25th Jun 2012
End of Winnipeg
Sunday 24th June, 2012
Our last day in Winnipeg and we start the day with a huge buffet breakfast in the foyer of the Fort Garry Hotel – that will be interesting.
Rochelle updated us yesterday on Maurice’s condition. Seems ever so slightly more positive with minor improvement in his responses, to those around him in Whangarei Hospital, there is a possibility of an operation to remove the pressure on his brain, which contains a three inch bleed – nothing we can do from here, he is in our thoughts constantly, thankfully the Wade’s (where he was living and helping to run the farm), have arrived back in Dargaville after their trip to Germany.
Yesterdays Aboriginal (Indian) day was a huge disappointment to us, didn’t see one person dressed in their costumes – it was probably too hot, they would have cooked I suppose. Lots of stalls selling handmade jewellery, dream catchers and pottery, Aboriginal Diabetes tents (should have been over-run with coloured people but wasn’t, I feel really good about myself) and a National Parks gazebo. Food, food and food everywhere, hotdogs, popcorn, donuts, you name it, it was there. The music during the day was quite loud, so we just can’t imagine the decibel level after 8.00 pm, when the concert kicked in properly, our hotel is not too far away, but we heard nothing and the 11.30 pm fireworks display was way too late for a couple of older travellers, although we do feel rested again, after a couple of slower days.
No overnight news of Maurice, but on Facebook, we learn that the Cleary oven has ‘packed a sad’, what next can go wrong. They may have moved house, to Turiwiri by the time we get back!!!!! They’ve got 30 days to achieve that, our next leg will pass very quickly, as lots has been planned for us.
Wow, breakfast was ‘Fit for the Queen’ (no doubt she has sampled it when she stayed in the Regal Room). Served from 9.00 am – 1.00 pm, on a usual Sunday morning, 700 at $50.00 a head, pass through the dining room. Of course classed as Brunch, but you could have anything from Eggs Benedict, salads and casseroles, to the most delicate desserts (almost to the Fleischli standard). People obviously (by the way their large dinner plates were loaded) were classing this as their main meal of the day-I suppose. There were no cereals though, so we had to settle for a seafood filled omelette, which was yummy. We came away, more than satisfied, after sampling several delectable chocolate iced slices, Bruce enjoyed one that was filled with walnuts, and with a muffin, a nectarine and an apricot to have as our lunch.
We visited for a couple of hours the local Railway Station museum, lots of photographs of the history of the area, old snow engines that were huge but rather ‘Jerry built’ looking. Massive hunks of steel bolted to its sides that were swung around to clear the snow from the tracks. A very interesting place, which also had a miniature setup in the middle, another little boys heaven.
Skyped Rochelle when we returned at 3.30, only to learn of more bad news from home. The death of Steven Douglas (neighbouring Kumara Farmer) and that Bruce Wade (Rotarian) is also in Whangarei Hospital, the place is falling apart. The Turiwiri Water account has been passed on to the Gregory’s, so hope they have got into gear, read the meters and are about to pay the Council our cheque, Rochelle is going to follow up with a telephone call, if not paid on time, we loose the large discount.
Tomorrow, Monday, we have to be at the Railway Station by 10.00 am so our bags can be loaded on to the baggage carriage and we head for Saskatoon – arriving at 10.00 pm, so this will be a daytime traverse of the country, hopefully more interesting that the stone, trees and water we saw from Toronto. Bruce gets to speak at one of the Rotary Clubs in Saskatoon, we have had a search for his name badge in the suitcases, could find mine, his was a little harder to locate, he knew where his prepared paperwork and Banner was, that was easy to find.