blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Swimming in Lac Chevreuil

The lake on the Chemin du Fort (photo taken a week later)
A mini video documentary I found and shared on Facebook this morning showed two Syrian children, new to Ottawa, being exposed to a typically Canadian summer camp experience by a lake for the first time. They had "so much fun" and wanted to stay at the camp for "three weeks, three months!" they said. Quite apart from the fact that they had been refugees and that this was a way of making them happy in their unfamiliar surroundings, with new friends, I can understand their enthusiasm.

What I can't understand is people who make snide and hateful remarks about such children and their parents, simply because they are Muslims. Some of the comments posted under this story were despicable.

Anyway, Vija and Rolf invited us over for lunch at their cottage today. We drove beyond Cantley, to Val-des-Monts, east of the Gatineau River. There we turned onto the Chemin du Fort and found the lake and the cottage. What a delightful place to spend a summer's day (and a winter's day too, according to its owners).

First we sat on the porch for a while, from which there's a view of their floating dock, with a paddle boat and canoe attached. Sometimes our friends launch their boat at sunrise, taking some breakfast with them to share with the fishes at the far corner of the lake. Before lunch today, Vija and I changed into our swimsuits and went down the steps for half an hour's bathe in the cool water –– not over cool though, 26º C, same as the air temperature, lovely. The men took the canoe to the far end of the lake and back while we were swimming back and forth. The middle of the lake, Vija told me, was 60ft deep, so I had no qualms about diving from the floating docks and hitting my head on the bottom. The water in this lake is clean, and apparently home to many fish, frogs and snakes, though I didn't spot any.

One of the diving boards in Lac Chevreuil
We had a German picnic afterwards, of sausages and sauerkraut (with pieces of pineapple added), kale and sunflower seed salad in a sesame-ginger dressing, potato salad and a light beer dazu, all delicious; after the fresh air and the swim I'd probably have found any meal as good. A shower came through as we sat over our protracted lunch, never quite obscuring the sunshine.

Relishing the water

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