Why am I here (in Asia)? Origins 1996 in Canada!
Recently I looked at some older photos, and suddenly I remembered how it came to pass that I am now here in Asia … far East!
It begins 1996, when I traveled to Canada, … to the West!
I went there in order to find a job and basically try to live there for some years or more.
And there in August I met the person that I was going to marry 4 years later, the person that I am tied up with until today, and who is actually one of the reasons I am here in Asia now.
The following photos are from a canoe tour in Canada that I took together with my brother in 1996 just before that meeting. It is, if you want to put it that way, my last trip as being ‘a single’ person …
2 gringos and the canoe ‘Old T’, as the name of the thing written on the side of the canoe was almost not visible any more.
On the day before starting out on the tour, my brother and I visited some cultural heritage sites, including a place where we saw some tipis.
In that time it was my dream basically to live like that.
There was absolutely no city nearby. Just a few little villages. It really felt as if it was 200 years ago, as if no civilization were there yet …
And then we visited an old town near the lake circuit, an historic town that gave us the feeling that we have traveled back in time.
There we have seen interesting buildings and Canadians dressed up in historic clothing that helped giving you the feeling that it was 150 years ago or so.
A picture taken from 1880 …
But in reality …
we were preparing for our departure the next day …
We stayed at some new friends that lived close enough to the lake.
And we slept in their bus! … pretty cool thing, I thought!
Then, the day we started … it was raining.
But we didn’t really think to abort the tour. We started out.
The first 2 kilometers we had to push the canoe, pretty heavy thing, loaded with food and equipment through the forest. Narrow paths full of roots, stones, and increasingly … slimy mud, as the rain intensified by the minute!!
Boots soaking wet, socks, too. Trousers, too. Up to the knees we were completely wet. Good that we both had ponchos that kept the upper body dry … but actually we were sweating like crazy, so we were wet anyway!
Then we finally reached the first lake, Kibbee Lake, I think, was its name.
Swiftly floating on the water! And the rain had even stopped for a while, so I could take my camera out, a present from my father that I was happy to have there!
In the middle of August, it suddenly snowed on the mountains surrounding us …
… and we decided to call it a day, and camp right there!
And as I had dreamt about swimming in a Canadian lake as soon as possible, I did that right there!
It was not exactly what I had had in mind, but … who cares …
Evening came … and there was a hut. In that hut we drank hot tea, and then set up the tent. When it got dark, it got darrrrrrk! And no sound at all. The next town maybe 60 or 80 km away, no street, no road, no telephone, no mobile phone (it was 1996, so they didn’t exist much, either!), no fast food.
The next day, after a pretty good sleep, we decided to stay there another day and wait for the weather. We didn’t have a plan besides just being there! And that goal has been accomplished already. So …
My brother tried fishing there. It was one of his dreams. He caught nothing.
But it looked cool !
… The next day we were thinking about staying or going on.
We stayed another day, but then, we went on, as the sky seemed to get brighter.
But as we were paddling slowly for an hour or so, we heard a rumbling from afar. Thunder! Great!
But at that point we already decided to go on. And if the storm intensified we wanted to get out of the water.
But thankfully, it went away.
Then we met some people! Two ladies from the States, who did the lake tour the same time. we had a nice talk with them. It’s almost strange to meet somebody there. No cars, but canoes instead! We were fooling around, taking pictures.
Then we went on, a long, seemingly neverending lake. My brother moaned and groaned about its lenghts, and of course, it was against the wind. A stiff breeze. And our heavy canoe, the ‘Old T’ once sunk by the reasonably high waves and strong winds, might have never resurfaced … or so he told me back then.
But it never sunk.
It was a great, majestic tour inbetween the Rocky Mountains, snow covered peaks and gigantic slopes …
Then finally we reached to what my brother called the fat ass of the lake.
Finally, no wind! What a surprise! The water calm like a mirror.
And just when we reached that place, a huge bald eagle passed by, and right beside us, he dashed into the water, and with a big splash, caught a fish, … and disappeared again, in just a few seconds.
We just stared, baffled.
The following camp was the last one before the rapids.
With our heavy canoe we didn’t go through it, but transported it a little bit down the stream, and went for a short portion.
But … it wasn’t the same as on the map, and we almost went down a 10 meter waterfall. Almost!
We managed to steer hard in the final curve before the waterfall and making a crashing ‘landfall’ on a 5 meter sandy beach spot.
Spot on! One might say.
Well, it was the final spot there was …
After the waterfall … a calm river. Without paddling we drifted downstream. Just like in a dream.
Civilization now being as far away from us as ever.
And at the start of Lanezi Lake we stopped on a beautiful beach. I wanted to swim again.
My brother stayed in the boat, ready to dash away, in case a bear came sprinting out of the woods and wanting to have us for dinner.
Of course he was fighting the mosquitoes and horseflies and their friends, too.
I loved the place, but we soon went on, as sunset was approaching.
Lanezi Lake wasn’t a real pleasure, as there was a strong wind again, making paddling extremely hard. At times it seemed as if we were just paddling on the spot. 5 meters in 5 minutes or so. But the nature around us just magnificent.
Then we camped there another night.
The next day we saw two moose, in the distance …
After successfully completing Lanezi we reached Sandy Lake, calm waters, no wind.
My brother wanted to go on quickly, finishing the tour now, as fast as possible. But I felt like staying here forever or so …
Well, the compromise was, kind of, 5 minutes.
The last portion, an enormous amount of kilometers per day for us, we completed in a single day. From the camp at Lanezi, back to final Lake. Along the way, stunning sights.
Then, completed. We did it!
And the last portion, just before sunset, was a maze of swampy like rivers.
We were floating between what seemed like high grass forests. And thereafter: the final lake, open waters.
And in the last light of sunset we approached the coast …
… a coast that was sprinkled by a few lights. The lights of civilization again. At the time we were happy to see them in the dark.
On the other hand I was thankful for this tour, and tried to consciously watch every last moment of it before it was over.
Only a few days after that I was to meet the person that basically was a big reason why I am now currently living in Asia, … the other side of the world!
… I hope you enjoyed this little canoe trip!
I’d be happy to read your comment, down below.
And of course, every ‘like’ is appreciated, too! 😉