Posted by: Silver | October 11, 2011

Espanola to… Espanola

Espanola to Sudbury:
Cycling distance: 46 km
Ascent: 358 m
Cycling time: 3 hours, 21 minutes

Sudbury to Espanola:
Distance: 71 km
Ascent: 389 m
Cycling time: 3 hours, 51 minutes

Yes, another demonstration of just how not-in-a-straight-line this journey is: my back-and-forth to Sudbury was partly to spread the word about SOS Children’s Villages to the largest city in northern Ontario, and partly to take advantage of the opportunity to stay with the utterly lovely parents of one of the guys who made me feel so welcome in Williams Lake (have a look here if you’ve forgotten about that: it was a long time ago now, after all…!) – people often ask me how I find my hosts, and frequently, it really is this coincidental!

And talking of coincidence: I honestly don’t believe in fate, but sometimes, you do have to wonder… You see, there I was, pedalling my way to Sudbury, when all of a sudden I spied a sign with a lovely picture of a bike on it; unfortunately, the picture had a big red line through it and a big red circle all the way around it… What I couldn’t spot, however, was any exit or alternative route that I could take to circumvent this unexpected prohibition. And to make matters worse, having stopped on several occasions to talk to people about SOS, I was also starting to get a little concerned about the vanishing daylight: a lengthy detour was definitely not top of my wish list at that precise moment. Just as I was beginning to feel very conspicuously out of place and wondering how on earth I was going to get to my destination, someone pulled over ahead of me; I prepared myself for some irate driver to stridently point out that I shouldn’t be there, but instead, the gentleman behind the wheel turned out to be the son of the lady I would be staying with in a week’s time! And even more remarkably, he just happened to be driving an empty pick-up truck! So, with only the most unsubtle of hints from me, Ranger was loaded onto the back, I was loaded into the front and my knight in shining armour delivered me safely and legally to the outskirts of Sudbury with plenty of daylight still to spare!

Anyway, in case you’re still wondering: no, SOS Children’s Villages didn’t win the Nobel Peace Prize – again. 😦 I did, however, manage to get them onto the CBC website, thanks to the interview I did with Markus Schwabe of Morning North: you still don’t get to see what I look like here, but if you want to know what I sound like, click here, and be sure to spread the link around as many people as you can!

We've been having a very lovely 'Indian Summer' for the past week or so, so I've been getting to enjoy some lovely lunch spots again: this one was just outside Espanola

Sudbury's streets might not have been the most cycle-friendly in the world, but they did at least have some rather snazzy places to lock your bike up: these were outside the market hall...

... and this one was in the downtown area

I do always try to be a good house-guest, but it was still particularly touching to see how pleased my Espanola hosts were to have me back again 🙂

OK, couldn't resist: here's some more fall foliage - including pink, this time!

PS The new header photo was taken just outside Espanola



  1. Your journey continues to fascinate, I can’t wait for the book!

  2. I just read through your whole story and have so much repect and awe at your journey. I hope to meet you when you arrive in Ingersoll at Kevin & Carol Mitchell’s home as I am one of the Lions there.

    • Hello Mary Ann!
      Thank you for your kind words, and I have so much respect and awe for you that you managed to read through the *entire* blog – it’s been going a fair while now! I look forward to meeting you when I get to Ingersoll 🙂

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