Those who know us well may appreciate that Sue and I regard our winter trip to Ottawa as our annual ‘Beach Holiday’. Much of the time is spend lazing around, with occasional trips to the beach such as today’s to Mooney’s Bay.
Sue was recovering from explosive innards and Helen was battling with pneumonia. Ken wisely went to work. I eventually escaped to the beach at Mooney’s Bay and whizzed around three laps of the Classic Ski Track – about 10 km – before meeting Ken’s 4pm deadline for picking him up from work.
All this doesn’t really warrant an entry, but if I leave it blank I’ll be puzzled in years to come… “why was there no entry for 9 February 2015? What on earth could have happened? The answer can’t possibly be ‘nothing’!”
Since setting off on this trip I’ve been reading Alastair Humphreys’ book ‘Thunder and Sunshine’ – around the world by bike, part 2’, having recently read part 1 of the same adventure – ‘Moods of Future Joys’. I finished part 2 this morning, so the answer to the question above is definitely not ‘nothing’, as these are books to be appreciated and remembered. Alastair’s single-mindedness is remarkable; he is one of a rare breed of professional adventurers who are an inspiration to many but are emulated by very, very few. Not many of us will want to match Alastair’s feat of spending over four years of his life cycling around the world, but as a young man that trip has formed the foundation of his career as a writer and adventurer. Well done to him, and I wish him every success in the future. The books are a delight to read, providing an insight into Alastair’s many and varied feelings and moods and encounters as he undertook his journey, and relating how even in the poorest parts of the world, indeed more often in those parts, the ‘niceness’ of people and their generosity and helpfulness got him through so many difficult moments. Whilst inevitably he had a few bad experiences, his overwhelming conclusion was that the ordinary people of the world have something in common – the impression that they left on Alastair led him to conclude “Don’t believe what you see on the TV: the world really is a good place.”
Alastair’s latest project is one of ‘Microadventures’ closer to home, and I think he’s reported that the book is selling better than those about his epic bike ride. To my mind, there’s something not quite right about that, especially as the bike ride books are cheaper, and available in a bundle and on the Kindle (which version is sadly full of typos and minor errors).
NB I haven’t read the book, but I have an idea that Alastair’s take on a ‘Microadventure’ at Mooney’s Bay today would be to dig a hole in the ice and take a quick dip, regardless of the absence of a lifeguard…