This is our penultimate blog entry. Only one left to go. This entry is all about Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and reuniting with our travelling buddy Chandra!!!
Ohhhhh Saskatoon...............where have you been all my life!!! Haha We met Chandra in Calgary and she looked all clean and fresh which we were surprised at haha. We drove 6 hours back to Saskatoon to meet wor Bev (Chandra's mum) but not before having our first Tim Hortons experience!! It was Canada's infamous fast food cafe! We were well impressed cheap, good food and a nice hot chocolate!! It rained the whole journey but Saskatchewan lived up to its name of................................Land of the living skies; all you can see is sky, there's not a hill in sight, just farm land and sky!!
We arrived at Chandra's house after a 6 hour journey to meet her mum Bev, she made us some lovely spaghetti bolognaise with a nice salad and garlic bread..........yum yum!!! We spent the night catching up, telling stories and having a good laugh. The groves made us feel right at home!!
The next day we got up eager to go to the infamous lake house we had heard so much about throughout our travels. We were there for a long weekend and we were meeting Chandra's dad, John and the rest of the family so there was going to be a big group of us. Chandra had also told us that John was often the joker and he liked a good old firm handshake. So we were prepared and practised our hand shake the night before at dinner making sure it was up to standard. Haha
The lake is about another 3 hour drive away from Saskatoon, however after being here and understanding the amazing feeling of the place I am unwilling to disclose the actual where abouts of the lake in order to keep it a Saskatchewan gem!! And keep away the tourists! I've already said to much john might be onto me.............to be honest Chandra made us wear blindfolds the whole way there so we could never know how to get there again. Haha
We left the sealed roads behind and went off onto the gravel and headed for the wilderness of the forest, at this point we still had 1 hour to go that shows you how remote this place is. When we eventually arrived me and Lou were blown away with how amazing it was. The house was situated right on the waters edge, you walk out of the cabin 10 meters and there is a small sandy beach and a vast open lake, and when i say vast i mean you cant even see the other side of it because its that big, the lake house itself is set in the surrounding forest where we saw a deer just meandering through, we couldn't believe it.
We met john and got our handshakes out of the way (Firm and strong) and he showed us our room......it was amazing. It wasn't long before John and Bev rustled up a mammoth feast for us all on the BBQ and quote...... "fed the s*** out of us" un-quote!! Haha It was here, where we had one of the best steaks we have ever had and we were introduced to the infamous Montreal Steak spice!!Haha
John later took me around to show me the lake house and i was blown away with what i saw, one garage was home to a skidoo and a humungous Quad bike, one that probably went faster than Louise's car and the other garage was home to a speed boat, another quad bike and all sorts of boys toys haha ...............Heaven!! Oh yeah not to forget the big fishing boat on the driveway! This weekend was going to be great!!!
That night was spent eating and laughing, some of Chandra's cousins and her friend Andrea came over and john got out the guitar to serenade us! We were quite impressed however Chandra was slightly embarrassed like we would be if our dad got the guitar out but she shouldn't be...... we loved it!! It wasn't long before Chandra took over and gave us a few numbers......it reminded us of our Noosa days together where we first met, all them months ago at open mic night. Then one by one everybody had a go and me and Lou must of been the only ones who couldn't play the guitar.
The next morning we woke up to a full on English breakfast and a good old pot of tea! :) Chandra had planned a Quad bike adventure with her friends Andrea, Jared and Ashley. They gave me permission to drive one of Johns quads.......i was terrified! It was me and Lou on the blue quad, Chandra and Andrea on the yellow quad and Jared and Ashley on the red quad we were all kitted up, sandwiches packed and beer loaded..............we were ready to GOOOOO!!
GO! GO! GO! We were off.....I just took it easy at first got used to the brakes and steering etc because all that was going through my head was "don't crash johns quad, don't crash johns quad" haha But Jared and Andrea were flying and as i started to get more comfortable and my confidence increased we were bombing through the woods, twisting and turning, branches were whacking us in the face, we ducked and dived...........it was awesome!! Not a sole in sight and these machines that we were riding were unbelievable they could go through just about anything, practically indestructible. Every once in a while we would have to stop to either move a falling tree or drag obstacles off our route!! It gave you a great feeling that you were out in the wilderness and we could see deer's skip into the bush ahead as they heard the roar from our engines as we raced through the woods!! Haha just writing about it brings back great memories !!
Jared and Ashley were obviously pro's and knew this place like the back of their hand and they took us through swamps and everything, we stopped every now and then for food and beer and it felt like we were the only people inhabiting the earth, haha since we hadn't seen anyone or civilization for about 7 hours. We had been out for ages but we were having so much fun it didn't even feel like 2 hours. One of the best things we have ever done on our travels........FACT!! Scuba diving barrier reef, New Years Eve at Sydney harbour and quad biking in Saskatchewan's secret lake!!! Woooooo! Haha
That night we were exhausted from our epic journey so we just chilled out that night and had some lovely stew which was made from the left over steak......mmmmmmmmmmm! We really were getting spoilt!! We loved the fact that the nearest convenience store was over an hour away.
The following morning we were still relishing over our quad bike adventure but we couldn't dwell on the past we had fishing to do!!!!! John and Chan rigged up the fishing boat and we headed down to the lake to catch us some tea!!
Chan gave us a little demonstration on how things were done and were not joking her fishing rod must have been in the water 5 seconds before it started going mental!! Within seconds she had a huge fish just wiggling about so we chucked it in the box for later! Well.......if its as easy as that i shouldn't have a problem!! Me and Lou both cast our line but Lou beat me too it and due to fishing etiquette i had to reel in to help Lou with the catch. It was a big one we were all chuffed to bits, Lou caught her first fish after 25 years haha she threw it in the bucket to keep it fresh and we cast our lines out again, before i even had the chance to cast out i heard Louise shout......'FISH ON, JOHN' which was the saying for 'I'VE GOT ONE'........ Are you kidding me Lou??.......im trying to catch my first fish here.........i can never catch a break....... never mind a fish!!! Anyway............Lou catches her second fish...... blah, blah, blah!! Just kidding..........well done!! We cast out again and if Lou beats me too it this time.... oooo I thought about pushing her over board but i snapped out of it as i felt a nibble on my line....could this be my time to shine....to catch my first fish???? Waiting in anticipation before Lou crashes my dreams with......"FISH ON, JOHN".........this is a joke! Lou catches another fish!! Wupppdeeedooo!! However the next turn happened to be my turn, i felt it nibbling at the bait and John, Chandra and even Louise "i've caught three fish" Feenan were giving me tips. It was a monster, it wasn't coming in easy, i can tell you that! But i bided my time and the waiting paid off.........MY FIRST FISH AT LAST!!! She was a beauty!! We went back that day with enough fish to feed a small army! And I felt like a real man!! Haha a hunter man!!
We watched john gut and de-bone the fish and he made it look easy, so easy that I fancied a go but it was a lot harder than it looked, I made a right hash of it!! I came out with the most skittering bits of fish and probably full of bones. I thought you bashed the fish on the head with a hammer to stun it but we didn't we put the knife straight into its head haha quickest way apparently!! So fresh they were still wiggling in the bin after we filleted them.
That afternoon we had planned to go wake boarding in the lake but with the weather not being on our side it was too rough, just as well really because i foolishly said i could stand up first time and no doubt......will be great at it due to my natural ability to be awesome not just at sport but generally life itself haha So instead we gathered our troops for a 2nd round Quad ride!! Surely it couldn't be as good as the 1st one........ohhh but it was!!! As we rode on the gravel track to head into the woods we saw a big black bear and its baby cubs!! The big bear ran left and the baby cubs ran right and we stopped in the middle and we saw the big bear run back across the road to be with the cubs and as he did he stopped and stood on his back legs to warn us off, it must of been about 8ft tall.....amazing!!! We went to an old abandoned quarry and just had fun playing hide and seek on the quads haha Then Jared and Ashley took us to some kind of swamp type field and when i say these machines can go through anything i was wrong..............i got stuck and we had to be towed out..........sorry john if your reading this but no quads were injured in the making of this!!! We opted for Lou to get on the back of Jared's quad but she didn't want to.....nothing a good old bit of peer pressure and chanting couldn't solve............ LOUISE, LOUISE, LOUISE!!! She was like a rag doll on the back as Jared took the quad through its paces... Brilliant!!
We were out for another 5 hours, it just flies over when your living the dream haha We drove back and John and Bev had prepared the fish we had caught earlier...........it was just what we needed after a exhausting day on the quads, and it tasted scrum-didlley-umptious!!! We left the lake house the following morning after one hell of a weekend............that we will never forget!!!! Great people, great place, great fun!!! .......now back to civilisation.....darn it!!
As our Saskatoon adventure was coming to an end we had one stop left to do.....see Chandra's gram and the ranch! We had heard so much about GRAM and we couldn't wait to meet her. We arrived and she didn't let us down she is one of life's little mysteries, we have not seen anything like it, for an 80 year old woman she is unbelievably fit and we watched in amazement as she leaped on and off the horse haha just writing this, reminds me of the time you called your gram and had her on speaker phone ..............."what you been doing gram?" ......"ohhh nothing much i've just been out on the quad and moved a few stacks of hay" haha ...........nothing much!! Brilliant. We had a great time riding the horses and talking about ye old England!!
Our last night in Saskatoon, we had a BBQ send off and it was brilliant and soon came the horrible goodbye's...........again!!
Me and Louise would just like to say a massive thanks to Chandra and the Groves and all their friends for their exceptional hospitality and making us feel so welcome away from home. We have made a friend for life and it was great to get the chance to see Chandra again and sample the Saskatoon way of life. John and Bev.............thanks for letting us play with your toys John and Bev we had a great laugh together........you have super parents Chandra.
We had an amazing time and we hope to see you all again at some point, thank you all for making our Canadian experience the best of all!!! You are all welcome in England anytime!!! See you soon Chandra!!
P.s the secret lake location is safe with us, we wont tell a sole!!!
Love adam and louise xxxxxxxxxxxx