We love London and all the busyness that comes with a big city. Equally, or possibly more, we love nature and the adventure it offers.
The more time we spend in London the more our cravings for nature increase. Swimming in the Serpentine, running in Regent’s park and cycling in Richmond park are brilliant ways to be outdoors in the city, however, we needed a little more to satisfy our nature cravings.
In need of serious nature we set off to the national parks in Ontario, Canada. Our first stop was Bon Echo Provincial Park where we could go hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, swimming and mountain biking.
We were warned by the Alpine Club of Canada that water temperatures were low and that canoeing around this time of year wasn’t recommended – the club was closing down for the season while we were there – undeterred we decided to head over anyway.
The friendly staff at the Park found a stunning camping spot for us overlooking the lake with a view on the rocks we would climb. Tent pitched, we rented a canoe and registered for a climbing license. We were good to go!
We put our climbing gear in the canoe right away and paddled over to explore the rocks. There were white caps on the water, our feet were wet from the rough entry into the canoe and our hands were freezing – we now understood why the Alpine Club of Canada had warned us.
The rock face at Bon Echo is a long left-angled cliff, this uniformity makes it challenging to find differentiating features of one climb vs another. Finding each climb based on the descriptive text in the guide book a little like following a treasure map. We walked back and forth a little until we found the climb we had planned “Afternoon Delight.” Being a single pitch climb we expected to be up and down in about an hour. Wrong! Two hours, a near death experience and an insane adrenaline rush to get past a couple very exposed crux moves later, we both made it to the top where we enjoyed stunning views of the Park before abseiling down.
Despite rain pouring down, back at our tent we made a big bonfire for light, warmth and to roast our vegetables and steak on. Sitting near the fire, we listened to waves hitting the rocks, wind blowing through trees and sounds of animals while we enjoyed our feast.
We couldn’t have been happier with our first day into the wild!