Peterborough and Canoe Trip to Eels Creek (see photo galleries for further photos and Peterborough too)
I met Russ and Nicky from a note I placed on the Internet asking for paddling companions. They (and their lovely doggy, Shock) invited me to stay with them in Peterborough and we planned a weekend accordingly.

We hired Langford Kevlar canoes from a shop in Peterborough (a canoeist and kayaker's Aladdin's Cave of gear). The canoes were beautiful and almost new. This was the first time I had paddled a Kevlar canoe and the difference compared to plastic is enormous - both in terms of speed and ease of handling and especially weight when it comes to portaging.

Portaging is a much more common thing to do in Canada that in the UK. This was my first Canadian portage which involves multiple trips to carry the canoe and then all the bits and pieces. Eels Creek provided a good introduction to these delights as there were a number of very short portages (mainly to avoid rocky obstacles that kevlar canoes object to).
Not that that stopped us trying one of the drops. Having been warned that any damage to the canoes was our responsibility I rather tenuously shot this short drop only to hit a rock. My initial thought was I don't want a wrecked boat and so I ended up in the water! My first Canadian dunking over with I dried out very quickly and we made our way to High Falls where we set up camp.
I always enjoy wild camping and this was no exception. Thanks to Nicky and Russ, I borrowed a tent but had not realised how noisy camping in the woods can be. Add to that lots of (semi-humourous) comments about bears and I spent a large part of the night worrying about all the forest noises and convinced myself that almost every noise was a large bear about to get me!

Here Shock helped with cooking dinner! It was so nice to be able to have proper fires - something largely missing from the UK camping scene.

Paddling through mature forest was a beautiful and new experience which I hope to repeat as often as financially possible! There was also a large amount of wildlife in evidence, mostly by noises (which I couldn't identify) but I did manage to paddle behind an otter for about 50 yeards, and we saw lots of chipmunks and a young racoon. We only met two people whilst we were out; two fishermen who paddled upstream to our campsite and caught a rather impressive muskellunge.

A most enjoyable trip and many thanks to Russ and Nicky. Further photos of this trip are in the photo galleries.

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