Midterm exams are very spread out throughout the term and so while we find the time to study and play, we also have to remember that we’re in the land of down under! Of geese and people, of moose and bears, and of maple leaves and bright green coniferous pine trees! We will try to find the time to get out into the nature to explore in our spare time, and in it we find something remarkably unique that we can never have back home in Singapore.
These photos were taken on a trip to Algonquin National Park. I hitch-hiked about 400km up north, in total with about 14 cars, and met loads of great families and friends as I was stopped along highways, forest roadsides, villages, farms, and even dropped in the middle of nowhere! The trip took about 24 hours of hitch-hiking and mingling for 24 hours there, 24 hours spent in the forest, and 24 hours back home to Waterloo. Great friends, great drinks, great food and great great great mother nature.
Throughout the experience in Algonquin, I realised I was the only person camping in the forest – most bus services to the park had closed due to the onset of winter and I was the only one (foolish) to pitch a tent by the lake that day. Nevertheless, the peace and serenity that accompanied the quiet calm was a moment of gold to just sit on a rock, think about life, and focus on looking out for wild life instead of looking out for homework assignments.
The serenity that the forest gave was mesmerising – almost as if it you had stared at the trees long enough, you could feel the spirit of nature staring back at you through your soul.
Night time was a little bit scary, however, being completely alone in the forest (I haven’t met a single soul that day after trekking in about 12km on foot). The quietness set an atmosphere of such stillness that the serenity was teetering on a knife’s edge – that any small sound of the water lapping in the lake, or of acorns dropping from trees and crunching into the dried leaves below – sounded like an earthquake. There was a wild animal prowling the tents that night, but from the sound of the leaves, it was most likely just a small deer. I was secretly hoping a nice cute black bear would pay a visit, but the rational side of me beckoned otherwise.
Regardless. I woke up in the morning freezing cold, but safe, and carrying with me the memories of one night of stillness and calm, and perhaps an epiphany, in that short visit to the the forests of Algonquin.
Back to the mid-term exams.