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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Top Travel Days of 2019, The Much-Needed Therapeutic Waters of Temagami

In April, I crashed my car and had to deal with an unexpected, exorbitant tax bill. May brought the death of Lisa’s dad, Ken. Then in early June, we learned that one of our trusted tour operators that we like to use for Africa trips had just went bankrupt. Needless to say, by the time I reached the waters of Lake Temagami in late July, my nerves were shot. All I wanted to do was jump in the water and swim. And for 3 days, that’s primarily what I did. Dove in the heavenly waters of this vast lake and swam free crawl, backstroke, elementary backstroke, underwater, to a small island directly across from us. It was a perfect cleansing of my body in these pristine waters, happily washing away the year’s stress with each stroke. 

I had no idea where we were, a place called Ojibway on an island 20 minutes by boat from the parking lot some 5 to 6 hour drive north of Toronto. Amy had found the place because her daughter, Sophie, was counselor at Keewaydin Songadeewin summer camp in Vermont, sister camp to Keewaydin Temagami located on the same island as Ojibway. There were no campers during our stay, because the Temagami camp is primarily used as a base for long-distance canoe trips for paddlers, upwards of 6 weeks in summer. Ojibway felt like summer camp for adults in one of the most serene settings I’ve visited in Canada. The inviting waters entice you to grab a canoe and paddle to your heart’s content, following the loons. Meals are served family-style on the long tables and the food was surprisingly good. So was the company, many of whom had a long history with this island, including a woman from Mississippi, who told me that her grandfather had found this place in the early 1900s, not wanting to deal with the crowds in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Her family has been returning here for over a century. And who can blame them! 
 
It's hard to find a more peaceful and stress-free setting, one where your WiFi only works close to the dining area (and very slow at that). You’re free to discard the smart phone and read your stack of books, go for a paddle, have gin and tonics on the deck, and yes, swim. I want to hold on to that image of me diving off the dock at Ojibway to hopefully keep my blood pressure down the rest of the year. At least, until I return to this special spot again. 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/16/20 at 07:00 AM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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