Ottawa update


OK, three days later.

My symptoms are mostly gone. My nose/throat still has a bit of “congestion feel,” and I do cough sometimes. My energy definitely is still lower than normal. But I don’t feel achy or miserable, and I no longer need to keep tissues within reach. On Day 8 now, I think I’m on the mend.

I moved out of the guesthouse the day before yesterday, into the vacant home kindly offered by a friend of a friend of a friend whose family had just sold the home. They set up a cot for me, and provided some dishes, linens, and toiletries. The house has been a wonderful place to convalesce. I will be there one more night, before taking either the train or the bus to Toronto tomorrow.

I say “there” rather than “here,” because sadly the one downside to the house is a lack of wifi. I quickly blow through my phone plan’s daily data allotment, so I have been walking to the nearby library, about 20 minutes away, to use the internet. (Of course I’m masking here in the library to be extra careful, but according to Ottawa’s public-health guidelines, I believe I have not been contagious since yesterday or the day before.)

Last night and today we had rain, sometimes heavy, and even thunderstorms. Luckily my data held out today just until the rain stopped, although the sky is looking like there might be a bit more before I head back.

Meanwhile, you will recall a wonderful woman named Beverley who was bringing me all the food. I still have so much food left from what she has brought! (Those two bags on my handlebars are full of food.) She felt comfortable yesterday—with extra precautions such as masking, distancing in the car, and windows down—to take me on a tour of Ottawa. It was so cool! I’m so glad I got to see at least a glimpse of this city before moving on. It is more lovely than I had imagined, so I’m definitely putting it on my list to return and explore more fully.

We went to Parliament Hill and saw various government buildings, which were breathtaking! Then we drove through some beautiful neighborhoods, and stopped at Rockliffe Overlook, which was beautiful at sunset. (That’s Quebec across the river.)

Then, we actually crossed the river, into Gatineau. Once again, all street signs were in French. It was a beautiful area with lots of nature. She took me into the edge of the Gatineau Hills, including a beautiful huge nature park with endless hiking and biking trails. Apparently both Ottawa and Gatineau are very good with bike infrastructure. I’ll have to come back and visit both.

My time in Ottawa has been surreal, to say the least. But the kindness I have encountered from locals has been incredible.

That kindness continues in Toronto: I have one friend helping me to possibly get a free hotel for my first night (since I’ll be arriving around 9 pm) with her hotel points… and then another new-to-me person is allowing me to stay in her vacant place while she is on vacation. The dreams I wrote about the other day are rapidly coming to pass, and it feels so gratifying and wonderful on multiple levels.

Thanks for following along on this journey with me.

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