A farm in Ontario


Bob and Doddy's farm

From Dyer's Bay on the Lake Huron, I started hitch-hiking South to Niagara Falls. John and Elisabeth, from Toronto, gave me a ride from Crane Lake Road to Highway #6. I didn't even have the time to find my jacket in my bag, that Bob and Doddy were already stopping their car.

Bob and Doddy have a farm in Ontario where they raise calfs and grow wheat, soya beans, and corn. They gave me much more than a lift. They invited me for diner, offered me a shower, a laundry, and a bedroom in their beautiful farm. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

The next morning, their daughter drove me to Orangeville. From there Denis the bartender gave me a ride to Brampton, where I got a couple of bus tickets for Niagara Falls. I climbed in the first bus, changed at Bramalea, and as I was sitting in the second bus, I realised I had lost my diary. The notebook I write in everyday, all my notes since Iceland, plus a lot of contacts, were lost. No way! ... more

Je me souviens


Downtown Montreal

At first, I was thinking to go West towards the Finger Lakes, Niagara Falls, and Chicago, but Gerardo and Carlis, who live in Montreal, proposed me a ride to their home! So 12 years later, I was back in the city I lived in for one year in 1999. What a throwback!

Gerardo hosted me in his nice flat in downtown Montreal. We went cycling and skating along the Lachine Canal, swimming at the pool and even had a sauna! I went skating around the city, and it was great to see McGill University campus again, the buildings I use to study in, the stadium, the place we used to go ice climbing, the street I used to live in. I also had lunch with my fellow teacher from McGill Music.

After three nights in town, I skated down to the highway and started hitch-hiking. In just three rides, Abdel, who drives his truck around the Island of Montreal to deliver wood, Kim, who studies electric engineering, and Marc, who runs a car repair shop, took me all the way to Toronto. Marc even invited me for a drink on his boat in Pickering. I spent the night in downtown Toronto, in one of Dylan's beautiful loft, in the middle of the hip Liberty Village. Dylan was my first CouchSurfing host ever! We chatted until late into the night.

The next morning, I started hitch-hiking again for Tobermory, North of Toronto. Rick the fireman, Jay the mechanic, and Rosemary the book-keeper shared the road with me to reach the end of the beautiful Bruce Peninsula. Rosemary even made a 70km 'detour' to take me all the way to Tobermory.

Chilling in Reykjavik


Just chilling

I thought hitch-hiking from the middle of the desert would be pretty tricky, but it ended up being even easier than on the Ring Road. The first car that I saw stopped by and its passengers, a French family of four drove me all the way to the Ring road.

I decided to go back early in Reykjavik to enjoy the city from the nice flat of Andie. Mike took me to the gym for a bouldering session, and I spent some time writing in the cosy cafés of the city.

I was getting my things ready to board for a plane to New York, contacting people there to find a crash space. But that was before I went to the harbour to check out the sailing boats...

Skògar to Landmannalaugar


Snow and steam

Thursday afternoon, I hitch-hiked to Skógar, about 150 km South East from Reykjavik. Five friendly Icelandic drivers took me on the way, including a grand mother, a mother of two young kids, a farmer, and two 17 years old kids. Summer holiday is starting in Iceland, and a lot of them were driving to their summer house.

The weather was pretty bad on the first day, hiking from Skògar to Þórsmörk. It was a good test for my tent, since it was the first time I used it under the rain. It kept me dry until the next morning, and I had plenty of space to cook and pack my bag under it.

The next few days I was lucky as the weather was just perfect. The massive glaciers and the colourful, snowy and steamy mountains were amazingly beautiful. I met quite a lot of people on the trail — the warden in one of the huts told me there are 150 everyday, up to 200 — but since I was going in the other direction than most of them, it wasn't really a problem.

On Sunday evening, I reached Landmannalaugar, had a bath in the hot springs, and went a little further West to camp near a little river, in a lava bed. On Monday, I walked a few kilometers more and started hitch-hiking in the afternoon, back to Reykjavik, after about 100 km hiking.

Flight over the Inlandsis


Entering the Inlandsis

After looking for a sailing, fishing, or cargo boat in Narsaq, Sisimiut, and Nuuk, I decided to give up on the idea of finding a boat to go further west. Maybe some sailing yachts will come up later this August from US. Some trawlers from New Foundland should also go back from Nuuk to St-John at the end of their fishing season in October. But two or three more months in Greenland felt a bit long.

So I decided to cheat a little and take a plane to Reykjavik. The flight over the ice sheet was really beautiful, and hitch-hiking from Keflavik to the capital was easy, thanks to a friendly couple of Swiss visitors. There is still no darkness at night here, but I was surprised to see so many people in the streets, so many cars — and big ones — around, and even a few trees in the street!

Thanks to my friend Andie who now leaves in Reykjavik, I am now in a wonderful wooden house in downtown Reykjavik.

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