To my amazement, everyone seemed to be “up and at em” by around 9am this morning. Considering the energy sapping 24 hours that had proceeded, I was pretty damn proud of the lot of us. I followed the crew upstairs to meet Aaron’s parents, whom I am sure had no idea we had all arrived during the night.
We made a quick trip down to the jetty on the lake at the back of the property which was lovely, before heading back up to the house to enjoy an amazing breakfast of fruit salad, waffles and pancakes prepared by Ryan, and Aaron’s ever-so-accommodating Mum. What a lovely lady.
We didn’t hang around for all that long – just enough time to clean up and try and restore some order to the downstairs area – before hitting the road again and heading to a waterfall nearby that the guys knew about. All of us were pretty keen for a swim and from what Matt and Aaron were telling me, I was really going to enjoy this particular spot. The only way to our desired watery destination was through private property and it took us a little while to work out how to find our way in without running into some kind of resistance. As it turned out, we had enough trouble working our way through what we were sure was poison ivy, to get to the the water’s edge.
Because of the torrential rain last night, the water level and volume of liquid flowing down through the gully was far greater than everyone was used to, so rather than jumping off the falls as would normally be customary, we instead got the adrenalin running by jumping into the rapids and letting the water sweep us down the gradient into the lake below. It was a whole lot of fun I gotta tell you.
When it came time to head back to Ottawa (I was actually sad about going back), we split into two groups each with different destinations, so I said my goodbyes and expressed my immense thanks to Elodie and to everyone else for a very memorable 24 hour Canada Day.
Returning to the hostel, I first made sure that my belongings were still where I left them – locked up at the end of my bunk bed. Thankfully everything still seemed to be there, so I grabbed some fresh clothes, had a quick shower and indulged in a much needed snooze.
It was always my intention to spend the evening snapping some pictures around town. Conditions were near perfect and there was a lot less “Canada Day” paraphernalia littering the streets and buildings. Here’s what I came up with:
Just about all snapped out, I picked one final amazing way to cap off my weekend in Ottawa – an open air concert by renowned British Jazz crooner Jamie Cullum. Ok, so it’s not something that was planned. I was actually passing by Confederation Park walking along Laurier Avenue when I heard Jamie introduced and the concert commenced.
After attempting to just waltz into the park, I found out pretty quickly that it was a paid ticket gig (the final performance of the 2006 Ottawa Jazz Festival), so I used my gnogg’n and headed back along Laurier Avenue until I found a a way to sneak in. It involved a little more scrambling than I had hoped for – onto a roof and then down to ground level via a couple of tree branches. The reward made it all worth while with Jamie launching into all of his major hits (a few of which I knew) and then the ABSOLUTE highlight for me, a rendition of Elton John’s “Rocketman” and the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” performed all on his own using sampled beat boxing and vocal bass lines that he recorded and looped on the spot. Amazing!
Thank you Jamie Cullum, thank you Elodie and friends and thank you Ottawa for an unforgettable Canada Day weekend!