Linda and Marius


Our time in Hamilton was great. Linda and Marius had a beautiful home and lifestyle and we enjoyed their hospitality greatly. They washed our clothes and fed us a delicious lamb dinner the first night. We sat around chatting until we all grew sleepy. The next day we had a spread of breakfast ladened with fresh fruits and as much toast as we could eat. G and I had decided we’d spend the day at Hamilton Gardens. We clearly didn’t need to resupply, but there were a couple things we did want, so Linda showed us a beautiful way we could walk to the Gardens and then a beautiful way we could walk home that included a grocery store. We headed out for the gardens and enjoyed a very slow walk. My foot was in bad shape and by the end of the driveway I turned back to get ibuprofen. The pain was debilitating and Georges and I discussed whether I should go to a doctor while we walked slowly toward the gardens.

Crossing the river, we arrived at the back of the gardens. It was mediocre at first–just looked like a botanical garden. Big grassy areas with some plants and benches. We entered the rose garden and found thousands of rose plants all labeled with their name and native location. Pretty, but a bit boring to Georges and me. We headed toward the buildings in search of a map and a bathroom.

The open gardens


The gal who gave us the map explained there were the large open gardens, like the rose one we had walked through, and then their internationally praised themed gardens in a separate area. We headed for those.

They were awesome. Absolutely amazing and incredible. Each of the gardens had a small sign that explained the theme including the history, explanations of elements and importance of each. Then you entered into these amazingly well-conceptualized and constructed gardens. All so completely different than the others and all intellectually and aesthetically wonderful. G and I both loved the experience. It is by far the coolest attraction we’ve participated in so far.

After the morning in the garden, we started making our way back. We went to the store and bought what we needed as well as a few things for lunch. We sat on a wall in the parking lot and ate before finishing the walk. Our return journey was along the river path and then through a few streets. We were still hobbling along slowly, but I decided I probably didn’t need to go to the doctor. I’d just google it later.

Linda and Marius’ backyard


Arriving back to the house, Marius made us some tea and I googled my foot. Overuse. Treatment: rest and anti-inflamatories. Marius offered to take us quickly to an outdoor shop that might have insoles I could get for my my foot. It closed soon, so we happily abandoned our tea and jumped in the car. Marius took us and pointed at a road we could take to get all the way back to the bottom of the lake (which they live on). The guy at the shop (wasn’t particularly kind) told me I had completely the wrong kind of shoe and nothing I could do, besides buy new shoes, would help me. I restated that I was looking for insoles for the shoes I already own. He showed me the one type they sell and I said I’d give them a try. I also got some on-sale undies, because I’ve decided I’d like to have three pair, and G got some new socks with better cushioning. We started our walk home and followed Marius’s directions.

In an hour, we ran out of road but hadn’t met the lake. Looking at the GPS, we saw we should have taken the road in the other direction and grumpily turned around to rewalk the boring street we had come down. We did eventually find the lake and walked next to it rather than on the roads to get back. We got back to the house around 5. Linda and Marius provided us with particularly good Indian takeout and we watched the news after dinner. Chatting about worldly topics, the evening passed warmly. Marius offered to take us out of town the the start of the tomorrow’s trail, and we went to bed quite content.

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