June 26-28, 2016-The adventure begins in the tomato capital of Canada, Leamington, Ontario. A night’s stay at the Seacliffe Inn in preparation for the morning ferry ride to the southern most point in all of Canada, Point Pelee. The MV Pelee Islander Ferry ride was easy and uneventful one and a half hours with very few bells and whistles for the traveler. We opted for a walk off ticket as we rented bicycles on the Island as our only mode of transportation.
It was a quick walk to Comfortech, Pelee’s bicycle rental shop (owned and operated by the current Mayor of Pelee and his family). To say our bikes were comfortable would be an understatement…full on luxury cycling with large baskets to hold beach towels and wine bottles! (Don’t judge until you try it all of you hip mountain bikers :))
Our decision to cycle the Island was an easy choice, even though some of the roads are unpaved, as it is only 12.5 km long and 6 km wide. We carried a knapsack each with our clothing and personal items, as well as linens and towels as needed for the cottage we rented. A soft sided cooler with a few edibles is a good idea as there is not an abundance of grocery items once on the Island.
Lake Muse B & B and Cottage Rental was an excellent choice for us. Lynn and Ron Tiessen are the owners of this fine establishment. Lynn shared that she is a proud life long resident and taught at the only school which was Kindergarten to grade 8 and only 2 rooms for 20 years. There are under 300 permanent residents, with a swell up to 1500 during the summer months.
For over 70 years there is a traditional free flying pheasant hunt each October, hence the signage…I surmised. 🙂
Pelee Island Winery is much like the rest of the Island; relaxed, welcoming and beautiful. We enjoyed a full tour of the winery by Derek, a 22 year old university student from Leamington. I would highly recommend taking the tour as it was very informative and ended in a world class tasting! Owned by Austrians, Pelee island Winery is the largest estate winery in Canada. There is nothing better than chillin’ with a bottle of good red wine, a hunk of tastey cheese and a fresh baguette listening to a live band. The value for dollar at the winery would blow anyone who enjoys hanging out at Niagara wineries mind. Plus there are several public BBQs available for anyone to bring their own items to grill or purchase from the Deli Hut right at the Pavilion at the winery.
The coolest part about this place is the fact that it felt to us like time stood still somewhere in the mid seventies. There is a relaxed, no fuss, friendly vibe that immediately allows you to be you and be in the moment. The fact that the southern most point in all of Canada is on a deserted beach with no signs, fanfare or anything to mark it as a ‘tourist’ area proves my point.
Until next time Pelee Island…
Shari L Harper