How I spent my summer vacation - essay
How I spent my summer vacation
How I Spent my Summer Vacation
or Camping in the Bruce Peninsula
It is not truly advisable to set up a tent in a rainstorm after dark in a campground you are unfamiliar with but we found we had no other option. Needless to say it was a daunting task and in the end we were indeed daunted. Five of us ended up in a motel in Tobermory that first night but that was really not so bad as you can imagine.
The next day was dry fortunately, and we made our way back to our campsite where we cooked a feast of a breakfast of pancakes, real maple syrup and butter over a burner and coffee over an open fire while the rest of our campers recounted their experiences of their first night camping.
We were a group of twenty-three from the Cross Cultural Centre Host Program in London -several Chinese, newly emigrated from mainland China, 2 Poles, 2 Bosnians 1 Salvadoran and assorted Canadians.
After a brisk hike to a grotto on Georgian Bay we split up for the afternoon. I went with a Chinese family to see about the glass-bottomed boat rides in Tobermory but decided to come back again tomorrow because of time contingencies and to tour the town instead.
2 Tobermory is a charming spot about three hours drive north of London on the Bruce Peninsula, famous in part because there are several shipwrecks underwater that can still be seen either by skin diving or by glass -bottomed boat that goes out daily during the summer months. . But Tobermory also has lots of quaint little shops, pubs, art galleries, restaurants as well as a picturesque harbour on Georgian Bay. One can also take a ferry to Manitoulin Island which is also a favourite tourist destination. There were tourists from Italy , France and as far away as Korea there when we were there.
That night we had shishkabobs grilled over an open fire and vegetables cooked in cookers. And as it was dry we were able to put up the tent and that night was considerably easier than the first.
One of the things I like best about camping is the camaraderie. The jokes, the discussions - the closeness both to nature and to one’s fellow campers. The nature truly is spectacular in the Bruce Peninsula- the turquoise and indigo of Georgian Bay, the dolomite cliffs, or the peace of nature along the coniferous trails.
The next day after breakfast our leader and I went to a magnificent gardens not far away called Larkwhistle. It is located south of Tobermory, south of Cypress Lake, down Dyers Bay road - go east and then turn left .
It is a private garden with about four large gardens, one entirely in white called the Quiet Garden where you can sit and meditate at a shaded gazebo and the other three featuring a variety of flowers from pink oriental poppies, to red poppies set against royal blue blossoms, to all kinds and colours of roses, and you can also buy plants and seeds, and books on gardening written by the owners.
It is well worth the trip with an entrance fee of only three dollars. Then we decamped and some went to take the glass-bottomed boat and I elected to visit Dyer’s Bay where we had a memorable lunch in a little restaurant with a noticeable Tibetan influence called The Rocky Raccoon Café.
We then sunbathed and explored on the Lake Huron side. Very beautiful. Then we headed home visiting an antique shop and stopping to swim at Southampton - excellent beach - and stopping again for dinner in Bayfield.
There was a full moon, at first orange , then yellow and then pearl white which lead us homewards as we listened to classical music on CBC 2 and that completed the mood.
Except for the first night which was pretty harrowing (though not the motel part) I would say it was well worth it. I got to see more of the Bruce Peninsula about which I heard so much. I enjoyed meeting new people, the laughter and the camaraderie, and the grandeur and peace of nature and the sheer awesome beauty of the Bruce Peninsula.
This Hub was last updated on February 3, 2010
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