My Favourite Place in the Entire World

I cannot find my Killarney map anywhere. This is so distressing. I feel as though I have lost a piece of my soul *sob*

Killarney Provincial Park in Ontario is my favourite place in the entire world. Yes, I have left the province before. Yes, I’ve been to places like Australia, Japan and Hong Kong (God bless their dim sum). But no matter how many amazing experiences I’ve had traveling the world, no other place has ever gotten me as excited and happy as Killarney has and still does.

Where are you and why have you left me??

My first couple of backcountry canoe-portaging trips were actually to Algonquin Provincial Park. Trip #1 included my first moose sighting and getting hailed on in the middle of summer. Trip #2 involved coming down with a fever on the first day of a four-day trip and, after portaging through torrential downpours, returning to a car parked 20 km from the nearest sign of civilization whose engine had gone on strike. After a miraculous tow, we ended up having to sleep in the parking lot of Canadian Tire and trekked home the following day on the bus.

Naturally, I was hooked. And when Trip #3 brought me to Killarney, I was in love.

The look of love

So much in love that I went for an 8-day adventure on Trip #4 around what was then the perimeter of the park.

Day 1 — Me and My Monster ready to start the 8-day adventure!

Did some crazy ass hike to see beautiful Little Mountain Lake.

Day 2 — This picture symbolizes the war I went through with The Monster. At the beginning of this treacherous 3 km portage, my bag was so heavy that I tipped over and my face fell right into a rock. You can’t see the battle scars, but trust me, they’re there.

Day 3 — Fellow campers passing by stopped to inform us that the lake we were heading to had dried up and was closed. Looong detour up ahead.

Day 4 — Almost our entire trip was full of gray skies. So when we finally got some sun on Van Winkle Lake, we lay back in our canoes and got a good dose of sunshine (or sunstroke?).

Day 5 — I always think “Blair Witch” whenever I see these trees.

Landing on dreamy McGregor Bay for the night.

Day 6 — The Portage From Hell. 700 metres straight up, 700 metres straight down, 700 metres straight across.

Day 7 – The Day of Rest on OSA Lake. Doing nothing after six hard days of work turned me into jello for Day 7!

Day 8 – The end of a 1440 metre portage. Watch your step!

This is the end, boys ‘n boys. Victorious!

Trip #5 was another classic long-weekender with the boys and on Trip #6, we started nicknaming our crews. Team 70 was named so because we climbed Silver Peak (the highest point in Ontario) in 70 minutes.

At the top of SIlver Peak. I am da bomb.

On Great Mountain Lake. These are the moments I live for.

Team K10 soldiered it out for Trip #7 when a record rainfall of 50-60mm of rain fell the day we went up to stay on the campgrounds, which was the day before the start of our route. Call us crazy, but none of us were willing to give up our annual dose of backcountry nature. The sun eventually came out for us and we got to climb The Crack and encountered a baby bear.

First time on George Lake! I had on the coolest attire for the trip.

At the start of The Crack hike. The rain is gone and the sun appears!

Just saw a moose grazing over yonder. Now I must say goodbye to my dear love, Killarney

Last year, Team Hardcore did a six-day tour for Trip #8. Laugh at the name, but trust me. If you did what we did, you’d be owning it too.

Best photo ops are on Great Mountain Lake!

On Muriel Lake, sharing our campsite with the Tim Horton’s charity camping kids. One of them had heatstroke and they had taken over our campsite. Our kind and generous hearts allowed them to stay.

On the Buns-of-Steel Portage. It’s a killer!

Killarney has a few “dead” lakes that are this amazing blue colour. Blows my mind every time.

Passing through O.S.A. Lake. Don’t ya feel like you’re in the islands? Ones that have pine trees on them?

Then we went back to Algonquin for Trip #9. And while there were some beautiful moments there, I remembered why I hadn’t gone back for so long after discovering Killarney. Algonquin is a park. Killarney is a gem.

Day 1 — Forge ahead, whether rain or shine.

Day 2 — Pamperage in the woods. This campsite was made for royalty.

Day 3 — Woke up to this. Beautiful moments.

Don’t get too excited. I only walked a few steps. Just wanted to get a photo!

Excitement is between those two crackers.

Day 4 — And Trip #9 comes to an end.

So here I am now, in the midst of trying to plan Trip #10 but I can’t find my damn map! So in the meantime, I shall experience Killarney through blogging about it and subjecting you all to hear me blab about how much I love it there!

‘Tage (short for Portage ’cause he can kick any portage in the ass) — my fellow camping buddy — took me on my first trip and still laughs when he hears me getting all excited about going camping. Most people don’t expect it from looking at me, but there is nothing I love more than getting rained on, paddling over beaver dams, getting lost trying to find our campsite in the dark and feeling that wonderful pain that tells you that your body is kicking ass.

It makes the beautiful moments — and there are so many beautiful moments — all that more amazing.

– Cafe <3


50 thoughts on “My Favourite Place in the Entire World

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    • Haha! Is it making you tired just reading it? =P
      If you ever go, remember to be safe!! It’s good to go for your first time with someone who has done it before too. Will make your life easier :)

      • LOL Your face looked so tired in that photos :P tho, i’m just imagining yet…not sure if I can do it all alone in the strange forest! Well…. if I’m given a chance…. why not cucumber! I’d love to be crazy and wild together with the wild environment of forest! :P

        • Hahaha, I probably was tired. But it’s a good tired. Love it :)
          Do it with people first. Then when you know the ropes, go for the solo adventure if you still want to. That’s my advice ;)

          • Haha .. Thanks for the advice Janice! Keeping that in my mind! Tho sometimes…I’m stubborn :P (as if I can really do it alone huh :P ) And sometimes I can be a weirdo loner on earth :P

            • It’s okay to be stubborn sometimes I think, but not at the cost of not being smart! And you’re no weirdo!! You’re wonderful :)

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  5. You’ve been to Australia!! :) That’s great. Even I have not seen the heart of Australia, which I believe is beautiful.

    This place Killarney though, I can understand your love. All those photos, they SO made me feel like being there, being in that freshness. Oh, fresh. Such freshness. Oh, holidays…. it’s been a while for me. Your clear, sharp photos are truly fantastic, & your words in between a great read. Oh, blessings & enjoy :)

    • I went to Melbourne when I was in university. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos from there! So sad :( I remember downtown Melbourne being really, really nice and the streets being super clean. It was really hot too!

      Thank you for the compliments :) Yes, fresh is a good word for what it feels like in Killarney! lol

  6. It looks like a wonderful place and fun times! Great pictures too. Now, do I see you hiking in flip flops in one of those first pictures? We really don’t have any good hiking anywhere around us on the coast. We try to make a hiking trip nice a year but it is nothing like these mountains and lakes. Very nice!

  7. Those are some stunning photos you’ve there. I’m such a terrible outdoors person. The couple of camping trips that I did go to were spent in shameful drunkness. Whenever I get into one of my “one-with-nature” moods I go to Niagra-on-the-lake, which is as far out from a city that I’m willing to venture out into.

    I’m jealous of all you portaging and canoeing skills though. Sigh…

    • Lol! I kinda wish I’ve had those camping experiences where all you do is sit around and cook bbq and drink wine, sing songs and play games. I thought I’d have that the first time I went car camping since I was a child, which was last year. Instead I was swarmed by deer flies and rained upon. Hey, we all got our things we can stand and can’t stand. Niagara-on-the-Lake is nice too! Wine tasting? :)

  8. Just saw a moose grazing over yonder. Now I must say goodbye to my dear love, Killarney

    My favorite part :)

    I never do outdoorsy stuff like this. Whenever I’ve tried I’m always the weakest or the stongest one around. I don’t like that position. I want to be somewhere in the middle. Like if a murderer came after us I’d survive about an hour into the film.

    There is a bar named Killarney’s that I’ve gone to before. That’s sort of the same thing as what you did, right?

    • Hahahaha. Would you feel really bad if I told you it’s not the same? =P
      You should try it some time! Be one with nature, man. It will change you as a person. Not that you need to change. You know what I mean. :)

  9. Best blog yet!!! How I miss killarney too… Can’t believe u lost ur map tho. :( I might have lost the one I bought last year too but it doesn’t have as mich meaning as urs since I haven’t used mine yet.

    Also, don’t forget, trip #6 was also special bc i was there and it was extra special bc that was my first time portaging. Plus it was an awesome trip w monkey, tage, BIG J :)

    • Whaat! Team Cap’n in da house! Haha
      Don’t forget Mokbomb too =P
      Man that was one of the best trips for sure. That was such a sick group. I can’t wait for this trip. Reunited!

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