Friday, 3 September 2010

Calling Our Bluff

Waking up this morning, we prepared ourselves for what we thought was going to be a fairly easy 67-mile ride along the shores of Lake Ontario from Toronto into Port Hope. Feeling relaxed, we pootled around, ate a good breakfast in the hotel restaurant, and then had a long stretch of our muscles, which had become tight over the 3 rest days to which we had treated ourselves. And before we knew it, it was noon, and raining hard, and we hadn’t even set off…oops.

Donning our raingear, we bid a fond farewell to Toronto and the Cambridge Suites Hotel (Kat is now a big fan too of the city and the hotel), and followed the Waterfront Trail again, climbing up to the top of the bluffs that run alongside the lake and meandering in and out from the lakeshore. Hmmm… we soon realised that our 67 miles was a tad of an underestimate. In fact, it was 76 miles of climbing and descending on paths of varying surfaces (including soft sand/mud, crushed gravel etc), as well as a few stretches of super smooth bike path (so it’s not all bad). In fact, it would have been a truly glorious ride, had we just set off a little bit earlier!

Anyway… pegging it along the last section like men and women possessed, we arrived at our lovely B&B in Port Hope, the Hill and Dale Manor, just as the sun was setting, and with about 3 minutes to spare of the designated checking-in time. Dave and Jeanne greeted us warmly and were very forgiving about our late arrival, settling us in (and Trusty & Steed – they are cyclist and cycle friendly) and giving us some great restaurant recommendations.

After a very quick turnaround, we ended up eating at the Black Beans on the main street, which was an extremely good choice! Owned by veterinarian turned entrepreneur and all-round people person, Bob Sanderson, it’s a hopping little spot serving fantastic food and great wine in a fun and casual environment. After downing a mammoth jug of water (we got a little dehydrated on the ride) courtesy of our lovely server, Stephanie, we tucked in to the yummy food, and then spent quite some time chatting with Bob. Kat was particularly interested to hear Bob’s story as her Dad is a vet (now retired) and long-time foodie (not retired!) and has always talked about setting up his own restaurant… food for thought.

Bob then introduced us to Mark, a fellow cyclist, family man and super-successful businessman (he is President of a very large publishing company we found out some way into our conversation). We had a fascinating discussion and didn’t want the evening to end, but our bodies of course were telling us different.

Sinking into our comfortable bed at the B&B, it was more than we could manage to write the blog there and then, but we did log on and found an amazing donation and some lovely comments from our favourite Dutch friends Annita and Jan, and their little ones Roza and Annemoon. Thanks for the cryptic Dutch remark guys – very funny, we’re sure MG&T and PCH will be chuckling away too!

Us x

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