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Ontario: Blind River to Espanola

14 September 2014 – Day 88

We woke up to another freezing morning. I got out and did some yoga to warm up, while Muntasir stayed in and got busy with the tiny coffee machine.

The motel is in the same site as the town’s first sawmill, right at the mouth of the Blind River. The views are beautiful – yellow sand dotted with driftwood, the bluest waters, little flocks of brown ducks floating on the ripples. There is an uneven line of interesting looking old boats on the far side of the river, and little bursts of yellow flowers on my side. The only thing ruining it was the trash – fishing lines and plastic bottles caught in the debris on the river’s edge, chip packets and cans at the base of the bushes on the shore, a plastic razor that was no longer needed washed up in the middle of the sand.

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By the time I walked back along the beach, the sand was actually getting warm from the tentative morning sun. I wiggled my toes in. It was not to stay for long though – the sky was clear looking out over the water but there were some definite dark thunderclouds in the direction we were going to be riding. Enough playing in the sand – I picked up as much trash as I could see and walked back. Time to get on the road again.

The good weather ended up staying today, but so did the trash. In every lush grassy paddock there seemed to be a discarded juice box, under every scattering of flowers seemed to be a Budweiser can.

We passed through a long list of small towns today – Algoma, Spragge, Serprent River, Cutler, Spanish – they continued along the highway for the whole day. We were looking for what was supposed to be the best pizza in Ontario. When we finally got there, to a tiny little shack with a simple sign, it was closed.

We finally left Highway 17 in the afternoon, to head south down Highway 6 towards Espanola. We had spent so much time on 17, heading east across Ontario, up and down and around and around all of its hills and twists, we were actually feeling sad! Getting attached to tires and highways – some things are definitely harder to explain to everyone at home than others J

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We were enjoying the last of the slow roads before we hit the chaos surrounding Toronto. We reached Espanola (population 5300) early, which was surprisingly quite a big town, and leaned our bike against the Queensway Motel. We decided to treat ourselves to breakfast in the morning, to ease our pizza cravings from lunchtime.

Garmin 200 reading: Distance: 101.55km/570m/Descent 556m

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