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Nick & Tim’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 13 Jul 2003

Location: Winnipeg, Canada


Well here we are in Winnipeg, nearly the end of prairie hell. Probably two more days to go of wondering what the winds will do to us. With the nice thoughts of massive Ontario to go. Since we left you, well not so much has happened that has been worth writing about, but we'll try and get you excited anyway. We've had some really bad food across the prairies, living on Service station food, but we have had the occasional experience. There are a few country style cooking restaurants with real characters to meet and look after us a bit. Like the Hungarian lady who fed us at the Elegant Moose with some of her specialities, or the Greek food in Souris. Souris is where we camped one night - a large-ish town by praire standards that is home to Canada's longest suspension bridge... (wow you say!) and a tower to climb on a hill, and two rivers! But really, it was quite nice, with trees and no mozzies. Now not a lot happens on each day, it was basically, wake up, check the wind direction, then either glide along or work hard (mostly working hard I'm afraid). But we do have a good team effort of swapping the wind breaking between us which makes things a bit easier. We ended up in Holland then next night, camped next to a race track. It was a pretty uneventful couple of days, beside crossing the Manitoba border and another timezone, and spending the days between getting soaked in storms, then cooking in heat. Just after the Manitoba border the shoulder on which we ride just stops - on all the roads in Manitoba - which means we have to ride in traffic, that wants to do 110km/h! So, we headed off south into some smaller roads with less traffic and friendlier people. Not so bad in the end, but there's all kinds of traffic on the roads here - houses, farm equipment, everything gets chucked out on the roads on trucks. It even falls off sometimes - you should see what a house looks like when it gets launched onto the side of the road at high speed! The last day to Winnipeg was a toughie - rain, rain, traffic, mud, and the fact that we rejected one town along the way for lunch, thinking that one of the next two towns would have food. Well, judging by the size and quality of its churches and grain elevator, the second one should have, but of course the locals had great joy and laughter in telling us that no, everything had shutdown, they didn't even have a vending machine. So after 80kms riding, no lunch, 20kms more to get food is pretty horrible. Tim lost it for a second time on the trip.
As mentioned previously we get asked all the time what we are doing. Well - the young girl in the shop in Starbuck gets the best response award. "where are you riding?" to St Johns... "Thats just stupid!". Well, some days we would agree. So we've had two days off now here in Winnipeg, and tomorrow we will set off again, heading for the great big expanse of northern Ontario. We've had a look around town here, seen some Inuit art and others in the gallery here which was good. We also checked out the imax movie on bears, which reminded us we will be re-entering their territory soon. The bike checkup here probably caused more hassle than good when a well meaning and helpful bikeshop managed to destroy one of Tims wheels... only 100 bucks worth, but it has done its duty to get this far. We will of course be back down to 2, Candice having reached her destination here in Winnipeg. She dearly wants to keep going, but has a job waiting for her back in BC. So sad goodbyes said until we catch up again later. Take care Candice, we'll miss you!