We woke up really early this morning to give ourselves time to make the 8am ferry. It recommended arriving an hour early as well, so we had to wake up at like 5-5:30 just to ensure we had time to drive the hour ride to be early! Turns out, the ferry left just after 9, so we had a LOT of time to kill! The ferry was also RIDICULOUSLY expensive! It cost the three of us and the car $82 one way! And it was like a two hour boat ride (and it wasn't that far to go! There must be a speed restriction due to a lot of traffic or something?). But after all those previous technical difficulties, we finally made it! And although it was foggy, we knew it wouldn't rain and would clear (more or less, which it did) because the fates would be too cruel to finally arrange everything so we could go, just to have bad weather conditions!
When we got on the boat, we decided to have some breakfast. There was (what seemed) a wickedly priced meal where, the sign led us to believe, you could pick pancakes or eggs and it came with a lot of extra food (ie toast, sausage, bacon, etc). It was poorly advertised, because, only after ordering the pancake meal did we realize (ie we were told) the pancake meal doesn't come with all that. Just pancakes and two sausages. And the pancakes were a touch stale. But we did load up on tea!
Around 11am, we arrived in Tobemory! Our first stop was the information center, where we asked about hikes. They recommended going to Bruce Peninsula National Park to do the Bruce Trail. On our way over, there was some minor construction. The worker holding the stop/slow sign was really nice. He asked us to guess his age. We guessed too young. He looked really out of shape, so we obviously thought he was a younger guy who looks older. Turns out he was an older guy who looks like a younger guy who looks older. But it was a pleasant conversation, and then we were directed to the end of the construction zone. It was really funny because there was only one lane open for traffic, while they worked on the other lane. It was under 1km long, and it was a straight stretch (ie no turn-offs, no bends in the road, or anything!). However, there was a pick-up truck (which was driven by the boss's son the sign holder told us. Apparently the boss made up a position just to get his son a job! He probably gets paid more than other people too for his useless job) with a sign on it saying "follow." So, once the sign man gives the go-ahead, you are supposed to follow the truck, straight for the hundreds of meters, and then keep going after the truck pulls over to let you go ahead. Jimmy was so zoned following this guy (and so focused on listening to the sign) that when the boss' son pulled over to let us pass (yes, we were first in the line), Jimmy, without focusing, pulled over behind him. The two construction workers manning the stop/slow sign on the other end (yeah, there were two of them there), were irrationally mad at Jimmy and started waving their arms in the air and giving him dirty looks, etc. Jimmy quickly pulled back to the correct lane and we kept going until the national park, but it was so funny!
When we arrived in the park, it was a bit of a drive in. Finally we came to a house to pay for a day pass/parking pass. There was a semi ambiguous sign which said "National Parks Pass holders straight" and right underneath it said "Parking $11." So we kept going straight and hoped we didn't have to pay the $11. When we got to the parking lot, there was a woman in the Parks uniform sitting on a tractor of sorts. Jimmy pulled up to her and asked if she was waiting to give out tickets. She said maybe. Then Jimmy asked, in that case, what do we have to buy to not get a ticket. She looked at our Parks Pass and said we were good and didn't need to buy anything. Jimmy still made her promise to not ticket us. Then we parked and hit the trail!
where we saw the crystal turquoise blue colour of the Georgian Bay (it was unreal!), saw some caves, and some amazing look-outs, and then climbed down a hole in the ground to see a cool rock overhang. Then we went for a swim (it was FREEZING! But since it was so hot outside, it was really nice!!!). The water was really unreal! It was so nice!
When we were coming back into Tobemory, we were starving so decided to go to the place advertising all you can eat fish and chips for only $11.99! It was a pirate themed restaurant called "Shipwreck Lee's." It was wicked. The waiter's family owned the restaurant, so he was so relaxed and easy going, and hilarious! It was really good fish and chips too! We were so glad we ate there! And we tried some new beer called "Flying Monkey." The waiter described their different selections as "The one we have is the best, but they also have a darker beer which is even better, and then the *whatever* beer is the most amazing, etc (every beer had another "amazing" or "awesome" or "best" description"). And they had the MOST WICKED costumes (a GIANT skull necklace (as in the size of a typical clock you see in a classroom), plastic swords, toy monkeys, etc all hanging off them!). I would highly recommend that place! It was so much fun and worth every penny!
Because the ferries were few and far between, we missed the 3pm ferry because of lunch and so had to hit the 8pm ferry. We walked around town and were hoping to see some of the shipwrecks in the water. Since we didn't have scuba or snorkeling gear, we hoped to see it from the side of the road. Either the ships were too far off the shoreline or the sun was hitting the water just so we only saw the glare, but we didn't see any of them. But the water was still really nice! We went to the lighthouse and walked around that area a bit. Then we went to walk around the town a bit more, have ice cream, and bought groceries for breakfast.
The ferry ride was nice, and the sunset was really pretty!
When we arrived back at Julia's it was late, so we didn't get to try the ice cream place Julia recommended leaving Manatoulin Island. When we got back to her place, we popped on another James Bond film and passed out! It was an amazing day!