Thunder Bay·Audio

Wabakimi adventure winners arrive in Thunder Bay for trip of a lifetime.

Four contest winners are getting ready for a free adventure trip through Wabakimi Provincial Park.

Four people won the trip through Wabakimi Provincial Park in contest dreamed up by Ontario's tourism board

John and Joanne Armstrong of Manchester, England, will trek through Wabakimi Provincial Park by canoe and bush plane. The couple won the trip — along with two others from British Columbia — through the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership. They will be accompanied by well-known United Kingdom adventurer Ray Mears. (John and Joanne Armstrong )
Four contest winners are arriving in Thunder Bay. They've won an adventure travel package to Wabakimi Provincial Park. We hear from one of the adventurers. 5:44

Four contest winners are getting ready for a free adventure trip through Wabakimi Provincial Park.

A winner from England and another from British Columbia are slated to arrive on Thursday, Aug. 6, with their guests.

The trip stems from a contest run last fall by Ontario's tourism marketing board. For the next week, the group will trek through the park by canoe and bush plane.

John Armstrong of Manchester, England, said he's looking forward to connecting with nature.

"There's more wildlife in Canada," he said.

"You've got wolves, bears, something that you don't have in England. So you're gonna be seeing animals and birds in their natural environment, unspoiled by man, really."

Armstrong, who brought his wife Joanne for the trip, said he's keen to take lots of nature shots in the park with his camera.
Winners of an Ontario tourism contest will be accompanied by British TV personality Ray Mears to learn bushcraft survival skills. The group are to start their trek through Wabakimi Provincial Park on Aug. 7. (Twitter/@Ray_Mears)

As for winning the contest that puts them in the company of well-known United Kingdom adventurer and outdoors lover Ray Mears, "we were over the moon," Armstrong said. "We couldn't believe our luck."

The couple visited Canada about two years ago.

"[We're] looking forward to the canoeing," Armstrong said.

"We're looking forward to meeting Ray. We're just looking forward to everything."

Fishing for dinner

Mears will teach the group survival skills along the way.

"This northern wilderness is a place I've truly come to love,"  he said in his BBC TV series called "Ray Mears' Northern Wilderness," that aired in fall of 2009 and was filmed in Ontario and British Columbia.

"It's a place where knowledge and experience are still far more important than the equipment you carry with you."

Levon Young of British Columbia will also be part of the expedition. He will be accompanying winner Doug Temoin.

Young said he's looking forward to fishing for his dinner.

"I like and enjoy the outdoors and camping and canoeing. I didn't have to think too hard [about going].

The winners will be setting out for Wabakimi on Aug. 7.

The "Wild Wabakimi Adventure" portion will last five days, between Saturday and Wednesday, and the trip will end with a train ride on a special domed car through a stretch of boreal forest.


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