I have never been so scared. Hot chocolate, just before bed, seemed like a cozy idea. One hour later, in the darkness of the Canadian ‘bush’, my bladder started talking to me, “Need do a wee, need do a wee!”. It wouldn’t stop. Ever so gently, I woke up my comatose husband and whispered, “Need to do a wee, need to do a wee.”

Our torch was the size of a whiteboard marker. We had been told that you can hear bears rustling through the undergrowth before you see them. It was a dark but not stormy night. Our hands clasped each other tightly as we wove through the dense but short tree patch. We could see the lights of the toilet block.

Just a few more steps. The light from the torch was feint. We stopped every metre or two to listen out for the hungry grizzly the park rangers had sighted the day before. No noise. Deafening silence. Light. We strode as fast and as silently as we could. Made it!

Wee done, now back to the ‘safety’ of our tent. Reverse the description above and that was our trip back to the tent. This process was repeated the following night. I, then, realised the wisdom of rejecting the offer of hot chocolate before bed.

When our camping trip was done, I felt like an adventurer. I felt like I had conquered my fear of ‘wild’ things! I bought a bear statue. He is lying on his back, happy as bear in a berry patch. He looks harmless. When I am afraid of anything in life, I look to fear bear and remember, I conquered the wilds of Canada, I can do anything!

Note: When we returned home, I watched a documentary called ‘When Animals Attack’. You know the type. There was a story of a bear that went around Lake Louise campground and ripped open the tents of sleeping campers and attacked them! This was the same campground we ventured through on our trip to the toilet. Impressive no? I felt like a superhero, taking on wild animals at every turn. Call me Tarzem.

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