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Ontario: Manitowaning to Tobermory

16 September 2014 – Day 90

We cycled the last 30kms to the Chi-Cheemaun ferry. It was a bit of a rush – the terrain was not flat – but we arrived with plenty of time to spare. We bought two passenger tickets and paid an extra $6.50 for our bike, and boarded first. Our tiny bike was dwarfed by all the huge vehicles.

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The views from the ferry were beautiful – towering cliffs, a dramatic lighthouse, lonely sandy beaches and miles and miles of clear, cold water.

Tobermory (population 1400) was the cutest city. It was just like a ‘Wish you were here’ holiday postcard. Little ice cream shops with women in pink aprons, couples sitting on the wooden decks of the wharf munching on fish and chips, inns full of old sailors looking out over the water swapping stories and scuba dive excursions departing every few hours.

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We were starting to really feel sad that our time in Canada was almost over, and Muntasir’s shin was hurting also. We decided to call it a day, buy some fish and chips and join the people sitting on the wharf sun baking their toes. There was only one drawback that was on our minds – this tiny piece of paradise would be an expensive treat. We were happily wrong though – we wandered into a leafy little hideaway dotted with bungalows called Peacock Villa and ended up paying just $50 for a room.

Garmin 200 reading: Distance: 47.9km/Ascent 240m/Descent 232m

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17 September 2014 – Day 91 (rest day)

We woke up in our leafy little corner and decided to have a rest day. Even after icing, massaging and raising Muntasir’s leg, it was not improving. He could not ride on it. The owners of the villa were really understanding and gave us our room again for $40. They did also continually give us options for adventuring around the town though, which we of course were not able to do because of Muntasir’s injury. You can’t blame people for being passionate about their home J

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Tobermory was a really bike friendly town. There were ‘Share the road’ signs everywhere. They give you such a good feeling when you are riding, like you have actually rights. They teach tolerance, and are much more of a sustainable and sensible solution than building specific, expensive bike lanes.

Something that has really intrigued me about Canada is the way that it so proudly states that it was built by immigrants. Every town seems to have a different cultural influence, and they all seem to be celebrated. Its not in a loud, showy way, just in a matter-of-fact way.

We had a quiet day. In the morning we went to the bakery, which was selling everything for half price, and enjoyed some delicious 58c cakes. In the afternoon I went for a cycle on the villa manager’s bicycle to get lunch just out of town, then walked the boardwalk and did some yoga while Muntasir rested.

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