Saturday, August 04, 2012

Bargains in the Boonies

The usual rule if you are heading to a relatively remote area is to stock up on necessities before you leave, because they may be scarce and are likely to be much more costly if you can find them. Certainly this applies to some Caribbean islands, the Far North and many other places.
However, if you plan to visit Barry's Bay in eastern Ontario, you would do well to save some shopping to do in that small town on the road to nowhere except Algonquin Park. On a recent visit I discovered I had forgotten my contact lens solution, and was able to replace it at the drugstore/general market there for $4 less than I usually pay in Montreal. And I was also able to buy the kind of lens holder I haven't been able to find at my optometrist's for years. The clothing store Stedman's, also in Barry's Bay, is a great place to stock up on socks, underwear and bathing suits at remarkable prices. A couple of years ago I bought a two-piece bathing suit there for just $8, or $4 per piece. The style may not be the latest, but it works quite well. If you are in need of groceries, there is even a Metro store in the town.
In nearby Combermere, stop at the Madonna House Museum and used book store for bargains on books of all kinds, not just religious, and it's open Tuesday, Friday and Saturday in the afternoon during summer. The museum commemorates a Russo-Polish pioneer settlement that was started here in the mid-20th century by a devout Catholic laywoman.
I have not yet made it to Algonquin Park, but I am assured that it's a must for lovers of the Canadian wilderness, a place where you can hear wolves howl and where bear, deer and many smaller kinds of animals are abundant. A traditional Algonquin pow wow is held there every summer, this year on August 18 and 19. Maybe next year, for me.

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