First up: shout-out to Tamara and Devon, since I know you’re reading this now. *waves*
Now back to Manitoulin.
After the disaster in getting our cabin, I still had high hopes for the rest of our Manitoulin trip. After all the scenery was gorgeous and I wasn’t sat in a call-centre getting yelled at by angry people, so it was a one-up on my usual situation.
The first full day… didn’t go swimmingly. We were all tired and a tad grouchy, and nowhere was open. Nowhere. I stayed home while the family went to get gas and many hours later I was completely baffled, though on the plus side I did get most of my book read. When they returned it transpired that they had travelled in circles around the island looking for a gas station until they finally managed to get some. Worse, the GPS was glitching on the island roads and took them in literal circles away from the cabin.
We dusted ourselves off and went to Providence Bay which has a boardwalk. It’s a beautiful place. There are all sorts of rare, interesting plants in the dunes and there’s a great little shop that does delicious ice-cream. The dog loved it.
The sky was clear, the wind was low, and I began to realise what kind of an island Manitoulin is: quiet. It is a bunch of small towns mooshed together between myriad lakes that make everything awkward to get to. Because of its oddity, there’s a strange kind of beauty and peace I’ve never experienced before.
But I knew it would be a nightmare to live there. I’m from a small town on an island myself and even Portland was more bustling and tourist-orientated than this place. Some places on Portland are even open on a Sunday!
After the ice-cream was thoroughly demolished we went back to the cabin. Our evenings there mostly involved eating All The Meat, drinking a beer or five, and occasionally playing a game or watching a movie. Honestly, those were my favourite parts of the trip – beyond one of two highlights. It was great to spend time with everyone.
It was also a lot of fun getting to see so much plant life and wildlife so close. I saw so many dragonflies they became a running theme in my trip.
This wasn’t even zoomed in, the dude let me get this close. Another day, a dragonfly let me touch it before it flew away. I’m thinking of making the dragonfly shawl in honour of the strange little beasties.
The next disaster happened when we went to walk the Cup and Saucer trail, which might actually be the most anglicised version of a First Nations landmark I’ve ever heard – its original name meant ‘barbed hunting spear’ or similar, but unfortunately my Google abilities are failing me and I can’t find the translation.
I was nervous about the walk as I am not steady on my feet at the best of times but I figured I’d give it a go. We drove there, walked five minutes up the beautiful trail, then thunder rumbled and the rain began to pour.
With a sigh and soggy sandals, we turned and went back to the car. My girlfriend kept going but then realised she’d left her phone in the car so ran back to us before we drove away, and we gave up on another day to go hide in our cabin instead.
It hadn’t even drizzled back where our cabin was.
I did what any person would do: I sat on the dock and got embarrassingly, hilariously drunk with my girlfriend’s mum and my friend. For the dignity of everyone involved I will end the post here today and resist posting the photos; they’ll be useful as blackmail material in the future!