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August 2008
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Day 10 – 25th August

My Location

Good-bye Winnipeg – don’t let the door whack you in the face on the way out of my life.

Right, this is going to be a short post.  The day is long – 750kms long in blistering heat.  It must have been touching 40c.  The roads are long, straight and flat.  The scenery is about as exciting – but as a newcomer to the prairies they are kind of hypnotic at first, quickly followed by comotose.  I exaggerate – oh, alright I don’t …

There are subtle changes to them as you go along – sometimes they are flat and red … or flat and brown … or flat and green.  Oh, there’s a tree – how novel.  Occasionally there are some (very gentle) rises.  Sometimes I come to a junction and have to change direction.  The very strong cross winds keep my concentration levels high though.  The blasts of headwind I get from the approaching trucks has an affect akin to a whack on the head from an elephants trunk with an irritation up his nose – this is particularly true if I somehow forget to face downwards at the appropriate moment in order to avoid being blown half the way back to Winnipeg.  “How refreshing” I think to myself every time this happens.  But it’s good fun also - in retrospect … strange how that always seems to be the case in such circumstances.

There were 2 things that were keeping me going:

1. The longer I travelled the further I left Winnipeg behind (are you getting the theme of this yet?)

2. By making it to Saskatoon in 1 day , rather than stopping in Yorkton, meant I could have a ‘day off’ before another longish ride to Calgary

This was ‘a good thing to do’

I arrive in Saskatoon, which has an altogether friendlier atmosphere.  I meet Tammy, the housekeeper of the Lodge I am staying in.  She’s young, blonde, pretty and friendly.  I’m older, married and confusing her with my futile attempts at humour (actually I think she found me quite amusing in an English kind of way).  I have a change of clothes and head off Downtown for something to eat – hopefully.  I find a nice looking Greek restaurant with an even nicer looking young, blonde waitress called Jenny.  She’s from Regina, a little south of Sask (I’m sounding almost local now!) and studying Criminolgy at Sask Uni.  She asks if I’m travelling and so I bore her with my tale - although not too much because she tells me that she’s travelled Europe but she would love to hop on the back of my bike for the remainder of the journey.  I suspect that had she done so a) my reputation would have multiplied several fold amongst my biking buddies, and b) there would have been little hope for my physical well-being on my return to the UK.

I wander back to the Lodge and have a much more restful sleep than for a couple of nights.

I’m thinking about why Sask has more appeal than Winnipeg … but struggling to figure it out. Not!

Nighty night.

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