Posted by: Silver | October 15, 2011

Espanola to Barrow Bay

Espanola to Mindemoya:
Distance: 107 km
Ascent: 825 m
Cycling time: 6 hours, 53 minutes

Mindemoya to Barrow Bay:
Cycling distance: 87 km
Ascent: 394 m
Cycling time: 5 hours

For the first time since BC, I was back on an island! Coming down from the north, you enter Manitoulin Island via the only working swing bridge left in Canada. It opens on the hour, every hour, but frustratingly (given that I actually wanted to be held up, to see it in action) I arrived at the bridge at almost exactly half past. Deciding that waiting around for a full half hour probably wasn’t worth it, I simply pulled into the visitor information centre on the other side to use the washroom… and was waylaid by no less than three different people, wanting to ask about my trike and my journey. So by the time I’d actually finished using the washroom, it was almost the top of the hour! It was definitely pretty cool watching the road I’d just cycled over part company with its terrestrial counterpart and dangle freely mid-channel while a small yacht sailed slowly by; welcome to island life…!

At the other end of the island is the large expanse of water connecting Georgian Bay to the rest of Lake Huron and so again for the first time since BC, I took a ferry! Those who had waxed lyrical to me about just how beautiful the ferry ride to Tobermory is possibly hadn’t ever been to any of the Gulf Islands, but that’s not to say that the crossing was unattractive: it was a calm, sunny day on the lake, and the islands in Fathom Five (Canada’s first national marine conservation area) seemed to gently embrace us in welcome as we approached the harbour at the tip of the Bruce peninsula. And down in the bowels of the boat, waiting to disembark, I was reminded of another of Ranger’s advantages: the inevitable jolting of the ferry as it settled into its docking position sent one of the motorcycles waiting with me toppling sideways, but Ranger, with his extra wheel, was as stable as a rock. He was, however, right at the end of the potential domino line of motorcycles teetering to our left, so we did very quickly and stably decide to scoot back a little, just in case…

Sailing by.... The road to Manitoulin Island opens up for a passing yacht

I've actually lost count of the number of 'Bridal Veil Falls' I've seen on my journey so far, but these are the ones that have most closely resembled their namesake, I think: in Kagawong, Manitoulin Island

'All Welcome'... as long as you're all really small... I couldn't help but notice this as I headed down Manitoulin Island to the ferry

Looking out from the back of Bruce's caves, Wiarton - I don't think Bruce minded...

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