Well, I am in Canada. Warm, generous, exciting, diverse, infuriating at times. It's a country which has given me cause for much mixed emotion. For sure though, 95% of that emotion is variations of positivity. Arriving over the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, I was greeted into the country with a warm welcome, a quick scan of my passport and sent on my way. All my worries of delays and visa questions were quelled just like that, despite my sweaty, unwashed cyclist's demeanor. I'd applied for an extension to my US visa which I needed in order to have enough time to cross the country, but the hitch was that I had to send off my original I-94 form, which is essentially the little slip of paper that declares how long I am allowed in the country, if indeed I am at all. Luckily for me, I am, and even more happily I have been granted my visa extension, but temporarily missing this stapled slip could have caused all sorts of problems. It didn't - Canada was pleased to have me, and I couldn't have been more delighted to be there.
Once I got over my 'moment' with the lake I eventually made it to Toronto, and out again in one piece. I try to refrain from making this blog a linear, blow by blow account of what I've done and where I've been, so I'll cut out all the excess details. Suffice to say Toronto was a blast, and it was good to ride an unloaded bike for a few days again.
I now sit in a cosy house, using the internet with a whiskey by my side. I'm welcome to get up and help myself to some of the food on offer in the kitchen, but I'm still too full from a fantastic dinner. This current merry episode is the latest in a catalogue of encounters with friendly folks who open their lives to us for a short while, and bestow upon us everything a dirty, smelly hungry cyclist could want. Tom and Jacqui met us in a grocery store in their town of Innerkip, and invited us back to their home. I spent last night under the stars in a thunderstorm, with lightning so vivacious I wondered if I was witnessing the Northern Lights. I loved every second of it; yet this too is bliss. I think my body and psyche are just adapting to the uncertainty each day brings, and I'm happy to say I'm becoming comfortable embracing it.
I have another 3 days or so in Ontario, and after today's ride into the prevailing Westerly wind they might make for some tough pedaling, especially coupled with some big climbs and uneven road surfaces. I will try and remember how lucky I am to be in the position I am. Today I am going to ride my bike. Tomorrow I will do the same. No-one is asking anything else of me. Who could wish for more?