Saskatchewan – hard to spell, easy to draw. This was the slogan I was confronted with, when I entered the tourist information at the border of Saskatchewan. Anyway outside there had been another slogan: Saskatchewan, Naturally.
Actually Saskatchewan is the granary of Canada. The big canola and the cereal fields (yellow area) remind me on Östergötland, the forest of areas more north in Sweden. Even in Canada the forest is in the north, but I imagine, that every Canadian province I have been so far has the size of Sweden. I feel at home here, even Canada is much bigger than Sweden. I look forward to explore more areas of Canada and to find the differences. The history makes a different of course, about it later.
By the way my first Canadian host told me, how she learned at school to remember the spelling of this province: SASK-AT-CHEW-AN. I adapted to it, because I never need to wonder again how many a:s and e:s are in Saskatchewan. On the website “canadaonline.about.com” I also found an explanation for this strange name: “The name for the province of Saskatchewan comes from the Cree, who called the Saskatchewan River “Kisiskatchewani Sipi”, meaning “swiftly flowing river”.” The Cree are Natives, in former times we did call them Indians.
In this province I made my first “homestays” by helpx. As I told about earlier (see: dorotheeinternational.blog/greater oceania/australia) it is a great way to get to know the culture of a country as well as it helps to save some money. I had contact with two hosts from the time I planned my travel. One of them suddenly told me, her house was full – more about it later. I was lucky and found other hosts easily. I have got the feeling, that the “replacement host” needed me much more as the original one. We have an idiom in Sweden, that is “Inget ont som inte för något gott med sig”. It means “Every cloud has a silver lining”. In German it would be something like “Glück im Unglück”, but it means more and I would add “Des einen Glück, des anderen Leid”. Unfortunately I cannot find a better translation, maybe one of my readers know. You are welcome to share your knowledge with me.
There is a secret about, why I planned to stay longer in Saskatchewan. 1959 the German movie “Die Gitarre und das Meer” with the main actor Freddy Quinn was exposed in the cinemas. Even the first time I have watched that movie – by a DVD – was, when I lived in Hamburg, Germany (2009 – 2014), I was fascinated of the idea to see Canada and Saskatchewan, because in the movie, Freddy was preparing to go there. In the same year (1959) another movie with Freddy Quinn came to the cinemas. Even that one I first have watched by a DVD during my time in Hamburg. The German title of this other movie was “Unter fremden Sternen” and the story told was like a continuation of the here first named movie, but it was not filmed in Saskatchewan, even parts were filmed in Canada. However the nature, one could see (e.g. the Niagara Falls and a Mountain Range with a lake) fascinated me and made me feel “I have to see Canada and especially the Mountain Range with the lake”. I thought, “if it already is so beautiful in a movie, it will be breathtaking in real”. I did not have a plan at that time, how visiting Canada could come true. I did not have a good income and debts for a car I had to buy for going to a job in an industrial area, but had not anymore that job. I wished so much to go to Canada and in addition to it travel the world, though I talked with friends about it and got tips about couch surfing etc. I retired in 2014 after more than a year of unemployment. At the same time I have got the opportunity to work on Malta (you can read about it at this blog). Now I could plan for travelling the world. I intended to start with Canada in the late 2010th (maybe summer 2018), but a surgery made me to start earlier (one never knows, for how long one is physically able to travel). Nevertheless the name Saskatchewan had still its fascination, though I was looking for hosts in this part of Canada, too.
Regina (15th June)
Regina is the capital of Saskatchewan and would be worth a stay of a couple of days, but there were reasons why I only was there for some hours. One was, that it was hard to find a car park, where I could stay for more than two hours and therefore also impossible to stay there over night.
I knew, that Regina has beautiful gardens and almost two interesting museums. However my first challenge was to find out in which direction the signs with the names of the streets were meant, because the signs are fastened on the upper arms of the traffic lights. I found out, that the signs I were facing, were meant for the crossroads and not for the one I was driving through. I could not use a gps this time either and tried to find my destination by a map. Unfortunately on the map were dead-end streets not declared. Finally I found the way to the beginning (or end) of the garden and by that also to the House of Parliament.
By the way the lake in Regina and it’s surroundings is nearly as beautiful as the lake Alster in Hamburg, Germany. Close to the House of Parliament is a war memorial. I was surprised about to see a statue of a woman as well as the usual statue of a soldier. I spent around two hours around the lake, even moving the car and looking for an other car park. The museums were already closed and I needed a place to stay for the night, though I continued in the direction of Saskatoon.
More photos of Regina you can see buy clicking the link photographs.
I drove around two hours on the Louis Riel Trail (hwy 11), but did not find any rest area. Lots of Canadian communities have a kind of art at the entrance to their place. Like in Australia, most of the art is in raw iron and rusty.
I parked outside a little village with a sign with not only the village’s name, but also announcing a rest area, which I never found. The light for the engine was on again. I hoped it was only for the engine got hot (even the meter did not show it) and it would stop, when the engine cooled down. The day said goodbye with a beautiful sunset, which none can imagine, even if it would be shown on tape.
The next morning I stopped a car on their way into the village and asked them, where I could find the rest area and a washroom. They told me, that the CO-OP has a washroom and asked me to follow them with my car. So I did. Afterwards I continued to Saskatoon.
More photos of Dundurn you can see buy clicking the link photographs.
Saskatoon (16th June)
The light for the engine was shining again as soon as I started the engine. I was going further anyway, but did not drive more than 90 km/h. The engine had a good sound and I hoped for the best. After a short stop somewhere at a “Tim Hortens” for a coffee and the washroom, the light turned not on again.
In the outskirts of Saskatoon the road signs were clear and showed also the way to the city centre. Arriving at the city, immediately I found a big car park. It was raining and the car park was very muddy, but I had only to pay 10 CAD / day (not 24 hours). My credit card was accepted here, which made it easy for me. I liked this city from the first moment, even it was raining most of the time. By the way, Saskatoon has more inhabitants than Regina, but does not feel so big by the excellent traffic / road planning. The city is situated at the South Saskatchewan river, which gives it a part of its charm.
From the car park it was easy to find the city centre as well as the public library (after asking people, how to come there). I found the library very useful and the staff service minded. I charged and used my tablet and surfed for hearing aid shops, because I had lost that little plastic part, which made it comfortable to have it in the ear. When I left the library it was not raining anymore.
Unfortunately I did not find the shop, even I was very close. Therefore I tried with another one, but did not pay attention to, that the streets have the addition N (north) and S (south) respectively E and W. I walked the wrong part of a street. When I was aware of it, I walked the whole street back and also in the other direction. Finally I found what I was looking for. Unfortunately I could not be helped, but was asked to go to the shop I first had chosen. I also have got an explanation, how to find it. I was there around 15 minutes later, but the shop was already closed.
On my way back to the car I passed a shop, selling old records. I would have liked to search “Freddy Quinn records”, but even this shop was closed now. It was only 5:10pm at this moment. I remembered, that I had seen the text “SASKATOON SHINES” on a transparent and tried to get a photograph of it, but did not find it anymore. I continued on my way back to the car park, took a meal out of my car and went to a bench close to it. While eating I became interested in a monument with a native, though I looked at it after I had finished my meal. Actually it was a sculpture of two persons, both founders of Saskatoon – the Native as the first one and a settler as the second one.
I walked down to the riverside and was positive surprised. At the river bank is a kind of park with a sculpture of the Saskatchewan River and surrounding provinces (see photo “Saskatoon – Art). I spent around an hour at the place before I was going back to my car and continued north, looking for a place to stay during the night.
For more photos about Saskatoon click on photographs.
It was still daylight, though it did not matter for me, that I did not find a place to stay over night for a couple of hours. My destination was the town “Lake Lenore”, but I was expected the upcoming day. I came very close to that place this evening. In Humboldt I took a rest. By the way, the town is called after the German scientist. I looked for the museum and found it, but it was closed. I continued to walk around in this part of the city and really enjoyed my walk, because the murals and the old houses. This part of the town was so unlike the most of the settlements in New Zealand, Australia and even Canada, which I have seen before.
Humboldt also has a campground, but I did not want to pay a lot of money again for maybe bad service.
For more photos about Humboldt click on photographs.
Therefore I continued to Muenster. If you are surprised about the German names for the places, I can tell you, that into this greater area many German settlers has arrived and their grandchildren and grand-grandchildren are still living here. In the little village I found a nice place, surrounded by trees, close to the railway station. A hotel was situated on the other side of the road not far away, where I parked, but that hotel looked very shabby.
Lake Lenore (17th June to 2nd July)
I had a good sleep even this night, but did not fell asleep before midnight. The guests of the hotel were too noisy. Next morning (17th June) I awoke by the horn of a goods train, but I was still so tired, I did not realise, the noise came from the rails. I thought, I did not park at the side of the street, but in the middle. I was happy to discover, that it was not the case. I did get ready and started to drive in the direction of Lake Lenore. My upcoming host had sent me the directions to the farm and it was very easy to find my way by them. I had announced earlier, that I will arrive around high noon, though I was waiting outside the farm on the road. About an hour later the husband of my host came on their driveway and eventually saw me and my car. He welcomed me and asked me to come in. I was offered a cup of coffee and breakfast. That was a great start!
Ellie, my host and her husband Louis have both German backgrounds. She is 73 years old, but still going really strong. She did not look like I had imagined by all the emails she had sent me before. I was positive surprised. Anyway her German behaviour was still very strong.
Until dinner (lunch) we talked and got to know each other. So we did, when Ellie cooked the dinner. During the afternoon she first showed me her gardens, thereafter we were weeding together for an hour and after that I had to pick the flowers with its stems of the garlic. Later on I had to cook green asparagus and freeze it as well as to cut the garlic stems (without the flowers), putting small portions of it in small freezer bags and freeze them. The supper (dinner) was the same food as the dinner. Ellie loves to cook a lot at the same time, though there is food for three days. She does not like to spend time in the kitchen, she prefers to work in her garden.
In the evening I got their wi-fi password and I checked my emails for the last days. The Hi-hostel in Montreal had scanned and sent me my insurance policy, which was addressed to them. I read all the text, got confused and tired and was going to sleep directly after I had read it, because I was very tired. It felt good with the bed in the nice room. It was one of four, I had to choose from. Ellie and her husband has a big house. I also had asked her before, when she expects me to be up in the morning and she told me, that they usually are up around 8am – a very suitable time for me as well.
The following day I called the hospital in Humboldt, because I have to see a doctor for a prescription of my thyroid medicine. I still have the one from Australia, but I could not have it chilled all the time, though I cannot use it anymore. I did not think about, that it was Saturday. I had to try one more time on the upcoming Monday.
I also cooked after Ellie’s recipe a meal with Quinoa and rosted winter veggies. It was delicious, therefore I asked for the recipe and got a print out. Also this cook was enough for several days. Even this day we were weeding together for a while, but first I hade to take the duck tape of some trees. Even this day we had the same food for supper as for dinner, but also left overs from the day before. During the day we also talked about, which activities are possible during the winter time in this part of Canada. Ellie told me, that she was cross-country skiing before, but does not do it anymore because the bears and the cougars in the area.
The evening I took off again. I was in “my” room and on the Internet, charged my mp3-player and me camera. I updated my profile on helpx and tried to find a new host instead for the one, who cancelled.
Sunday 19th I followed Ellie and Louis to the Catholic church. Actually I first told them, that I was not interested in, but Ellie explained, that it will be a gathering after the service with coffee and cakes / cookies (what we call kyrkkaffe in Sweden). I was interested in this tradition and changed my mind. I also have been told, that the priest is from Ghana. He used a microphone during the mess. His preaching was short. – The coffee table was amazing, I would have liked to test all the cookies, but chose only a few. It was free to donate money for the cookies. However I did not see the priest and asked Ellie for him. She told me, that he has two more churches and with that two more services. One at 11am and the other one at 5pm.
Back on the farm, I should have helped Ellie with the garden, but a thunderstorm with hail did change the plan. This day I had to cook chops, cutlets and slices of beef. When I had done that, Ellie put them in a roaster and cooked them three(!) hours in the oven. These were then served with left overs from the days before, but also beetroot and new potatoes.
One of Ellie and Louis sons with wife and their four children visited this evening. Afterwards I was reading and Ellie cutting apple “leather”. This is cooked of apple like jelly, but dried and like an A4-sheet. People eat it as sweets. I have got a stripe, though I could taste it. It’s not bad, but nothing either I will long for. While talking about food, I have to talk about Saskatoons, which I sometimes have got canned as a dessert. Saskatoons are originally wild berries.
Monday morning (20th June) I called the “hospital” (a polyclinic) in Humboldt and ask for to see a doctor for a new prescription of my thyroid medicine. I could choose between an appointment this or the upcoming day. I chose the second opportunity, because I could follow Ellie and Louis to Humboldt. Around 10 o’clock I had to work outside, clearing undergrowth. Afterwards I cooked the Swedish meal “pytt-i-panna”, a dish of left overs with potatoes, onion, ham (or other meat) or sausages as well as a pan-fried egg (fried from both sides) and beets as a side dish.
In the afternoon I cleaned the guest apartment above the shop (shed) including washing and drying of the sheets and towels. This evening I was really tired! Ellie dit serve the supper and I took a short walk afterwards. I was walking on the gravel road in between the fields. There were lots of mosquitoes and even black dragon flies. Fortunately I did not get any mosquito bite. Back at the farm I read the rest of the pages of the book and was then on the Internet as well a s I wrote my notes for the day.
Tuesday morning we were going to Humboldt in my host’s car. Louis left at the hospital and Ellie was going further with me to the medical clinic and helped me with the procedure. I met doctor T. David, who gave me a prescription for a whole year. The cost for the visit of the doctor was only 35 CAD. At the pharmacy I had to pay 16.20 CAD for a three month withdrawal. Ellie told me, that she pays 12 CAD for the same medicine for the same period. I think, that is OK, because as a visitor I do not pay anything to the Canadian health system. Meanwhile I was at the Pharmacy, Ellie was buying food. Afterwards we were going to the hospital again to pick up Louis. Furthermore I have got the battery of my watch changed in a shop for electronics. Would Ellie have not been in there for her watch, I had not got to know, where to do it.
The rest of the day I helped Ellie for a short while in the garden and vacuum cleaned the house. They have the vacuum cleaner I was looking at and dreaming about, when I lived with my children in Malmö, but never could afford. The motor and a big box for the dust is e.g. in the basement and you only have a long suction tube with the respective nozzle on each floor of the house. Therefore it is no need to move a heavy motor. I loved her vacuum cleaner!
It is a new day, but one on which both Ellie and me slept longer as usual. It was a really warm one, with up to +27°C. I was happy about, to finally have the summer feeling. We ate a soup this day, coming out of the freezer and with ingredients from the fridge for both dinner and supper. During the day I lined up old cans on strings, which had been around the small cabbage plants and hanged them in trees. I did not do other jobs outside this day, because the heat, though I continued reading a book about nutrition, which Ellie had ordered from the library.
The 23rd I sorted bags for reuse in the basement. A job Ellie never gets time for, but will make it much easier for her, when the time for harvest is coming. I had to sort it for different kinds of potatoes, beets, carrots and the farmer’s market. I also washed and sorted carrots for the upcoming farmer’s market.
On Friday we prepared more vegetables for the farmer’s market and Ellie told me, how much she appreciate my help. This day we had the first fresh lettuce from her garden – and it was a big one ☺.
This Saturday it was raining, though the farmer’s market was in-house – in the community hall. It was one of the few days I had to activate my alarm clock on my tablet, because we had to leave the farm at 8am. The farmer’s market was from 9am to high noon. There were only four farmers selling their vegetables, eggs, bread, cakes and cookies as well as homemade jams and needlework.
One of the farmers also offered Currywurst with bread as a snack. Ellie was the only one, who already had new potatoes. She sold 1 lbs for 5 CAD and people bought it. She sold all her new potatoes (ca 14 lbs) and all her eggs. Her income this day was 203 CAD, all costs paid (the place for the table was for 5 CAD). Most of her income she spent for the weekly shopping for the household, but she also took a look at the “Good Neighbours”, a second-hand shop in Humboldt.
Myself bought a 6-pack of “butter-cookies” (filled with brown sugar and raisins) for 3 CAD of her friend Gary and a kitchen towel for 5 CAD of her friend Heather. At “Good Neighbours” I bought a towel for 0.75 CAD and a tea towel for 0.25 CAD.
Back on the farm we had dinner. After that I washed, sorted and put eggs in boxes – which I, by the way, did everyday. In addition to that I did the dishes and vacuum cleaned the first floor. Ellie and me had a chat before supper, too. The evening I spent by my own as usual and used the Internet for twitter and my blog.
On Sunday it was raining all the time. The temperature was +18°C in the morning, but decreased to +12°C in the evening. I did not follow Ellie and Louis to the church, I showered instead and took care of me. It was a good feeling, to have time for myself, without anyone could disturb me. I had time off until high noon and used it to upload my photographs on Google photo. I also saved them in different albums.
After an early dinner we drove to Rosthern Junior College for the graduation ceremony of Ellie’s and Louis’ grandson Nicolas. The ceremony was held in the school’s gymnasium. It was interesting to see and hear, but at the whole it reminded me on my last day at school. The ceremony took place from 2:30pm until 4pm. Even this college is a Christian one, dance was held in the evening after dinner. By the way: Louis was driving hwy 20 and it was the worst road I ever have seen. It was not better than a track across the fields. Saskatchewan has no many highways in good conditions, but lots of the bad ones. Actually it is just Saskatchewan, which has the worst roads of Canada.
On the way back to the farm, Louis drove another way, which gave us also the opportunity to visit their’s daughter with family. They have two children – a daughter and a son. We were offered supper (Ellie invited us 😯). As a dessert we could enjoy a music session with the granddaughter playing the violin and her mother the piano. They played wonderful. To early we had to leave – I could have listened for hours. Well back “home” I was spending the rest of the evening in “my” room, uploading some of my photos onto my blog.
Even this Monday we had rain all the day and the temperature did not go up. Ellie was the cook and I her sue-chef this day. She enjoyed it. Furthermore I took care about the eggs and was vacuum cleaning. At TV we have got informed, that the employees of Canada Post will go ut in strike from the upcoming Saturday.
I did clean the windows from the inside during the afternoon and even prepared the supper. It became late that night for me. I had problems to fall asleep and was on the Internet until 3am on Tuesday morning.
Tuesday (28th June) I was going by my car to Canada Post for sending a couple of postcards and a parcel. I should have done that before, but did not have the opportunity, when the post office was open. I hoped, that my things will leave the country before the strike. When I came back with my car I parked it at the same spot it had been before all the time.
We had Ellie’s special meatballs for dinner – and beets. Ellie puts celery, onion and garlic in her meatballs of 100% beef. She has no bread or bread crumbs in it. I do not remember, if she uses egg. She seasons with salt, pepper and more. Her meatballs have the size of ice cream balls – she uses respective tool and told me then, that she does not make them bigger, because her grandchildren would otherwise eat too much. I explained, how we do meatballs in Sweden and what size they have.
After dinner Ellie asked me for help with making labels and business cards with help of her computer. I did them in MS Word for her, using tables, because she has neither special software for it nor MS Publisher. I had to show and explain every step to her and she was writing down “how to”. Actually I had to figure out some steps, because she has the newest software on her computer and I have not worked with MS tables for years. Privately I use “Open Office” and at work on Malta, we only wrote emails.
This Wednesday the soil in the garden was still too wet, though Ellie asked me for more computer lessons, which I was happy to help her with the entire day, but the vacuum cleaning before supper as well as cooking the potatoes.
After supper I walked to the lake “Lake Lenore”, because I told my host, I could not leave them without have being at the lake. It was quite far to walk (ca. 6km), but I was not walking for some days, though it was good not to take the car. While finding the way to the lake, I have seen one of these very long Canadian goods trains. They drive with two locomotives in the front, one forward and the other one backwards – they are both pulling the wagons, of course. When I finally reached the lake, I was disappointed, because there was only a dirty, very small little beach. I had to turn around and go back very soon for coming back as long as it was daylight. The small highways have no lights and I did not take a flash light with me. On my way back to the farm I saw a beautiful sunset.
Thursday came and left. During the day I helped Ellie one more time with the computer and with the cooking as well as I thinned apples, which means: When there were to many apples close to each other on the tree, I picked one or two of them, though the left apple could grow better and had space enough to become really big.
During supper Louis asked me, if I was interested in, to see the West side of the lake. He had to see his cattle, close to it. I was surprised about his offer. He usually did not care about me, but happy to follow him. He was not only driving down to the lake and to his cattle, he also was driving an extra mile in the hope to show me one or another moose, but we only have seen deer. Canada or almost Saskatchewan and the East of Alberta has quite a lot of them. Once we had one in the garden. That time Ellie went outside, followed by me, because she was afraid that the deer will eat her cabbage. I clapped my hands and the deer disappeared. Afterwards I regret, that I did not take a photo of it, before clapping my hands. The deer in this area have a white tail, which makes them very pretty.
Friday, 1st July was not a lucky day for me, even it started well. Before dinner I washed and packed the eggs like every day as well as I weighted and packed new potatoes for the farmers market. I had the afternoon off and weighted and packed beets and carrots in the evening.
Ellie had to go to a neighbour around 7:30, they had to prepare the cakes and cookies for the upcoming Sunday at church. As usual in Canada, she took the car. I was still packing carrots, when Ellie came in again, totally distraught. First he told her husband: “I backed into Dorothee’s car”, then she came to me and told me, nearly crying: “Dorothee, I backed into your car”. I could not really believe and imagine, what had happen until I went out and looked at my car (see photo below). She had not only backed into my car, she had also pushed it almost 75cm.
Ellie told me, that she was looking in the hindsight and did not see any car or other obstacle, though she drove backwards and turned around. She neither looked for another time in the hindsight nor did she turn around her head, she told me, when I asked her. She did tell me, that she no longer can turn around her head. I asked her, if she had not learned in the driving school, how to move a car backwards and she answered, she had not, which surprised me. Later she told me, that she had backed into their semi-trailer a year ago. Louis was not happy about the new accident, of course, neither was I. He told me, that Ellie should not drive anymore and I agreed. Later on Ellie told me, she should take a new driving test. The accident she reported by the Internet to her car insurance company (SGI = Saskatchewan General Insurance), but she could not get personally in touch with an assistant. It was not only Friday night, but also a public holiday (Canada Day). By the way during the weekend nothing happened in this case. Though we decided together, that I will go further as planned. I felt, I could not let my new host wait for me. I was happy, that she had replied and offered me to come to her, even I asked her only some days ago. Ellie told me, that she might have backed in my car, because she would have liked to have me staying. – Before I fell asleep, I updated my blog by writing about my visit of Ottawa.
Saturday was farmer’s market again and I felt, I should help her one more time. Therefore I had decided to drive to my new host in the afternoon. Ellie told me, when we were going to the farmers market, that she should check her eyes, because she had difficulties to see all things well. On our way, I asked her, if she had seen the mouse (vole), which was running across the little highway. She had not, but told me, that she had seen the bird, whereupon I answered, that I have seen them both. I got really scared to go with her by car.
It was not raining this Saturday, therefore the stalls had their tables outside the community hall, but it became so windy, that I had to hold the parasol. Even Ellie had more new potatoes this time, but at the same price as last week, she sold them out. She was not so lucky with the eggs at this time, but her friend Gary took the “left over” with him, to sell them for her in Saskatoon. I bought a package of six cinnamon buns, to compare them with our Swedish ones (the Canadian are backed with potatoes and therefore not so fluffy at all – even in Canada you cannot buy “granulated sugar of the kind, we have in Sweden, though their buns have icing) and a six-pack of Brownies, which I tasted before and loved them.
Ellie was shopping at Extra Food, before we went back to the farm. While she was preparing the dinner I packed all my belongings and put them in my damaged car. We took good-bye after the dinner and I started on my 3-hours trip to the town called Hudson Bay using the hwys 368 – 41 and 3. Even my new host, Brenda, had sent me good directions to their farm from Hudson Bay, I had to go back to the town twice, before I finally found their home.
For more photos of Lake Lenore click on photographs.
Hudson Bay (2nd to 17th July)
It was a special situation, when I came to them, because they were refurbishing their kitchen. Though I first saw a mess, but I was also sure, that I was needed. I was very welcomed of Brenda and her husband Warren. They already had a helper staying with them, but she was on her way to take two weeks off. She had been there for some month already and will come back and stay for some more weeks. Elisa, a young woman from the French area of Switzerland, was only staying with Brenda and Warren as a helper. She had tried once to come into Canada, but for seven month and she was denied, because she did not have a working visa – even the helpx-helper does not paid work. Elisa had a room in the house, therefore I had to sleep in a camper trailer. It gave me more privacy, but I had to go into the house for the toilet. Warren provided me with lights throughout the garden and a flash light. I also have been told, that the house, as it is, had started with a camping trailer and was extended more and more. The remaining problem is the insurance, because the house is still classified as a trailer. Warren and Brenda have a hobby farm with horses, pigs and chickens. In addition to that there are living to cats (outside) and four dogs (two in-house, two outside) with them.
The evening we went to a barn dance. It was quite similar to our Swedish “logdans”, even the dances were – mainly Waltz, Polka and Schottische (see videos on YouTube). The big difference to the Swedish one was, that it was not commercial. The owner of the barn organised it for free and the bands were people, who are happy to play music. There are lots of them in the area I have been told. There were some groups, which dit all play for a while (after each other). The guy with the guitar, who sings (in the first video) is Warren. The barn dance at this place is only held once a year, though Brenda asked me to come to her already that day – and not as planned, the day after.
Brenda and Warren had bought used kitchen cupboards, though I cleaned them the next day (Sunday 3rd July). Neither Brenda nor me could understand how people could sell their cupboards so dirty. We would have been ashamed. I also followed her on a short trip to the Town of Hudson Bay for picking up Chinese food, which was pre-ordered, because it was not possible to use the kitchen for the moment. In the evening I wrote my reference for Ellie on the helpx-site. I did not mention the car accident – she did not do it with purpose.
Monday, 4th July It was raining and Warren, who is a farmer helper, took a day of for continuing with the kitchen. He had to demolish a wall and build a new one for the cupboards to hang. Elisa helped him with that – and learned a lot! I was asked to clean the bathroom, but the toilet. Brenda explained, that she never asked any helper, to clean the toilet – that she has to do that by herself. I cleaned all the things of the bathroom, which needed it, though also the walls. They are painted in a dark-red colour and the dust was very clear to see. In the afternoon she asked me about it, because I did spend a lot of time with the cleaning and told me, she had meant the bathtub and the sink. Anyway she was happy about my good work. I also did paint a wall before I followed Brenda to the Town of Hudson Bay for shopping groceries and visiting her girlfriend Denise. In addition to that I have got the opportunity to make a print out at the library. Later this day I hand-washed the dishes, because the dishwasher was not working at this time.
In the evening I have got an answer from a host (farmer) outside Provost, province of Alberta, that I am welcome to his home further on. Furthermore I did get an email from Ellie about the insurance process belonging to the car accident described earlier. It seemed to be very complicated – and I can already tell you, it was. I wrote these lines 31st July and I have not got the money at this date (but it is on its way). If I will get time enough, I also will describe the whole process on the entry-site for Canada.
The following day I was awoken very early in the morning by the car, Warren was driving to work with. The muffler needs to be changed! Luckily I fell asleep again. The usual time for breakfast was between 8am and 9am.
After breakfast I was painting walls again, only interrupted by feeding the chickens. Unfortunately I did get some paint on my t-shirt as well as on my trousers by holding the tray in one hand and painting with the other hand, because there was no place for the tray close to, where I was painting. The paint was water based and I hoped, my clothes will be clean again after a washing, but that was not the case. The reason may has been, that I did not directly wash them.
After dinner (lunch) I cleaned two more cupboards and was painting again. Brenda took a nap (she is not very healthy and dependent on helpers) in the afternoon and I a rest, because I could not help anymore without wake her up. By the way: We even spent the evenings together. Mostly we were watching TV. There was nothing special to do during the evenings. Even the wi-fi was limited and I could not update my blog. I think, I also have to name that Brenda read a prayer before every meal, while we hold each others hands, but it seemed, they are no church goers.
Even that Wednesday I cleaned a couple of cupboards and painted. I also washed some extra dishes, the ones which did not have space in any cupboards during the refurbishment, but now were put back into one. We had some thunderstorms this day with lots of rain and reduced temperature. It became chilly. If I remember right, the heat – by the AC – was on.
Brenda put my clothes with the paint on into the washing machine during the evening. Furthermore we were talking about my planned route and she told me, that I should see Medicine Hat and Lethbridge as well as Drumheller.
Thursday, 7th July, we left for Regina. Brenda is interested in to show her helpers as much as possible of the Canadian culture and she was happy, that I as well as Elisa were following her to her mother, her sons and her friends. She also had to visit a doctor in Regina, where she had lived for 30 years. I was happy about this opportunity, because I had seen way to little of the city. By this I came in-house in an apartment for elderly people and I saw one more time, that this part of Canada is not very different to Sweden. It is a six-hours-ride from the Town of Hudson Bay to Regina, though Brenda was happy, that Elisa was driving part of it.
We already met Brenda’s son Mack at her mother’s home and did meet him again at Brenda’s girlfriend Jamie’s home, where we had supper and also stayed during the nights. Here Mack’s girlfriend Chandra showed up, too. The house is in a very well maintained area and itself looks like a big doll house or a house in a fairytale. I only have seen once a similar house before, actually in Sweden. The specialties were all these small things like the (artificial) blue flowers, picture frames, art, curtains and table-cloth as well as the big clock on the wall (only the numbers and the hands shown) and the perfect white walls. The basement actually was more looking like a living area. One of Brenda’s brothers rented a room there. There was another bedroom, where Elisa slept during our visit and me the last night, when Elisa already had left for Montreal. The first two nights I slept on a not very comfortable couch in the living area downstairs. By the way: Brenda provided us with all the meals we had, when we were not invited somewhere else, even the meals during the around 6 hours long drives.
Friday was the day for Brenda’s visit at the doctor, but we were up early and she took me to the SGI (Saskatchewan General Insurance) as well as she was my spokesperson, because it is neither easy to understand the rules nor to explain for the x-time, what happened. I had got the file number for Ellie’s file for the accident, but that dit not help. The office assistant had to open a file for me, too, even I was not a customer of the SGI. Some way they linked both files to each other, when the registration was done. Ellie had provided the SGI with the whole story and some photos, but I had to tell it from scratch and even to show my photo, because I was not coming by my car. We had tried to reach the assistant before by phone – we now met in Regina, but she never called back, even we left a message. This assistant was talking a lot about her children, which of course had nothing to do with my case. At the end she made an appointment with an appraiser at Nick’s Auto Shop in the Town of Hudson Bay on my behalf. It was for the upcoming Thursday at 11:30am, because that person comes not often to Hudson Bay.
We were just in time for Brendas doctor. Meanwhile I had to wait in the waiting area, Brenda took Elisa with her into the audience, because Elisa had been with Brenda for a long time and could give the doctor useful information. This visit went well and we were off to get something to eat close there. It was a big shopping mall and I was to my phone and data provider “Rogers” to pay for my plan. I had never got a bill. They told me, that the bills were sent. Anyway I paid for the time I had this number and even including the bill of July, though next time I have to pay is 19th August. After the meal at a “BBQ”, where I ate a hot potato, we visited Brendas mother again. She is 84 years old and has no help, but her relatives and a neighbour. She had baked a lemon pie the day before and offered it now. Brenda asked me to cut off as much as I want, though I did, but joked, that I will take the big piece. Thereafter it was Elisa’s turn and even she had not seen, what I was doing, she pretended to take the whole part, which was left. I thanked for the pie by making the dishes. While I was at Jamie’s for the rest of the day, Brenda was with Elisa to a French restaurant, having some time together.
Before supper Jamie, Brenda and me played cards. The game was new for me, but I won once or even two times. Too early the game was over and it was around 6pm and time for supper. We finished the day by watching a football (rugby) game on TV, with a Saskatchewan team. Down in the basement I used the Internet for my blog, but I did not come far with it. I was too tired.
9th July Jamie, Brenda and Elisa were up in the middle of the night for Elisas flight to Montreal, though Jamie and Brenda slept a little longer, when they were back. I awoke to an empty kitchen. Around 10am we left, together with Brenda’s brother Wayne and by his car to visit Brenda’s other son (Zack) with family. On the way, they bought some fruit as a gift and additionally to the brunch, we were invited to. Zack and his wife has two children, a 12-year old son and a 5-year old daughter. The household also includes two dogs – a big one and a little one. Both are allowed to be in the house and are very well-trained. For brunch we have got scrambled egg, bacon, ham, sausages and toast as well as watermelon – with other words almost an English breakfast, but the watermelon – the baked beans were missing. Calling it a brunch was a little incorrect. Anyway I was full when we left again.
For the afternoon I have got a ride to the RCMP Heritage Centre. I had been interested in it before, but was too late in Regina as well as I did not find a place to stay overnight. Though I was grateful about this opportunity. The museum was much smaller than I expected, but it was very interesting. I spent a couple of hours there and looked at the souvenirs afterwards. I found different things I liked, but not the prices. Some of the items also were too bulky. When I finished I called Brenda as agreed and Jamie and she came and picked me up.
You can see more photos by the link for Regina photographs.
I had also been interested in to go downtown = to the city centre, but both Brenda and Jamie told me, I should not, because it would not be nice looking there and there would be mostly Natives, who are socially not well-integrated.
This evening we had a BBQ at Jamie’s place with ham, potato salad, left over vegetables and black olives in slices. The dessert was delicious. It was a kind of pie with orange ripple mousse. We were going to Brenda’s mum with some of the left over and also said goodbye to her for this time. Back at Jamie’s we cleaned Brenda’s car from the inside and even the trunk (Jamie did the main work). I was already to bed at 9pm, enjoying that I had not to sleep another night on the couch.
On Sunday (10th) Brenda and me drove back to the Town of Hudson Bay. Brenda was happy, that even I have a driver’s license and could take turns with her, because she got tired. We also had the granddaughter with us. Arriving at Brenda’s home I was negative surprised by seeing, that Warren nearly had done anything more with the kitchen. He even had not made the dishes, though I put them in the dish washer. I was already over to the camper around 9pm, but did not fall asleep before midnight.
On Monday morning we had a late breakfast, even I was up and in the kitchen at 8am as usual, but both Warren and Brenda as well as the granddaughter were still asleep. I was very hungry, when we finally had breakfast. Afterwards I made dishes again, then we were going to the Town of Hudson Bay for shopping. Brenda also was going to the Pharmacy. Back home Brenda made these thick pancakes, which seems to be common in the British Commonwealth. This was the only time the granddaughter was happy in a meal. All the other times she ate alarming little.
I think I have never done so much dishes at a host as this day. It was depending on, that lots of it had to be put in the new or moved to other cupboards. I also put lots of empty cans in a cupboard. We experienced a really heavy thunderstorm during the afternoon and it was raining off and on. After supper there were more dishes to do for me. Anyway I was back in the camper at 9:30pm and switched off the light at 11:30pm.
The next morning it was still raining and it continued most of the day. Brenda had to use her boots to go to the animals for feeding them and when she picked potatoes and salad in her garden. When it is raining, it also is chilly, though I was wearing my cardigan all the time. In the middle of the day, we went to the Town of Hudson Bay again for picking up Brenda’s medicine and some other items. I stayed with the granddaughter in the car meanwhile Brenda was in the shops. That saved time. After supper we were watching the movie Tarzan all together. I left the house for the camper directly afterwards.
Wednesday 13th I awoke after a bad night. I had to go and pee every second hour or more often and did not fall asleep before 4am. Even this time we went to town again. This time for a long brush for cleaning the floor and water filters. The water for the house is coming from a well and contains lots of iron (as usual in Canada) and maybe other impurities. Later this day I scrubbed the floor with the long brush, but it was not possible to get off the paint spots, though I had to go on my knees and use foaming soap wool. Brenda helped me and after a while, most of the colour was gone, but we missed a few spots (I cleaned the following day). In the afternoon her girlfriend Nancy was visiting. She had bought donuts and strawberry cream filled rolls with her. She also made her laundry at Brenda’s home, because Nancy moved shortly and her washing machine was not working yet. I fell asleep in an armchair in the late afternoon and finally went to bed already at 8pm.
Thursday, 14th was coming. I have been longing for this day because I had the appointment for the appraiser, though I drove to Nick’s Auto Shop with my car and Brenda drove in front of me with her car. She knew, where to find the Auto Shop. The appraiser was a nice and pretty woman. She checked my car, what it was still worth, noted all the mess (rust, missing seats etc.), checked the price of new doors and if there are used ones available at a scrap yard and told me, that they are not as well as the doors would cost 3.800 CAD together, though she told me, that the car is a total loss and she will offer me some money for it. She had to go to her office for that and assured me to be back by email, but told me, that the car is only worth around 1.000 CAD in the shape it is. I told her, that I need the car and that I have bought it only a couple of weeks ago for 2.000 CAD as well as about the repair. I took my car with me again, because I did neither have got a final offer nor signed anything. I was also allowed to drive the car wherever I want.
This done, we drove to the supermarket, where I even parked my car. We were going further to the farmer’s market, always held in the community hall, by Brenda’s car and ate a meal as well as a piece of cake afterwards. Brenda did pay for it, even I tried to pay for mine. There were no many stalls either, but dinner was served. The hall was in addition to the farmer’s market also used for weddings, funerals and Bingo, but not at the same time.
In the afternoon Brenda called the SGI for me again, asking if I have to leave the car in Saskatchewan etc. The assistant told her at the end of the call, that she will send me an email, though I was awaiting an email with the answers for my questions, but she only wrote, that I should call her. Disappointed I did not. I did help Brenda instead with some more cleaning – especially dusting of knick-knacks.
During the late afternoon we have seen two deer close to the house, but not close enough for taking photographs. Actually I tried, but the deer was moving and I had to delete the photos again because of poor quality. In the evening we watched a movie about a girl with an unusual disease, who had an accident, died, met God, was alive again and healthy. It is said, that the movie was based on a true story.
Friday morning eventually the sun was shining again, though I took photographs of the farm, but could neither go close to the pigs nor close at all to the horses. There were pools everywhere and too deep for my hiking shoes. I cleaned a little more and made the dishes before I chatted on Skype with my daughter Maria. I was happy to get in touch with her again, because she had not replied to my emails for a while. She told me, that she had been in Amsterdam for holidays together with her boyfriend and did not have wi-fi during this period.
Brenda and her granddaughter slept for a while during the afternoon, though I watched TV. In the evening I followed Warren to a private music revival, where he was playing guitar. Unfortunately there was an entrance fee to pay. Neither Warren nor me had taken money with us, though it was noted down on a sheet of paper, we got our ribbons and were welcomed. Warren has got a t-shirt, because he was one of the musicians. It took a while before he and the other musicians could play, because there was trouble with the electric for the speakers. We went already home, when he had done his part. Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me, therefore I cannot provide photos.
Also on Saturday 16th the sun was shining all the day and it was around +22°C. I cleaned the garbage bucket and the fridge. I just had finished it, when Brenda, me and her granddaughter were going to Yorkton (halfway to Regina) for leaving the girl to her parents and taking her brother with us to Brenda’s home. In Yorkton Brenda’s son and wife invited us for dinner at a restaurant. Brenda was happy about the switch, because she will be without a helper for a week and her grandson will make the time easier for her. He is already a good farmer’s helper. When he cares about the animals, Brenda can concentrate on the household, which is just what she can manage. Both household and animals together is too much for her because her poor health.
Coming back to Hudson Bay we directly drove to the music revival, which still was ongoing. Warren was going there earlier, because he was asked to play again. Unfortunately his session was already over, when we arrived. I had taken money with me for the entrance fee, but Warren already had paid the one from the evening before and Brenda did pay the one for this evening, though I did go to the food car and bought my own meal (a cheeseburger for 5 CAD), feeling good for not letting them pay all for me. This evening it was mixed music. Every band respectively singer had its own favourites. There was country music as well as POP from the 1970:s to 1990:s. Some of the songs I knew. This time I remembered to take my camera with me and I took photographs as well as videos.
On the way home I had to drive the car, following the truck, Brenda was driving now – Warren had been coming with it, but was drinking beer, though he was not allowed to drive anymore this evening. We all had a snack at home, before going to bed.
Sunday 17th it was time for me to say goodbye. I was already awake at 7am, but breakfast was announced for 9am. I took a shower and swept the floor as well as I emptied the dishwasher before the others were awake. I packed my belongings and put them in my car meanwhile Brenda fed the animals. Actually it was said, that I may take a ride with one of the horses as well as by quad to the forest, but the rainy weather did not allow that. Brenda took therefore her last chance and was going with me by truck into the forest. There are only service roads and they are not signed – even that reminds me on Sweden. Service roads, not in use anymore, have become trails. Nobody unused to this forest should go into it without a guide, Brenda told me and I could see by myself, that she was right. She drove as far as she could come on one of the service roads in use. There was a barrier of soil and stones, which stopped us and Brenda explained, that these barriers are done by the companies with the deforestation rights. We could climb over the barrier, but it was not easy. We had to be careful not to slip. Brenda told me before, that there are wild bears and deer, of course, in the forest as well as wolf has been seen. Unfortunately we did not see other animals as insects and birds, but the poo from a bear told me, that wild bears really are living in this forest. In addition to that I have seen Saskatoon bushes as well as raspberry and wild strawberries (“smultron”). Furthermore I was close enough to tamarack trees, a typical Canadian needle tree, to feel its soft needles. I told Brenda, that the forest was like the picture I have in my mind of Canada, but a lake. Therefore she tried to give me the whole picture and started to drive to Ruby Lake. Unfortunately the road was flooded and closed, but I am sure I will get the whole picture somewhere else.
Back at her home, she provided me with sandwiches. We hugged, when I was leaving for my next adventure. She has been a wonderful host, walking the extra mile for me (car insurance and even that I could receive a big letter via the Esso Station in Hudson Bay because the Canada Post strike).
For more photos from Hudson Bay and surroundings click on photographs.
Preeceville to Hayter (Alberta) via Saskatoon (17th to 21st July)
My first destination was Preeceville, because there still was the Western Weekend ongoing. I read about it before and Brenda offered me to go there together, but I decided to visit the event on my way from Hudson Bay to Saskatoon. It is a two hours ride from Hudson Bay and Brenda and Warren had already offered me so much, though I would not make them more expenses for me. The trip to the forest had taken longer as planned, though I did start later as planned and missed the Chariot wagon race, I was interested in, because I never have seen such a race before. When I came a competition for horses and riders were ongoing. The challenge was to ride as fast as possible meanwhile the horses had to run in “Slalom”, riders were as young as 4 years old and as old as me, in different classes of course. A 8-year old guy impressed me, because he was riding really fast and without knocking down any barrier as well as he did that with different horses.
Afterwards there was a chuckwagon race. The different start lanes had different start points. At the start where barrels to surround, which was a real challenge for someone, others did it very fast. Anyway the chuckwagons on lane one (inner circle) always won. For better understanding I have to tell you, that only three wagons were starting at the same time and at the end the winners from the different races were competing. All the wagons did show advertising and I think, to be there was most important, even the winner was very happy about his price.
The Lions Club managed this special weekend from collecting the entrance fee to selling hamburgers. Unfortunately nobody seemed to be interested in a chat with strangers, though I left the area in time for a round of miniature golf. I had not found the sports ground for the event easily, but I found a lake with a great car park (useful for free camping), an official campground and the miniature golf. At the last-named I had ask for the event and got the directions. I have not played miniature golf for more than ten years. Some of the courses I did really well, but there were others I was really bad in, especially one I did not finish at all. It had a boom I could not force. The ball was to big underneath and I neither could lift it over nor push it so hard, that it would force the boom and roll underneath.
The miniature golf course were closing down and only waiting for me to finish. It was still daylight and I felt it was still to early for a place for the night, though I left Preeceville in the direction to Melville.
For more photos about Preeceville and the Western Weekend click on photographs.
For my short videos on YouTube click on horse riding and/or chuck wagon race.
My closer destination was the Good Spirit Lake area with its campground. When I arrived it was already dark and around 10pm. At the entrance for the campground was a sign stating that latecomers have to use the overflow camping and pay the next day. It was a quite long drive to that place as well as there were no lights, no electricity and no water in the area, only a loo. When I came a group of young people had a party, but I did not hear them at the place I parked.
For photos click on photographs!
Monday, 18th July: I actually slept until 8:45am, used the loo and hoped to find a washroom on my way out. The one I finally found, was in the office, where I paid the fee. The amount was 16 CAD, the entrance fee for the provincial park included. I was allowed to use the washroom, too. I drove via Springside to Melville, using the smaller highways. Unfortunately these smaller highways were in bad conditions with broken pavement and holes. Somewhere on my way I bought a cup of coffee. In Willowbrook I was aware an orthodox, probably Ukrainian , church, which made me stop, taking a photo. I did not see many people in the village, but an old woman. I thought, she was on her way to the church, but she was not.
Melville surprised me with a real tourist information. The assistant was very service minded.
That was one of the reasons, that I visited the Melville heritage site (museum) and I was happy about it, because it contains so many items and also some I never have seen before. Unfortunately the battery for my camera became exhausted, though I could neither take photographs of the sport department nor of the library. Every room in the house had interesting items and told about the history in an entertaining way. At least I also bought a souvenir: An old fashion cream can, with a painting of an elevator and a goods train. It is a little bulky, but I admire it.
For more photos from Melville – especially the museum – click on photographs.
From Melville I continued to Qu’Appelle. I had been coming through with Brenda before, but I had to go back to it for seeing the rolling hills one more time. I arrived in the afternoon and after a while I also found a tourist information, but it was closed and no opening hours stated. I asked at a gas station for the directions to the camping ground. Well there, I could read, that it was operated by the local Lions Club and I had to find a place as well as I had to wait there until between 6pm and 9pm, when someone will come and collect the fee. Close to the camping ground was an artificial fort and in another direction a lake with a swimming area as well as a water-play area. There were several washrooms and a note, that the public one will close between 10pm and 8am. Unfortunately there was not written, which one was the public one, though I had to ask for it, because I need an open one during the night.
This night I could not fall asleep, because I had not got any email from the appraiser, but I had got an email from Ellie, which made me wondering, because she told me, that I had to use a longer way than the one established and contact my insurance etc. I wrote her, that my insurance – only liability – has nothing to do with the case, because it was not my mistake at all. I found in an open building called kitchen, without water and barbecues, an electrical contact and was surfing the Internet (exactly Kijiji) for an other car, but without success. Around 1:30am I was to bed.
I awoke already by a strange lightening around 3am. I did not know if it was from a thunderstorm or a bushfire. When a car with a camper trailer left half an hour later, I left too. I was driving into the Echo Valley, but it seemed the light was coming from there, though I turned around and was driving in the direction of Regina. The lightening was coming from that direction, too, but now it started raining cats and dogs, therefore I went back to the camping ground and tried to sleep. I was successful and did not awake before 9am.
For more photos of the Qu’Appelle valley and the lake as well of Fort Qu’Appelle click on photographs.
Half an hour later I left for Saskatoon. On my way I did stop close to a village called “Mozart” taking a photo of an old pen.
I also called the appraiser, because I planned to leave my car in Saskatoon. My upcoming host would be close to the town on a campground, because he was going to attend an event for people working with agriculture the other day. It was really good timing, because I could put all my stuff in his camping trailer before leaving my car as well as I could visit another heritage site. I thought I might later on rent a car to go to Calgary. Anyway this afternoon I had to find a place for the night. I tried it close to the Heritage site “Wanuskewin”, but there was neither an official campground nor an opportunity for free camping. Though I continued on the same highway (hwy 11) to Warman where I found a campground close to the sports ground – on the other side bordering to a street with private homes. Actually campers were allowed to use the washroom from the sports ground. Not far away was a water play area with showers, which also were allowed to use as well as there were a couple of garbage bins in the area. There were only seven places and all seemed to be occupied by camper vans and camper trailers, which were staying for a longer period. I also recognised, that the last place already had a double occupation. There was a possibility to park close to the last camper van, which I did. I stayed in my car until the campers came to their RV and asked then, if they would mind me staying overnight so close to them. They did not and I was thankful, that I did not need to drive back to hwy 16 for a campground. Meanwhile I was waiting for the campers I had got access to free wi-fi, though I checked both my bank accounts, the visitor information for Warman and my maps. Since my tablet run out of charge, I ask for paper maps at the tourist information sites. I had in Melville already got a map for the province of Alberta and was looking for the place where Daren, my new host, is living and found, that he lives very close to the Saskatchewan border. Therefore I also could find the village Hayter on both maps. Furthermore Daren and me messaged each other and I knew, that all will be fine.
By the way this day was one of the few really hot days during my visit of Canada. I drove with open windows most of the day, even I drove around 100km/h most of the time. I also stopped at a picnic area, promising a washroom, but when I came there, I was so disappointed, because the toilet was full and very stinky, though I preferred to pee in the bushes. There were also a memorial at this place and I thought, the guy has deserved better.
For more photos of the memorial and picnic area click on photographs.
I did check the temperature at 7:30pm and it was still +27°C and it had been +29°C at 3pm. It became cloudy in the evening, though I was awaiting a thunderstorm, but there was none. The night was calm, even young couples were meeting at the sports ground.
The next morning (20th July) I drove to the Centennial Building and paid the fee for the camping. I explained, where I had been staying and that I neither used electricity nor water – it was not possible at my space. I hoped, I had not to pay the full fee, but I was wrong. I had to pay the full 24.15 CAD and I thought, if I ever would camp there again, I would not drive to the community hall and pay at all! I have never paid so much for an overnight stay at a camping ground and all of them had much better facilities and better views.
For photos from Warman and the campsite click on photographs.
Disappointed did I drive to the Wanuskewin Heritage Park. Anyway the weather was nice, sunny and warm for short sleeves, even it was a little windy – especially at the heritage park. Before I decided to visit this place, I was wondering if it might be too touristic. The only way to find that out, was to go there. Though I did and I can tell you, it was not at all, what I expected. It was much better! I really recommend you to go there, if you ever visit Canada. What was so special? It was the lack of all that items you usually find on a heritage site, even there were some artificial buffalo in the center of the building and a shop selling moccasins and other crafts, made by native people. There were two exhibition rooms and a theatre, but there was nothing ongoing in the theatre. One of the exhibitions showed photographs of Natives in their original dresses and the other one paintings of a native woman. She painted her family based on old photographs. Both exhibitions did not show a lot of their work, but were very interesting. The rest of the heritage was prairie, though the visitors had to leave the building and could follow different trails – most of the people are able to use the trails. On the sides of the trails, mostly at the beginning, there were items and information boards. On the top of the hill, most of us can understand why Natives lived here before. Here was all they needed and I could imagine that “Winnetou” 😉 could have been living here.
Back to the building I was just in time for a dance session of a young native woman and her 6-year-old daughter. The mother explained about the dances and more and told us more than once “like I understand it”. She was eager to carry on with the traditions and explained, that her mother has been one of all the children, who was taken from their parents by the settlers government and put into the Residential schools” where they were educated like the “church” believed, was the best for them. The native children lost their identity and became angry human beings. I have been wondering for some month – since I established the contact with my first host – what has gone wrong for the Natives, because lots of them are unemployed and drug and alcohol addicted and settlers warn against them. Actually there are also Natives, who work and are established, e.g. as teachers or businessmen, but we all know, that the negative examples always is paid more attention to.
See also my short video on YouTube: …Native Dance
By the way we were welcomed to participate in a dance and I was one of the first, who was doing it. I am always interested in other cultures and maybe it is the only time I was so close to the Natives. I also talked with the mother, because she told us, that she is a social worker, about the problem written about above, but before I queued for that photo with the Natives. To see this and more photos click on photographs.
In the afternoon I drove to the Camperland campsite on hwy 16, where Daren was with his trailer. I was officially allowed to park my car on his lot. Daren had another helper as company. His name is Marco and he is from Italy – not far away from the place in the province Marche, where I have been in April 2014. I emptied my car and put all my stuff in Daren’s trailer. A short time afterwards we were going to a truck and tractor pulling. It really was interesting to see it in real. Not many of the older tractors were able to pull the competition weight, a lot of them had to break, because the front wheels lost the contact with the ground. A Volvo (!) scraper was superior. It pulled the weight like nothing.
To see my short video on YouTube about the Tractor Pulling click on: Volvo
Quite late Daren was going with us by car into the city of Saskatoon, to a restaurant called Montana. It was Wednesday and the “All you can eat spareribs day”. Marco tried that and had a lot of different sauces to choose from. For every new serving he could choose another sauce. One of the more unusual things I have seen there, was the table-cloth of paper and the crayons, which one can use while waiting for the meal. Daren did know that of course, but for Marco as well as me it was new. We had never seen that before, but it is an idea to take home. Especially families with children will enjoy it, nevertheless we used it, too. By the way, the waitress wrote her name on it. – This night I was sleeping in Daren’s camping trailer.
The next day it was time to say goodbye to my car. In the morning I was the only one, who had breakfast. The boys did not need any. I was happy I still had yogurt and cereals. In the shop and reception I could buy a coffee and they provided me also with water for my bottle, but she had to go to the private area for that, because all the other taps only have warm water. I had not got an answer from the appraiser, when I was driving to the SGI office in Saskatoon. She only sent it that morning and I did not get it before I was talking with the assistant, who settled the claim with me. I was disappointed, because I only got 2.300 CAD – I had invested more than 3.000 CAD in it. Furthermore I have the costs of a new registration and insurance. I felt, that one always lose by dealing with insurances, especially for I had not caused the accident. I was given a cheque and asked, if I have to go to the bank named on the check. I have not had a check for over thirty years! The cheques I have got usually had the text on it “For accounting only”, but this had not. The assistant got the bright idea to make an e-accounting instead after she asked me, if I have e-accounting (Internet banking). I told her, that I have two such bank accounts, one in Sweden for Swedish Kronor and one on Malta for Euro. I asked her, if it really will work, even I do not have an account in Canada. She told me, she had sent money that way to Russia some weeks ago and it had been working. She paid the amount by e-accounting right during my visit. Finally I left the keys for the car to her, took my plate and left the SGI.
Daren and Marco visited a fair this day called AG-IN-MOTION. It was like the field days in Gore, NZ, I guess (see: dorotheeingreateroceania.wordpress.com/New_Zealand – choose “South Island” and scroll to Gore). We agreed, that I will try to go by bus to Langham and he will pick me up there. He also told me, if there is no bus or the fare would be high, he will anyway be in Saskatoon around 5pm and could pick me up there. From the SGI I went downtown looking for the bus station. When I finally found it and asked for the next bus to Langham, I have been told, that it will leave Saskatoon at 5:30pm, though I send a message to Daren and he replied, he will pick me up in Saskatoon at that time. I proposed to meet at the big car park between the Provincial Court and the river, because there is space enough to turn around for a truck with a camping trailer. He agreed to this meeting point.
I used the time to find the shop with hundreds of old records and was looking for “Freddy Quinn records”, but I was unlucky even I spent more than two hours there. The rest of the time I was shopping, but only a few cheap items (clothes). I felt it interesting to take a look into the different shops and what they are offering. It does not happen often during my travel to waste time with this. On my way to the car park I found the advertising “Saskatoon shines”, which I last time in Saskatoon have seen, but could not find again (see above at Saskatoon).
Both me and Daren were in time at the car park and the place was a really good choice. Soon we were on our way to Daren’s farm in Alberta, but first he shopped at Walmart (the big supermarket) and invited us to a meal at DQ. It took around three hours to drive. During the last hour I was sleeping and unfortunately missed, when we crossed the border between Saskatchewan and Alberta. I awoke, when Daren drove the truck on his yard.
For more photos of Saskatoon see above (under Saskatoon).
To read about my time on and around the Holzinger Farm and my further travel click on Alberta.