We woke up early to ensure that Jimi could make church in Mattawa. We didn't know what time church would start in a small town (as they may only have one service on Sundays). So, we woke up at 6 and aimed for 9. We arrived with plenty of time, only to realize that mass started at 11 (and now we had eons of time!). So, with that extra time to kill, we decided to get some food. We went to a small, family restaurant. It was really cute, and the food was ridiculously cheap! It was wonderful! We hung around there for a while, then dropped Jimi off at church while the rest of us went grocery shopping. It worked out perfectly because just as we finished, Jimi would have been done mass. So we went to the church, dropped off our bikes, then Philippe drove to Westmeath with Katie, Stephanie, and our gear. The plan was for him to drop everything off, then start cycling towards us, and then return the rest of the way to Westmeath with us.
We expected to fly without gear, but there were a few things holding us back. First of all, we had a headwind. Second, it was really hard to get used to no gear, so I found it very difficult to stand up on the bike when going uphill. Therefore, I sat for most of the hills (and there were tons of them!). Eventually I got used to them, but it was like learning to ride a bike all over again. I would stand for one stroke, then sit right back down (because the bike was so wobbly without all the gear). Then, when I was used to that, I would go two strokes, and so on and so on until I got the hang of it again. Thirdly, it was so brutally hot that we needed to fill our water bottles every 30km or so.
When we got into Deep River we took a food break at the Tim Horton's. Right inside was also a Cold Store. I've never heard of it before, and don't know if it's a separate company or in conjunction with Tim Hortons, but it's a place that sells ice cream! So we had Tim Hortons for dinner, then ice cream for desert! It was so good! Especially on such a hot day! The only problem was, when we stepped back outside on our bikes, it was as if we never had ice cream. It was still brutally hot and we were no longer refreshed!
We called Philippe and he was just outside of Chalk River. We met up in between Chalk and Deep River, then he continued back with us. I was impressed that he wasn't tired and was going pretty fast. Especially since he hasn't cycled this far before, he was doing really well! So the four of us cycled back to Westmeath (which was a really nice, pleasant cycle and the winds seemed to have changed from head to tail as philippe changed directions. maybe he should come along more often??). But it was really fun having Philippe along with us! Especially when we were cycling the smaller highways between Pembroke and Westmeath, where we could talk more.
We ended up in Westmeath around 8 and Stephanie and Katie were lovely and already prepared dinner for us! It was delicious stir fry! After diner we stayed up for a bit talking, then went to bed.