Wednesday, September 26, 2012

East Coast Journal- Part 4

For part 3, click here.





I came to a bed & breakfast this morning since there was no place in the hostel. Mary, an old lady and the owner of the house, was kind enough to come and pick me up. Her house is by the lake and is full of little doodads found on the walls and in cupboards. 
Mary lives with her two cats. So caring as she is, she brought me tea, offered me some custard she made herself and asked me if I wanted to drive with her to her sister’s house so that I could look around the island. Though she is chubby, it didn’t take me long to realize that she had only one breast. It made me contemplate the scenario, the moment, the fear women have when they are confronted with the situation. Sometimes I thought if I were faced with it, I would at best ask to have both of my breasts removed. This would be the case if I still had any hopes to live. If I didn’t, I would refuse to undergo any treatment in order to speed up towards the valley of death.  
Mary is not married yet she doesn’t regret it. I believe her, as she is contented. She is the oldest unmarried woman I’ve seen. She is sweet, caring and doesn’t nag like many do as they get old.

I stayed at Mary’s for one night. The next day, my first couch-surfing host came up to the island to pick me up and to travel around Cape Breton with me. Hadn’t he come, I was planning to go back to the hostel and hitchhike on the island. When he came, Mary said with that sweet trembling voice of hers: “I’m glad you came. I don’t like the idea of girls hitchhiking nowadays.” For a moment I thought how in just one day, this old woman grew a sense of emotion towards me that she felt worried about me and my safety on my journey. I didn’t know how to respond except to hug her. I took a photo with her to keep with me the memory of a precious heart.



We started our journey on the Cabot Trail, a heavenly place with untouched nature you would only see in the movies and on postcards. We went to the Fishing Cove, in the Cape Breton Highland National Park. We walked down a trail in the woods; we could hear different kinds of animals. At the entrance of the park, we were told that there were black bears, moose and raccoons. I didn’t see any of them that day but I could infer their existence from the noises I heard while walking. After about half an hour, we were on top of a slope, overlooking the ocean and the rocky shore. I stood there for two minutes in awe. We headed down and after we set up our tent, went to the shore and had our dinner by the water.
It was getting cold. When we returned to our tent, I sat down and watched Olivier pack every single item of food, even the toothpaste. A newbie as I was in the wild, I asked him why! He explained that wild animals search for food and if they smell anything like it, they would come close to us. Thirty seconds after Olivier went to pull the backpack of food up on a wooden frame like a swing set, I heard noises outside of the tent. I was scared shitless, worried to encounter a black bear or a moose for the first time in my life in a tent. It wasn’t a pleasant thought and I could hear my heartbeat. When Olivier came back, I told him what happened. As soon as he turned his torch off, we started hearing those weird sounds, as if they, the animals, were rummaging around our tent, tempted to get in. It took me a long while to fall asleep and all through the night I was dreaming of a black bear saluting me, while it entered the tent.

For part 5, click here

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