It is that time a year again! It arrived quite early this year too!
Every summer we see the arrival of a usually somewhat exhausted bicyclist who has just arrived in Toronto after riding all the way from Vancouver on the Pacific Coast.
The first arrival to our hostels door, this year, is Paul from near Marseilles who pitched up just before midnight last night.
He’s a real adventurer/backpacker and has cycled from France to Israel via several Arab states like Syria and Lebanon. The “adventure” (not to mention “dangers”) involved in such a trip are pretty obvious.
A trip across Canada may be accomplished without the threat of violence; however, it is not without inherent dangers.
Paul, like most bicycle traveling backpackers, operates on a somewhat limited budget. He carried his camping gear and camped in the middle of nowhere surrounded by lakes and forests. He battled headwinds of the prevailing Westerly Winds across Canada’s interminble prairies.
But his camping is the “wild” part of backpacker adventures. As we said, he would stop in the middle of nowehre, build a fire and pitch his tent.
Canada is a vast sparsely inhabitied country. He spent months on our roads camping in the bush. Canada has wild animals – lots of them! He carried no weapons – not even “Bear Spray”! Frankly, we are a bit surprised he didn’t end up as bear scat.
His trip was often longer (as in farther) than it would have been by car. His arrival at our hostel was slightly delayed by a police officer whyo stopped him from riding his bike on Highway 401. It’s a high-speed thoroughfare of up to 26 lanes of traffic. That about as crazy as bicyling on the Autobhan!
His journey is not yet over and he plans to head east to Quebec and then onto the Atlantic Coast. He’s already got about 4,500 kilometer behind him and by our calculations, he still has, at least, 2,000 more to go!