Dean, Jane and me at Windmill Point Park. Dean is driving across the US and Canada on his bike!
After I got a new bread and ate dinner, I moved away from Jarvis and walked in the direction of Simcoe in order to find a place to sleep and get me on the way to my next destination. I found a road leading slightly away from the main highway and followed it up to a couple of farms, where I started looking for a place to pitch my tent. I ended up asking a man at a farm who was rather rude, but found a place to camp out.
That night it rained all through the night, and I woke up at 5:00 to the sound of the splattering of raindrops on my tent. I had wanted to move on early, but I wasn't going to get out of my tent in the rain, and so I ended up waiting untill about 8:00 where I noticed the rain had (at least temporarily) stopped and so I made use of that time to pack up my stuff and get back on the road.
After walking down the road for about an hour I got a ride from a man called Jay who owned his own roofing business. He was a very pleasant guy and ended up helping me to find the local library. But alas, it was a sunday and so the library was closed! I sat outside the library entrance for a while to eat my breakfast, and after that I went out to look for a WiFi network I could log onto to check some stuff. And as fate would have it, that was the moment I got tapped on the shoulder by Leigh, the woman that had given me a ride out of Toronto on the day I arrived in Canada! She had been on her way to church and very coincidentally she had parked her car on the other side of the library, where she usually never parked her car.
After a little chat I decided to join her during the church service even though I'm not religious at all, because I was curious as to how her church did things. (It was a Presbyterian church, which we do not have in Europe as far as I know. If we do, I've never seen one at least)
Me outside of Long Beach, as I moved on from Fort Erie.
I ended up spending the next five nights at her place again, where I met her husband and daughter again as well. These were great days, spent in relaxation and interesting daytrips. During those days I spent one walking around town, and during another I got shown around town by Leigh's daughter who showed me some interesting places, like a local hiking trail in the woods and who introduced me to some of her friends as well. On the day before I left again we made a trip to Long Point, which is a long narrow piece of land stretching out into Lake Erie, and it is famous for the amount of ships that have sunk all around it in the shallow waters. It had a very nice beach though, I wouldn't mind getting shipwrecked on it!
On the way back we also visited an old village from the 1700's that had been preserved, and was the location of many school trips. It was called the Backus Mill Heritage and Conservation Centre: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backus_Mill_Heritage_and_Conservation_Centre
Really interesting stuff! The weather held out really nicely as well, which was a big plus: the weather had been kind of nasty the days before, with a lot of rain and some lightning as well.
But last friday it was time to move on. The weather was clearing up again, and was ideal for travel.
Again, I can't thank her and her family enough for all of their hospitality. I feel blessed to have met them.
After having said goodbye for a second time I walked off to highway 24, intent on following it to Guelph, where I would hop over onto highway 6 which I could follow all the way up to the ferry at Tobermory, that would take me to the Manitoulin Islands.
After about 45 minutes of trying to get a ride, I got one from Jake, a man of 60 years old. Immediately the plans got changed a little bit: he offered to take me to the area of Hamilton, which would put me on the highway #6 as well, just a little bit further to the east. Not wanting to press my luck of a ride that could take me that far, I accepted. We had a pleasant drive even though he wasn't that talkative. But he liked rock and metal and he turned the radio up quite a bit, which I didn't mind at all.
He dropped me off at an intersection and took off again. He went quite a bit out of his way to get me there, because he 'wasn't in a hurry'. I sat down looking at my map for a little while before walking in the direction of Hamilton East, which would take me to the #6.
After finding a suitable spot to hitch a ride out of across the road from a Tim Horton's, I resumed trying to get a ride. After about 10 minutes two guys in a working van sitting on the parking space of the Tim Horton's called me over, so I quickly crossed the road. It turned out they weren't heading in my direction, and thanking them for the trouble I walked off to get a drink. After a couple of metres I got called back. Apparently they had reached consensus and decided to just take me out to where I wanted to go, which was a nice surprise. The driver (a dark-skinned guy who turned out to be 21) didn't seem to trust me very much, as after I took them up on their offer he told me to 'not touch anything'. I got in the back of the van amidst all of their construction tools and had a nice chat with the guy in the passenger seat. He was named after the Kayman Islands and I suppose was either Mexican or of Indian descent, I'm not sure. He was 19 years old. The driver's name I can't recall as he didn't speak loud enough for me to be able to understand him. They drove me to highway 6, and dropped me off at a gas station. I was glad to get out of the van, because I had to kneel down between the tools that lay all over the place. It wasn't a comfortable position.
Arrival in Cayuga.
Next to the gas station was another Tim Horton's (these things are everywhere!), where I decided to sit down for a while and drink a Coke. After a little break I got back up again and crossed the road at the intersection twice to get to the right side of the highway, where I found a car already waiting for me!
At first I thought the car had broken down and so I walked up to him at a normal pace. It turned out that the driver had seen me sitting while I was drinking my Coke and figured I was hitchhiking, and had decided to wait for me to offer me a ride. The man turned out to be a photographer, mainly doing regular shoots and photographs in order to save up to go on a trip devoted to take the pictures he wanted to do.
Unfortunately I forgot his name. (I really need to work on remembering names!) He dropped me off at the entrance of Guelph at first, but then decided he would take me a little way around Guelph on the new highway instead (the old highway 6 takes you straight through Guelph and is quite a walk, while the new one takes you around the town and was easier to hitchhike out of). He dropped me off at an off-ramp that was still attached to the main highway 401, on which it is illegal to hitchhike, so I made sure to walk down the off-ramp quickly and find a new comfortable spot to hitchhike from.
After a short period I got another ride in a nice white car, who took me just a few minutes further near the centre of Guelph, which I didnt mind because it took me away from that off-ramp. There I got dropped off at another gas station that was within the town borders, and so I looked for a nice quiet place to call home from. After having talked to my mom I went back out onto the road. I again had to wait for just a moment before my next ride came along. And this time I got picked up by a courageous woman somewhere around my own age. Her name was Klarisa, and she took me to the far edge of Guelph (which was a little while out of her way, but she wasn't in a hurry to go anywhere she said). She gave me her phonenumber in case I should 'starve and die' somewhere.
From the location she dropped me off at it was just a five minute walk till the sidewalk dropped off and I was back on the gravelly side of the highway where it was easiest for cars to pull over. It was about 17:00 but I decided to push on and to eat dinner later. After another 15 minutes of waiting a car passed me on the other side of the road, an elderly woman hanging out of the window of the driver position and yelling something at me. What exactly she yelled I do not know, I figured it had to either be 'wait there, I'm turning around!' or 'Get off the road you damn dirty vagrant!'
At any rate, I didnt get to find out if she had actually meant to turn around to pick me up, because right after a car stopped to pick me up. In it was Bob, an older man who I think had some kind of nerve problem because he was making uncontrolled movements with his entire body all the time. It didn't stop him from driving well, but I did notice it took him a bit of effort to shake hands. He was a nice guy and we had a nice chat as he drove me to Fergus, which took me further than I had expected to go on a single day.
In Fergus we said goodbye, and I looked for a place to get a bite to eat after which I moved on again. The sun was now going down, but I decided to keep trying my luck.
At the edge of Fergus I ran into a police car that sat off the side of the road. The officer called out to me and so I walked up to him for a chat. He seemed very enthusiastic and supportive of my journey as he asked if I was hitchhiking and suggested I would further try my luck. His father was a Frisian he told me, and had lived in Leeuwarden. It's a small world after all! It's a funny thing though, because one can see Dutch names throughout the area, and at one point I actually encountered a house that had a miniature windmill in the garden that waved a Frisian flag. Funny stuff.
I was told that there weren't any motels further down the road that he could think of untill I would reach Owen Sound, which was only an hours drive away from the ferry. I didn't think I would make it that far considering the time of day, but decided to try my luck anyway. If I did not succeed in getting a ride down there this evening, I would still have made really good progress that day and I would be satisfied finding a motel in town. However my luck held out, as soon after I got a ride from a man called Justin who could take me to Kincardine, which was not on highway 6 but lay adjacent to highway 21 which also went up North, and on top of that had a motel as well. Even so I would probably not have been able to resist getting a ride from him, as he was driving a really nice-looking Camaro! I was hitchhiking in style now!
We sat talking in the car for about an hour or a bit longer, after which we had reached our destination and he dropped me off at a motel in Kincardine, which is where I still am. As I woke up this morning it was still raining and looking at the forecast I saw there were some lightning storms planned as well, so I booked the room for a second night, and I managed to borrow a laptop to write this post! I will hopefully be moving on tomorrow.
Hitchhiking in style!
And as a small bonus, I managed to upload another two video's. One of them shows the Niagara Falls by night, and the other shows me doing some cooking at Windmill Point Park.
The falls by night