Clear Lake was the crowning finale of my wonderful journey through the marvellous nature of Canada.
When I started my return flight, food poisoning knocked me out so that a diversion of the Airbus to New York for medical care was under discussion. 349 passengers and me were extremely grateful when I woke up from unconsciousness just in time. So we could fly across the Atlantic, as planned. In Amsterdam, friendly paramedics carried me off the plane and brought me in an ambulance with blue light to the hospital. Four hours later I managed to convince the doctor, that I am able to fly home under the watchful eyes of the stewardesses.
Look forward to an eventful lecture!