Day 17: Windsor to Wheatley – a whole new world

Distance: 109km

Elevation: 129m

After a relaxed breakfast, we packed up and Susanne drove me over the iconic Ambassador Bridge across the Detroit River into Windsor, Canada. Being a cyclist herself, she had been very adamant that cycling in Detroit was not a good idea.

The view on the Detroit Highrisers, the Detroit River and Windsor from up high was quite something.

To the officials at border patrol our story sounded so odd that we were questioned three times and our car was properly searched.

But everyone was friendly and we were in no rush. Once we finally got on Canadian soil, Susanne dropped me off at a shopping mal and I reassembled Rosinante again. Everything worked out fine.

We said farewell and Susanne drove on to Cincinnati to prepare an ICF conference that she would be chairing next year.

I had a quick lunch and started cycling around 1pm.

Crossing the border to Canada had been like going through a secret door in a wardrobe in the movie „Narnia“. No more big city life but rather small town vibes. I felt relaxed to be in Canada again.

I turned South and followed the Detroit River as it led into Lake Erie. The contrast between Southern Ontario and Southern Manitoba could not be more stark. The weather was warm and sunny, the landscape was beautiful, the houses at the river picturesque. Shops and restaurants everywhere. I cycled through Amherstburg which was an outright tourist spot.

I felt light and the cycling felt effortless. Also, I met my first fellow cyclists on the way. Roger, Giorgina and their son Nino were Warmshowers hosts from Windsor who where on a three day practice tour. They were preparing for a three-months-trip to Europe next year. We exchanged stories and tips and then I cycled on. I was so happy to have met them!

I cycled through small vineyards, alongside beautiful lakes and beaches and even saw a sign that warned of wandering turtles. I passed huge greenhouses and many farms that would sell fresh produce directly from the field.

Around 7pm I was ready to call it a day and steered for a campground that turned out to be an RV site. The energy was not good and I recalled that Roger had recommended to go to the provincial park in Wheatley, another 20 klicks further East.

It got already dark by the time I arrived. It was my first provincial park on this trip and also the first one in Ontario. In British Columbia and Alberta bears had been the challenge. Here it was snakes and raccoons.

I set up my tent, had a shower and then celebrated the end of the day with a beer that I had bought along the way. It was no longer cold but tasted just great.

By 10pm I was sleeping happily in my tent.

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