Statistics Eastern Canada:

Distance: 1500 km
Daily Average: 68 km
Days in the Country: 22
Days on the Bike: 15
Altitude covered: 5422m
Daily Average: 360m
Nights in the Tent: 10
Nights in Houses: 12
Breakdowns: Replaced Crank Bearings, Adjusted Backhub
Daily Costs: 11,00€

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Three big Cities and two gigantic Lakes
As I crossed the border to Canada in the morning absolute silence welcomed me. A desperate road free of people and Vehicles brought me north. Through fields along the typical farm with their rocket style Silos I followed the River Richelieu. I was riding through the Province of Quebec, the french part of Canada. They are proud of their french heritage and defend it. If you want to live here you have to speak the Language. Little Cities with a laid back charme reminded me of the durch province. I followed channels and later little country roads to the suburbs of Montreal. There was the first obstacle, the St. Lorene Stream. That giant wild river has almost just Freeway Bridges. With a little bit of research I could find a way over it, using Locks and little Islands in the stream. I also cycled a little bit on the Formula One Track. It´s mainly used asa parking Lot and it looks funny with all this parking signs along the track…
On the other Side of the River is Montreal. The Riverside lead me to the west. I followed the Lachine Channel and there I had the feeling that life in this city is exploding. There are Cyclist, Joggers, Canoes, Musicians, Yoga groups everywhere… Amazing! In that moment I thought: Thats my city, I want to live here!
A few hours later, it was a long stretch out of town I reached the House of Valerie and Hans. An Oasis of Peace at the End of a long day. Here I was able to stay for a few days… I really needed that.

I definitely wanted to take a look at Montreal and so I headed out to the city center on the second day. To leave the Metro was harder as expected. I lost my way in the tunnels and Hallways under the surface. Later i got to know that is connected to the other season up here: the winter.
6 Months of the year it is horrible cold in town. Difficult to imagine in the summer time but then the citizens hide in the underground. Through out the years more and more house have been connected to the system of the tunnels so they are able to reach the most points in the city without getting to the surface and the cold. That explains the intensity summer is celebrated up here. Now it is summer and I head to the surface to see the Oldtown, called Port vieux (Old Harbour). There i spontaneously felt like being in France. The Language and the architecture made the illusion perfect. There is even a gothic cathedral on the main square… Beautiful!
After that I meandered through downtown up to the Mont Real, a Hill that gave the City it´s name. From there you can have a nice view of the downtown area and so you’re not alone up here. Hundreds of Tourists fight up the hill, partly heavily breathing to enjoy the view. But the view worth the effort.After that I took a walk through the hip part of town „Le Plateau de Mont Real“ and afterwards I head back to my Oasis of Peace. Here I could fill up Batteries and help Hans with renovations and at the End it was time to pack the Bike again.

Next Destination Ottawa. The Bikepaths are well maintained and developed, the country roads quite and if the surface of the road was a little bit better It could have been a smooth ride. The Landscape is absolutely unspectacular and so I reached Ottawa on the third day. It´s smaller than Montreal, they speak english and it got it´s own charme. The Parliament Hill with it´s victorian Buildings and the surrounding nice and mainly impressing Houses worth a visit and the hip Parts of Ottawa are really nice to look at. In the Evening I went out with Olivia my Host and we had some drinks.

Rideau Canal is flowing through the City, a masterpiece of engineering from the 19. Century, It connects Ottawa through the country with Lake Ontario. It´s a connection of Lakes and Rivers but the Dams and Locks to cover the difference of altitude made a beautiful Area out of it. With the ships came the people and made the region populated. In modern times it has only recreational reasons to use it but a lot of people do that…
It took me three days to get don to Kingston eyed the amenities of civilisation next to my tent. Some parts of the landscape reminded me of the west of Canada were the swamps were similar with dead trees standing around…

In Kingston I entered Loyalist Country. Everything is fixed to the Queen down here. A lot of loyal people came up in the war of 1812 to fight for the British crown and stayed here. So almost every ton has a British name and Kingston was the first capitol of the British region of Canada. As it became a State the capital moved to Ottawa.

I followed the Waterfront Trail, a network of Bikeroutes that follows all the canadian sides of the great lakes. In sight of Lakefront I cycled westwards. The lake is impressively big. 80 times bigger than the biggest Lake in Germany the other side is not visible. And that’s just the smallest of the big five…
And it´s all fresh water, perfect for a swim every evening and a nice campspot along the waterfront. A few days later I arrived i Toronto…

Here I could stay with Bernhard for a night. A german that lives in Canada for long time. On they way to his house I took a look around but it´s always difficult to do serious sightseeing with a fully loaded Bike…
Next day I rode out to Andrew in the suburbs. I could stay in his apartment for a few days even he wasn’t´t at home at all. Thanks for that Andrew!

I decided to get back to town by train at take a day to look around and explore the City. Toronto is amazing. Got everything a Metropolis needs. Along the Lakeshore the Highrisers full of Condominiums grow up and gives the town an impressive Skyline. The different Neighbourhoods give the town such a nice mix of moods and cultures… great! The old Toronto is crushed under that boom and you can see lots of nice streets get demolished for new projects. Exiting to see how that will be in future…

I was´t sure for a long time, but at least I decided to go and visit the Niagara Falls. Totally touristy and crowded but still the waterfall of my youth… I wanted to see it. My timing was bad. Exactly on the day I would arrive there a national holiday took place (no glue what about it was). So I decided to start early. Cycled up the river from Lake Ontario, reached the Escarpment and climbed it. From there the river runs through a gorge lined by gigantic Powerplants. Short after that tourism begins. A furnicular goes over a basin called the whrlpool and some other attractions more or less connected to the river are situated next to the bike path. Short after that it appears. First the american Falls and in the Background the perfect shaped Horseshoe Falls on the canadian Side of the River. the Promenade along the gorge is surprisingly empty and if you manage to ignore the Casinos and Hotels on the Canadian side of the river it is a fantastic place to be. The nature shows that it is impossible to control and so the perfectly turquoise water falls into the gorge. Breathtakingly beautiful. I share the spectacle with dozens of others and so I decide to take a look at little Las Vegas. But earl yin the day there is not much to see and do around here. So I left Niagara Falls and headed along the river up to the Erie Lake. There are some Fortresses left from the War between the countries. Fort Erie at the Lake was occupied for a long time by the Americans. Now it´s a museum. From there I followed a Railtrail and that led me straight as a line to Port Colbourne, 30km without a turn westwards. Boring but perfect to cover distance.

The Lakeshore is mostly private property and so the most of the times signs reminded me to KEEP OFF! even when the houses were on the other side of the road, the property included the Shore.

On the second evening along the lake I met Johnnie, an canadian Guy that grew up in the USA. He never got an official title to stay in the US so he was send back by the border guards one day after 9/11 when they raised the security levels. Now he stays the summer in Canada and the winter in warmer regions south of here… Not that bad life. We shared some travel experience and a few beers and had a nice evening.
Johnnie told me about Aylmer, a town that was frequently visited by Amish people who live in the surrounding area. I decided to take a look at that and went there the next day. The Amish, originally germans that ran away during the reformation in Europe stayed with their way of life of the 18./19. Century. I was curious…
As soon as I entered the first groups crossed the road. Even in the McDonalds their were having around. Later I read that some groups accept technical stuff more than others and their members are even allowed to (for example) ride a bike…

I couldn´t decide which place I should choose for the night and so I ran into a cycling couple that invited me to camp in their backyard. After a nice conversation they even gave me their AirBnB Apartment for the night and I enjoyed the luxury of a separate Space… Had a nice conversation with Laurel later that evening and also in the morning. So I could continue the next morning with fresh energy! Yeah

Last Point on my List was a little Town called Petrolia. The name is not random, it was the place (or better the nearby Village Oil Springs) where the first commercial Oil pump in North America was installed. The Source of all evil…
Petrolia was a boomtown, a few decades the oil was flowing and prosperity moved in. A Theater and the huge Postoffice are left back witnesses of that time. But now it´s calm in Petrolia, just a few pumps at the city boundaries are still squeaking. The Big Money went on to other places. The discovery of the Oil led to the downfall of the Wale hunting Industry at the East coast in towns like New Bedford (I crossed it in Massachusetts) The Circle is closing. That night I stayed at the riverside of St. Clair River, on the other side the Country that I wanted to reenter the next morning: the USA

Canada, you are beautiful! Three weeks showed me how awesome that pearl of the north is. The Great Lakes, the Niagara Falls, the natural paradise around the Rideau Channel, wonderful.
Different to the west everything here is domesticated and regulated. That takes away a lot of it´s charme. Partly I felt surrounded by signs and fences like packed in wadding. The people here live a life in the bubble. You can see and feel the will to do it better than the southern neighbour, Social security works and the Welfare for the homeless is taking care. The rate of Immigration is high and they (mostly) are heartily welcoming the new people full of tolerance, But they are still North Americans, loving their big trucks and like to be taking by their hand when they going to recreation. Surely one of the more unexciting parts of that journey. I miss it to be out in the wild, the adventure and my instincts are withering…

But I´m back! It took me longer than I expected but the inner watch is adjusted back on life on the road. The processes of daily life, the new day ahead of you… Feels great again. The bike is running and the body is also doing a good job…
The more I just live in the moment the more the „accidently“ meetings along the road are more and more special. „I love travelling“ i did say to myself more than a few times in the last weeks…

I´m looking forward to the midwest, here there are no Adventures in the wild waiting for me but cultural Adventures in Americas former industrial heart that they now just call the rustbelt.
But that´s another story that I want to tell you the next time!
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