I spent the majority of the 2020 lockdowns in Canada. Just like most people, I was confined to one place.
I didn’t mind the break from traveling that much. For once I didn’t have to think about where to go next as it wasn’t really a time to make plans. I had no idea what would happen and how this whole situation would evolve. I accepted that I would have to stay in one place for an indefinite time (or as long as my visa for Canada allowed me to) and I made the best of it.
I spent the majority of my time in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city. My days in lockdown consisted of working online, building my photography portfolio, attempting to cook vegan (couldn’t give up cheese though…), playing Catan (a great board game by the way!) with my housemates, and waiting until the restrictions would lift.
I also spent as much time in nature as possible, which helped me to stay peaceful, positive and sane in these uncertain times. I often went for little hikes and on small cycling trips in the neighborhood and in the many beautiful parks of Ottawa.
Whenever I walked or cycled next to the Ottawa river, I often saw people passing in their kayaks or canoes. It had been almost 8 years since the last time I went kayaking and seeing these people leisurely paddling along the river made me long to pick up this outdoor activity again.
Despite the circumstances, 2020 brought me many good things, rekindling my love for kayaking being one of them.
I had forgotten what an easy and fun sport kayaking is! Anybody can do it as the technique is very easy to learn. It’s relaxing and at the same time a great exercise for the upper body.
You can paddle as fast or as slow as you want and it allows you to be very close to nature.
Initially, I started with kayaking on the Ottawa River. Once the restrictions softened and the borders between the different provinces in Canada reopened, I went on a few kayaking and canoeing trips in Quebec.
This French-speaking province of Canada is dotted with over half a million lakes! Definitely the place to be if you’re looking for great canoeing and kayaking locations in Canada!
I didn’t go to as many lakes as I would have loved to but the ones I paddled on were definitely worth it! There’s one special moment of my time kayaking in Canada that I’ll always remember.
My travel partner Niko and I were staying for a couple of days at the cottage of his uncle and aunt at Lac Lacroix in western Quebec. There are some cottages surrounding this lake and people mainly come here to relax or fish during the summer months.
Niko’s uncle was telling me that during some mornings the lake’s surface is covered in a thick layer of mist. This fog mainly appears towards the end of summer, when there’s a larger difference in temperature between the air above the lake and the water at the surface of the lake.
As I was there at the beginning of August, the chances for this to happen were small. Still, I was hopeful and decided to get up one morning at 5 am to see if I’d be lucky enough to witness this phenomenon. While I’m not exactly an early riser, I’m very glad I got out of bed that morning…
I wanted more than just sitting on the shore of the lake and watching the thin, warm, moist layer of air floating over the water. I longed to be in the midst of it and capture it all on camera.
And what’s the best way to silently go in the water and become part of the scenery without having to swim? Yes, kayaking! Niko’s uncle had 2 kayaks at the cottage so we took them out and set off on an early morning kayaking trip.
I took my Panasonic Lumix G90 with the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 lens along for the photoshoot. While I still had to be careful not to drop my camera in the lake, I didn’t have to worry about water getting on my camera and lens as both are waterproof.
All the photos in this post are taken with the Panasonic Lumix G90 and the Lumix G Vario 14-140mm lens. Read more about my review on this camera and lens and why I highly recommend the Lumix G90 for outdoor and travel photography!
The only sounds we could hear were our paddles gently cutting through the water. The world around us was still asleep, with the exception of a couple of men standing on the shore in the distance and throwing their fishing lines in the lake.
I paddled very slowly, stopping every 5 minutes to take a photo of the changing scenery.
Once the sun slowly started to rise behind the trees, I could witness the sky changing from deep blue to gold while the fog slowly evaporated. It was downright spectacular!
One of the advantages of kayaking is that you can silently paddle on the lake and feel like you’re becoming part of your surroundings. If you’re really quiet, you can also spot wildlife before they see you.
We were kayaking for at least 2 hours on the lake until the sun was fully set and the mist completely gone. I had the intention to go back to bed upon my return at the cottage and catch more sleep but the experience of that kayaking trip filled me with so much joy that I had enough energy to get me through the rest the day (coffee helped as well…).
This early morning kayaking trip will always remain in my memories. I think the pictures described everything that I couldn’t put into words.
One thing is for sure though, this was definitely not my last time kayaking. While I’m no longer in Canada, I’m still planning on going on more kayaking trips in the future!
Recently I even bought an inflatable kayak that fits in my backpack so I can take it with me wherever I’ll go. I’m planning on sharing more photo stories in the near future of my kayaking adventures in the Netherlands (where I’m currently based) and – hopefully soon – in many other places in the world!
Do you love kayaking? Where’s your favorite place to kayak? All tips are welcome!
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through them, I’ll receive a small commission, at no extra costs for you. This way you’re helping me running this website and writing more informative and awesome guides like this. I only recommend products that I like and trust. Thank you!