Posted by: Silver | April 18, 2012

Belleville to Kingston

Belleville to Picton (and beyond!):
Distance: 66 km
Ascent: 362 m
Cycling time: 4 hours, 6 minutes

Picton to Kingston:
Distance: 74 km
Ascent: 396 m
Cycling time: 4 hours, 19 minutes

The journey is still teetering perilously on the border between ‘excellently productive’ and ‘exhaustingly over-busy’, but I have had at least a little bit of time to shatter some stereotypes just recently…

First, there was the Spanish language learners’ Latin American potluck supper that my Belleville host invited me to join her for. As a non-Spanish-speaking vegetarian with a hot pepper allergy, I’m prepared to confess I wasn’t entirely sure how the evening was going to go for me, but in the end, I had the most enjoyable time. 🙂 Whether the amount of chili-free vegetarian fare was really an indication that the stereotyping of Latin cuisine is a little off-key, or just a result of the fact that most of the dishes were actually made by English-speaking Canadians, I’m not quite sure, but I certainly ate well! At the end of the meeting, though, I certainly did my bit to dispel the stereotype that Brits are all reserved and stand-offish by running round offering everyone a goodbye hug. 🙂 It was interesting to note that the only person who turned down my offer was the supposedly ‘touchy feely’ Latin American…!

So then it was on to Picton, or rather, a remote farmhouse about 25km outside Picton. I already knew that I would be beyond the reach of cyberspace out there (a slightly worrying prospect for a journey which quite simply could not and would not happen without an endless stream of organizing emails), but when I arrived to find the place positively swarming with mayflies as well, I once again began to wonder how things were going to go…

But once again, I had the most fabulous time! Over the course of the weekend, the house was increasingly populated by a circle of friends from Ottawa (one of whom owns the farmhouse and another of whom works for SOS Children’s Villages); they took me under their wing and made me a part of their ‘girlie weekend’, which, as well as outrageously huge amounts of outstandingly delicious food, included a session of ‘laughing yoga’. And once again, it was interesting to note that the two ‘reserved, stand-offish’ Brits at the gathering were possibly the two biggest giggleworms in the entire group! 😉 Although, it’s fair to say that no-one ran short of laughter that weekend… 🙂

Just outside Picton, there is a city just for birds! Local people crafted a wide assortment of birdhouses for the project, many in the shape of local or well-known buildings. Sadly though, it would appear that the local bird population has been somewhat less impressed with the results than the area's tourists...

... this des res at the farm, however, was very popular! I couldn't help but be reminded of the importance that SOS Children's Villages places on building communities that fit in with the local culture and actually meet the needs of the families who will be living there...

Mayflies don't bite, but (unlike mosquitoes) they don't have the sense to go round you when you're cycling through a swarm of them either... Under any other circumstances, it would have been too warm to have my buff pulled up over my nose and mouth, but I wasn't that desperate for extra protein... (this is a close-up of the siding on the farmhouse: look closely at the little black dots and you'll see that they're... yep, you guessed it!

It may have been buggy, but it was beautiful too



  1. What a wonderful journey you are on SIlver – all those people you get to meet, all the little communities you get to visit… I am so pleased for you, and thoroughly enjoy following you on the blog!

  2. … and all the people I get to talk to about SOS Children’s Villages, of course! Don’t forget that, Helen!

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