Linda

Linda

Linda

Edmonton, Canada, August 2015

One thing that never ceases to surprise me are the people who offer us a place to stay within their property, be it a yard to camp or even a room to stay in. And no matter how often it happens or under which circumstances there is no way we could thank them enough for the gift of feeling secure at night when you go to sleep. To all of them we dedicate this entry on our website.

Camping in her Garden

Camping in her Garden

One of these magnificent people is Linda, a lovely woman that lives in a small town in the damp and green west coast of the marvelous country of New Zealand by the name of Bruce Bay. The approach happened like it always happens while cycle touring, sometime at dawn when you are eagerly looking for a place to pitch your tent for the night. In reality any place could be that place, but you often try to find the places that no one can spot you easily or the ground is suitable for your back and your non existent bed mattress. That day we were not having luck finding that place. So we entered to the town, which for New Zealand standards is a couple of houses and a big fancy hotel on the road. After a couple of streets we saw a man dressed like summer on a cold afternoon on top on his lawn mower working on his beautiful garden. I approached him and asked him, “ Excuse me sir, would you happen to know of a place in town we could just pitch our tent for the night?”. He looked at us a bit sceptic and answered, “Go inside and ask my wife”.

Cozy House

Cozy House

MMM Oysters!

MMM Oysters!

A second later I was on the door of the house and there she was: Linda. A tall husky built woman with a white shirt and a face that instantaneously radiated welcome. I asked her the same question and she quickly answered “Here!”, as she pointed into the back of her perfectly green grass on her garden. “Are yo guys hungry?”, she asked shortly after showing us around. We did not even answer, but she must have looked at our face when she continued, “we are having oysters tonight so please come inside after you put your tent up!”. Oh man, that feeling of food, secure night and meeting nice people can only be compared to the excitement you feel on attending your best friends wedding, well at least to us.

Mom!

Mom!

We came inside the house, this beautiful vintage decorated house with a 50 year old stove. We sat down the couch decorated with the fur of a fox amongst other interesting objects that she later told us she had bought on garage sales all over the country. She then offered us a liquor that she made by herself and we met the rest of the family. The man who we had already met on the lawn mower was Tony, her husband, then she introduced us to a nice cute lady sitting on the couch who was her Mom Mary and finally she pointed out to the the lazy dog sitting on the porch and said, “and that is Baxter”, a dog that seemed to be very pampered by the whole family. Linda told us that every summer they come to their house in Bruce Bay to catch whitebait, a delicacy of the region of this country. They were both retired but still had several jobs to do back home. She told us, she actually was considering opening a hostel or campground to host people like us in and around her house in Bruce Bay. She said it was not the first time she had done this (letting complete strangers into her house like us) and because she had always had lovely experiences she thought it would be a good idea to earn a bit of extra money while meeting interesting people.

Foxy Decoration

Foxy Decoration

After a couple of drinks of her liquor we were all in a laughing mood, apparently the liquor had more than 8% and it quickly helped us enter a stage where we talked as if we had know each other for a couple of days. Tony, Linda and Mom (we also started calling her mom) made us laugh a ton. They had the greatest sense of humor. They all told us about the time a famous photographer stopped at her house to interview Linda. Apparently the guy was doing a project on dogs and their owners. I think he saw the same thing we saw in Linda, a nice welcoming lady that happened to be playing with her dog outside the house. She said he took a couple of pictures of Baxter and her. He later told her he was doing a picture book on humans and their relationship with their dogs and that she might be selected. After he took the pictures he asked her a question: If you were stranded in an island who would you prefer to have on your side, your dog or your husband?

Bruce Bay Origins

Bruce Bay Origins

She told us, she quickly answered, “ My husband”, but then she instantaneously regretted her answer and changed it, “no wait, my dog!”. Then the photographer asked, “Why did you change your answer?”. She then told him, “ Well I just realized that if I take my dog with me on the stranded island, I could always eat him if I was hungry!”.

Linda, Me and Tony

Linda, Me and Tony

We all laughed out loud for a while, by that time we had already eaten like 5 oysters each with tartar sauce and chips. We learned that more than her husband, more than her dog and more than her home what Linda loved more than anything in the world was to cook and we could definitely taste that. The night ended and with our bellies full and after a good laugh we all went to sleep.

Baxter

Baxter

The next morning I took some pictures of Tony playing with the almost eaten dog and Linda showed us a couple of pictures of the past glory of the town, that funny enough was named after her relatives back in the 20’s. Before leaving I told her that Linda in Spanish meant nice and I could not see a more fitting name for her than that. We said goodbye and as we cycled away from her home we felt lucky that we were able to meet this wonderful family, a miracle every time it happens.

1338 Total Views 1 Views Today
  1. I loved this post! Completely epitomises strangers, who turn into fast friends, that you meet on the road. What a lovely family 🙂

    • Hello Suyin,
      yes we are some lucky lucky people, we keep on running into nice strangers who very quickly turn into friends. People are great, really. They give us all the motivation to keep on going even on a grey and rainy day.
      Cheers,
      Annika

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*