Monday, July 12, 2010
Best Buds, Bikes, and Bugs
We are in Victoria Beach, Manitoba visiting David Wilson, Samarie and family. Samarie is Adalaya's best friend, and they have wanted to spend time together at Sammy's Grandpa's place on Lake Winnipeg for many years. We finally made it! Victoria Beach is a unique and beautiful place; automobiles are not allowed in this area (except for an occasional taxi) so everyone rides bikes - even Sammy's 89 year old Grandpa zoomed around on his new electric assist bike!
"Town" consists of an amazing bakery, general store, library, clubhouse, and one restaurant/ice-cream parlor. All this and many beaches to choose from, what more could you need, eh? Needless to say, the girls and Samarie's cousin Noah are having a great time together - bikes, friends, and free roam of a car free peninsula! Thanks for a great time Wilsons!
Instead of a driveway full of cars, the Wilson cottage has a driveway full of bikes. Much nicer I think! And luckily there's a resident bike mechanic here!
Even doing the laundry is fun here with this 1950's wringer washer!
Another unforgettable aspect of this area is the sheer quantity of bugs! We were expecting swarms of mosquitoes, as many Canadians had warned us that Winnipeg is the mosquito capital of Canada. Incredibly, the mosquitoes here are not nearly as bad as we previously encountered, and in the several nights of sleeping in our tent I was never awoken by one. Thanks to the dragonflies! I've never seen so many dragonflies. Out on the beach, I could have counted 50 in sight at any given time. However, the population of dragonflies is meek compared to the sheer number of mayflies (called fish flies around these parts). These insects sleep under leaves, on tree trunks, under porches, everywhere during the day, then fly into the air at dusk to mate and then die. If you brush against a bush or limb during the day, hundreds of fish flies get disturbed and fly away. At dusk there are so many that they form dark clouds of fish flies swarming above. Individually these insects are silent (and luckily do not bite) but as a swarm they create a humming noise with their wings that underlies everything else in the evening. The fish flies only live a couple of days, so there are piles of carcasses left on the beaches and under street lights in the morning. And this is where I think they get their local name from; the piles of dead fish flies smell like rotten fish!
Fish Flies at their finest!
And speaking of fish, we had the very best smoked fish ever while we were here. Goldeye is a fish that is native only to Lake Winnipeg. When smoked it tastes like "smoked butter" - soooo good! David made a delicious smoked Goldeye dip, and we also had smoked fish burritos. Another fish favorite of the Wilson's was Grandpa Bill's fried pickerel. Yum! All this amazing fish from the lake for dinner, and treats from the local bakery for breakfast, or lunch, or anytime - we are spoiled. Adalaya's favorite bakery treats were the cowpie (a cinnamon roll the size of a cowpie) and the smiley face cookies. George's favorites were the pecan loaf and sausage rolls, and I favored the cinnamon buns!