Again, I rose well after Sue and Gwenda, and found them sitting in the small dining annex, drinking tea and chatting merrily away as I descended the stairs and headed to the kitchen to prepare my own brew of very strong coffee. Annoyingly I spied a lovely day through the window, no dark clouds in sight, no waving trees at the end of the garden and a dry driveway surface indicating no rain overnight. I wondered briefly why I had slept so well, but the answer was obvious, I was now in holiday mode!
What a shame that our brief stay with Gwenda coincided with the worst that Canada could throw at us……….. I guess that is a little over the top as I have seen photos of the snow drifting up to the guttering of Gwenda’s bungalow, but it does illustrate how disappointed we were not to be able to sit out in the garden and enjoy the evenings or wander along the river at leisure. It was not to be, but we did at least enjoy each other’s company and after all, location then becomes irrelevant.
After breakfast we continued to chat about this and that until nearly midday when Sue set about making a lunch of quiche and coleslaw. I took the opportunity to fill up the car with gas (that is a Canadian/American non-sensesical word for petrol), after which I put out Gwenda’s garbage for collection later in the afternoon then tinkered around with her TV to improve the sound as she was starting to have difficulty hearing some of the programmes.
All too soon we had eaten lunch and were saying our goodbyes. Just prior to leaving we met the next door neighbour Garry, who kindly took some photos of the three of us, and then leaving a tearful aunt behind, with a lump in our throats we headed for the Trans-Canadian Highway.
The journey to Latchford went without a hitch. The roads are unerringly Roman-like straight (I didn’t know that they made it here, I thought they had stopped at Hadrian’s Wall) and it was trees and lakes all the way with the occasional settlement to wake up the senses. The SatNav on my phone decided after a few miles to stop talking to me (I guess it had looked at the route and thought it might as well have a nap as it reckoned I could do ‘straight’ all on my own!), so I followed the little black arrow along the endless blue line that marched from the top of the screen to the bottom until we pulled into the carpark of the Frontiersman Motel on Highway 11, some four hours later.
We obviously woke up the young lad who gave us the key to our room as a few minutes after we had pressed the bell for attention in the Reception, he arrived dishevelled and barefooted. Quickly explaining; where the room was, that if we wanted a shower we should persevere as we were at the end of the pipe and the hot water would eventually arrive, there was a restaurant across the road if we were hungry, a gas was station a little further down and it was a lovely walk along the lake to the dam. Leaving him to return to his bed/cot we found our room.
First we checked out the restaurant, and then the gas station before heading down to the lake to see what was there. It was a pretty lake, obviously used much in the summer months by families having BBQ’s etc. but today it was quiet and peaceful. For a while we watched a beaver/otter on the far shore of the little bay we attempting to walk around, but we couldn’t be sure of the species as we could only see the top of the head and wake chevroning behind as he searched for fish.
We came across the world’s shortest covered bridge, famously situated in Latchford and no doubt the end point of many a pilgrimage, but alas, not today, there appeared to be a lack of fellow pilgrims, just Sue and I. We took a few photos to prove that we had actually been to this iconic spot and no doubt they will be framed alongside our pictures of the great Pyramid of Giza, the Eiffel Tower, Machu Picchu etc.
We wandered along the bank of the lake until the mosquitoes decided to make an appearance. Retracing our steps we found Latchford dam, which we walked over and back, stopping into the centre to gaze at the waters racing below. The dam was rebuilt in 2016 and is quite impressive and has the road bridge and the railway bridge alongside it. We stopped briefly at a small memorial park to a WW2 Latchford soldier who in 1945 through his outstanding bravery earned himself the VC before returning to the Motel.
Later in the evening we did indeed eat at the small restaurant recommended by our young receptionist (it is the only one in town) and we had a good hearty and very filling meal.
Returning to our room, Sue read a book and I wrote this before watching TV and zzzzzzzz’s.