Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mackinaw Island

It was an exhilarating half an hour ferry ride to Mackinaw Island. As we approached the jetty, I could make out the details of the island, the light house being the most prominent.

Mackinaw Island is about ten square miles in area. The usual trimmings of a popular tourist place are all there, important amongst them being the booth which hires out the bicycles and the place where the tickets for the carriage ride are sold. Motor vehicles are not allowed on the island barring snowmobiles during winter and eighty percent of the island is preserved as a national park. The resident population is about five hundred and the island has between ten to fifteen thousand visitors a day.

Bhanu and Latha decided to burden a horse at twenty five dollars per head and the rest of us opted to ride around the island on a rented pedal bike at three dollars for two hours.

The carriage ride begins near the grand hotel.

The route goes up hills along a very pleasant and picturesque route. The carriage halts now and then at places of interest. If you are keen to spend more time at a spot, you may do so and continue your ride in the next carriage. Like the sightseeing buses. My wife had the camera, took a few pictures and has now forgotten what they were. The pictures anyway are here. One is the view of the main land from the island, another one is some museum or cemetery and yet another is an arch through which people peep.

The bicycle route goes round the island, a distance of about nine miles, all along the water’s edge. It is a narrow path having facilities for rest here and there. There are thousands of riders. The bicycles are comfortable to ride.
I had an enjoyable ride but my knees disagree with me. We lunched at one of the restaurants on the main street, took the return ferry and were back on the mainland by two in the afternoon. We could not afford to spend more time in Mackinaw. We had to visit Soo Locks before proceeding to Munisingh for the night halt.

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