A memorable holiday in Manitoulin Island

The summer holidays are just around the corner and families are planning their getaway trips. You don’t have to spend a fortune to go to a destination abroad. You can find many charming places right here in Canada.

Recently, our family visited Ontario’s Manitoulin Island, the largest freshwater island in the world. We stayed in the middle of nowhere at Green Bay Lodge where we had our very own kitchenette. It is a very unique experience. We didn’t need a key to our suite because there was a German Shepherd on guard. Beware of the dog! Also beware of cats, cattle, deer, bears, birds, squirrels, snakes, turtles and mosquitoes.

One day on my morning jog, I was outnumbered by a herd of cows but it was they that ran away. Fortunately, I didn’t run into bears. “What should we do if we see bears?” I asked a local resident. “Just don’t run. They run faster than you,” she answered.

There is no light pollution on the island. Stars shine brightly at night. We saw the Big Dipper and the North Star and even a shooting star!

Photo credit: Gu Zhenzhen.

We went boating in Lake Manitou, my favourite activity because it reminded me of boating in Beijing’s Lake Kunming in my childhood.

We went hiking too. For the first time in my life, I took photos right behind a waterfall named Bridal Veil. What a fitting name!

The locals are friendly folks. On a hiking trail, a woman showed us poison ivy and yellow flowers called Lady’s Slipper. They were everywhere! How many ladies had left their cute slippers behind?

A man showed us a giant fish he had just caught from the lake for his dinner.  A woman at a gift shop in Little Current whose family had lived on the island for nine generations, showed me her sewing machine after she learned that my mother had the same sewing machine brand  (Singer) in China.  She also marked points of interest on our map, such as Bridal Veil falls, Cup and Saucer hiking trail (one of the most popular trails in Ontario) and Providence Bay’s sandy beach – their famous Fish & Chips store was closed, but that didn’t dampen our spirits. My children and I ate vanilla ice cream instead. It’s just as delightful!

We are already making our plans for our next visit to this beautiful and peaceful place.

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