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Old 10-27-2012, 10:24 PM   #1
dean10 OP
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Phillys Big Trip (Alaska to Chile or is that Argentina)

I have been on the road for a couple of months now with I short break in between and been meaning to post something on this forum but never seem to have had the time. The idea is to ride my motorcycle from Alaska to Argentina it was originally titled Alaska to Chile until I was informed that its Argentina at the bottom not Chile so you can see map reading and planning not really my forte. This really became apparent when I shipped my bike to Halifax not realising it was bleeding miles to Alaska! My original plan was done based on a map I have on my loo wall and looking at that the distances did not seem that far 35,000km later I think I am getting the hang of scales and distances and dreaming of the trip on said loo a distant memory.
I have been keeping a blog first with IWeb application and recently I have moved everything to Wordpress as this is more interactive so I thought I would share this with you guys on this forum. Have removed link to blog as to keep you guys keen on this forum does not take a genius to figure out blog site


Maybe doing the odd update on here as well and as I head further into the unknown may need some help from you experts out there. My current problem is that my spanish is crap and I am struggling to communicate with folks down here so looking on doing a language course in Antigua so looking for recommendations
And I now I mainly only look at the pictures so would like to post a few here as well


Some Random photos from the trip so far or some tasters

The boat across the atlantic

Morning visitors in Nova Scotia

Who is interested now that enough for now take a look at the blog and I shall post some pictures during the week if I have access to the Internet

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Old 02-17-2013, 06:41 PM   #2
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Getting the Bike Across the Atlantic, Wednesday, 23 May 2012, Day 0

The Boat Across the Atlantic

A short ride from Den Haag in the Netherlands to Zeebrugge in Belgium, to put my bike on MV Grand Mercury to be delivered to Halifax Nova Scotia estimated time of arrival 4th June 2012.

Packing

WW Office Zeebrugge

No problem in getting my bike delivered at Wallenius Wilhelmsen even managed to leave my helmet , boots and leathers on the bike which was good as this mean less for me to carry on the plane as I was struggling for space there as well
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:46 PM   #3
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Den Haag Toronto Halifax, Tuesday, 5 June 2012, Day 1

Starting Mileage in KM

Mandatory picture of odometer starting mileage or is that kmleage

A very long day got up at 4.30 in the morning and got a taxi to Den Haag Central Station to catch the train to the Schiphol. On the train had a panic attack and was not sure if I had swiped my OV card so jumped of the train at Leiden before the inspectors came through and walked down to the entrance hall to swipe my OV card only to realise I had already done this in the Hague so a panic attack was for nothing so slepped back to the platform and the train I just got of as it was still there so got back on it. Got some weird looks from folks as I was lugging two huge bags and a rucksack weighing in total about 25 KG.

Got the plane to Toronto no problem only a bit of a challenge on the amount of luggage I had but as I had sorted this already on the phone so already knew it should not be an issue.

9 hour flight to Toronto with AirTransit a charter company so no frills and no leg room*but being a dwarf no real problem for me and it was cheap as chips and they let me buy a one way ticket which normal cost a small fortune on the major airlines.

Arrived at 11.30 Canadian time in Toronto and my next plane was not till 17.30 so after clearing customs which was easy as it was a fellow biker first job was to see if I could get an earlier flight which was easy and after convincing them that my extra bag was hunting equipment they waived the extra luggage allowance charge on that which was great :-)

Got to Halifax airport at about seven in the evening and found it was miles away from town and the taxis were very expensive but I managed to found a local bus that would take me to Dartmouth and got another bus from there to the motel I was staying out saving me a small fortune. Going to use the buses tomorrow as well when I go and pick my bike up.

Checked in to Lake City Motel and went to grab something to eat before crashing as I had been up 24 hrs. And was starting to feel a little bit tired!
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:47 PM   #4
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Halifax Nova Scotia Picking up the bike, Wednesday, 6 June 2012, Day 2

Amusing T Shirt[/caption]

Just in case you were worried about me getting kidnapped well check out the photo I have made it more difficult!

Today was glorified treasure hunt with the end result my motorcycle and me reunited. Got a bus into Halifax trying to find a Post Office to get a money order as that is the only form of payment that Wallenius Wilhelmsen would accept.* The nice lady behind the counter and me had some fun trying to get this accomplished with all of the weird spellings and not enough space on the forms. Job 1 done. Next of to find the Wallenius Wilhelmsen office via Tim Horton’s (More on Tim Horton’s later) for breakfast. Find the building its huge now to find the correct office suite which took a while as the building was actually 3 separate buildings and finding the right elevator shaft for the office I wanted was proving difficult (Jet lag)

I finally found it but then had to swap as it did not go to the floor I wanted. Handed the nice lady the money order and the notice of arrival (technical term me now an expert on import and export of goods) and she gave me the instructions on how to get to the customs office which was another 15 min walk away.

Job 3 customs no problem there as I had no drugs and firearms on the bike according to me so they stamped the papers so job 4 was to get Auto port which was a 25 minute taxi ride away. Not for me as I had got a map of the public transport system of Halifax so instead I got a ferry from Halifax to Dartmouth and then on number 60 bus which stopped just outside where I wanted to be and only cost a couple bucks to get there rather than an expensive taxi ride.

Me on a ferry[/caption]

Took about 15 minutes while they went to pick up my bike and after checking it was all there and nothing was broken or missing I had won the treasure hunt and had successfully brought my motorcycle from the Netherlands to Canada and was on my way :-)

Halifax[/caption]

Dartmouth Artie![/caption]

 

Spent the rest of the day doodling around Halifax getting used to driving in Canada also visited a graveyard where they buried some of the bodies that they could find from the Titanic very interesting place

Titanic Graveyard[/caption]

Dean![/caption]

Funny looking Birds here[/caption]

 

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Old 02-17-2013, 07:02 PM   #5
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Halifax to Clyde River, Thursday, 7 June 2012, Day 3

First night under canvas[/caption]

First day on the bike taking the Lighthouse route from Halifax to Yarmouth only to find out that it is no longer called the Lighthouse Route but South Shore Route. Spent hours on Base Camp trying to get the route onto my GPS but failed miserably so did it manually on the GPS itself but this slow going so will need to brush up on my GPS skills or I am going to miss a lot or get seriously lost.

Peggy Cove[/caption]



A most pleasant day in the saddle, zooming along the coast of Nova Scotia. First mechanical calamity I noticed that the GPS was a bit wobbly looks like I had lost a screw is was late in the day so a mad rush trying to find a hardware store which sounds simple but not when you are the in the middle of nowhere and its about an hour or more between each village if you can even call them that. Eventually find a hardware shop in Shelbourne, which was just closing who were able to help me in getting the right screw also brought some Loctite to ensure that I did not end up loosing another screw. Crap design of the holder it has the full weight of the GPS hanging on it and it bounces all over the place no wonder the screw worked loose. So finger tightened the two screws and I headed for the nearest campsite which turned out to be closed and did not open till next week! So spent about 30 minutes repairing the GPS properly at the side of the road and then headed to another campsite that someone had mentioned that was about 40 km away.

I finally found it Clyde River Farm and met John the owner who had to laugh when I asked if there was anywhere local to get something to eat Yes was the response back to where I just come from! He was kind enough to invite me to dinner at his home Burger and blueberry muffins mmmm lekker I must have looked bedraggled as he also set up a camp fire for me by my campsite and I spent a pleasant evening with John his wife Maureen and 3 other friends of theirs who pop by for coffee and Muffins as well at the house.

First night camping got to great start with the help of John Ta Mate. Early night looks like this going to be the norm for a while.
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:12 PM   #6
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Clyde River to Annapolis Royal, Friday, 8 June 2012, Day 4

Huge wooden Church[/caption]

Uneventful day good night sleep under canvas even though it was only 3 degrees centigrade according to John my 30 year old duck down still going strong unfortunately the zip has gone at the feet area so some maintenance is required to avoid cold feet syndrome. Weather is weird her started over glorious sun shine and so pulled the lining out of my jacket and pulled me summer gloves out but within an hour the sun had gone and it was down to 10 degrees centigrade so cold weather kit on only for it to change to 21 degrees centigrade a couple of hours later making wardrobe planning a complete night mare!

Driving along when all of sudden I saw a large church not to impressive they are all over the place here but what made this special was that it was huge totally dominating the horizon so what it just another church but the amazing thing for me was that it was made of wood which blew my socks of as I have never seen such a tall wooden construction (sad git need to get out more :-))

Big wooden church![/caption]

Did my first off road excursion today as the GPS was set to include dirt roads as these are very rare in Europe but they are all over the place here. Going have to rethink the off road strategy because basically I am a crap off road rider and just do not have the confidence or the skills to handle anything to serious yet just not relaxed enough as soon as I hit the dirt I automatically stiffen up am totally nervous till I hit the tarmac again so maybe my original plan of going over the trans Labrador highway is not going to happen as this is about 500km off road which could ruin my underwear planning (another wardrobe issue)

Big River[/caption]

It is 21.30 just getting dark and I sitting outside my tent typing this probably going to be another early night as not much going on here and it is getting cold fast.

Annapolis Royal[/caption]
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:17 PM   #7
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Annapolis Royal to Creignish, Saturday, 9 June 2012, Day 5

Campsite before it started to rain[/caption]

Wet, wet, wet and wet grrrr wet. Woke up and it was raining so rolled over and went back to sleep as I was snug as a bug in my sleeping bag. It kept on raining or so I thought I was camping under some trees so the rain dripping on my tent made it sound like it was pissing down when in fact when I did get out it was only spiting so had to break down a wet tent and gear in in the damp which was not to enjoyable very slow morning especially the multiple trip I did to the shower complex first time found out you need change for hot shower so went back to the tent to pick up change but forgot my shower bag so had to go back and get that all this is the wet folks where starting to stare.

Hit the road and basically it rained all day so just put my head down and headed for cape Breton in the hope that the sun would come out. It did not so spent all day on the bike getting soaked so by 6 in the evening was a damp squid and had no desire to camp as it was still raining so went to the tourist info who directed me to a great cheap little BB in Creignish more on this later. Took no photos today so one from the day before my campsite before it started raining.

Creignish BB that was run by Sandra, which is an old school house converted into a BB from the outside looks overgrown but inside a very cosy fascinating place with an interesting owner. In the sitting room overlooks a feeding table where there are squirrels, chipmunks, humming birds and all sorts of other colourful birds so after a long wet day on the bike a dry little haven so good that I have decided to stay 2 nights and use this as base to the Cabot Trail (Have I already gone of camping not sure I can afford to do that!)

BB Creigish[/caption]

Comment on my kit stood up to the wet

Rukka Gloves are actually waterproof I do not recall ever having a pair of gloves that kept my hands so dry for so long how long will these last before they start to leak (Cynic)

Rev-it Boots also kept me feet dry

Damen Waterproof trousers also worked so on the whole very happy with me new Kit lets hope they stay waterproof for a while longer as I am guessing I will be needing them

And my faithful 7-year-old Rukka jacket still keeping me warm and dry and seems to take whatever the weather wants to throw at me had some wet arms today but that was my own fault for not tucking the gloves in correctly.
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:21 PM   #8
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Creignish Cabot Trail, Sunday, 10 June 2012, Day 6

Cabot Trail Coastline[/caption]

Good to be back in a bed not sure I am cut out for camping anymore but going to have to persist or this is going to be a very short trip. Huge breakfast like I said I like this little BB. Not sure what the weather is going to do but decide to do the Cabot Trail just a short circuit of Cape Breton +-400kms.

Cabot Trail Cold[/caption]

Cabot Trail Warmer[/caption]

Cabot Trail[/caption]

 

 

Started of cold and wet so not having much fun however at around 3 the sun decided to come out which made the rest of the trip very enjoyable. So went from 10 degrees C riding through the mist and clouds not been able to see much to glorious sunshine and 20 degrees C so again serious wardrobe issues on with the waterproofs of with the waterproofs, winter gloves, in between gloves, summer gloves choices choices.

Bike trying to escape[/caption]

At the end of the day found a nice little pub which had live Gaelic music so had a big bowl of chilly to warm me insides and spent a nice meal tapping me foot to the music.

Cabot Trail Musicians[/caption]

Back to the BB where I did some quick repairs to the bike. Mechanical issue 2 the tube that runs from my chain oiler to the chain had rubbed a whole it self with the last bodge job I had done to fix this so as per all my fixes out comes the duct tape and the zip ties and hey presto job done chain lube functional (How long who knows) also adjusted the chain while I was busy at the back end. And then watch the sun go down and spent the rest of the evening chatting to Sandra the elderly lady who runs this joint American schoolteacher who came out during the Vietnam war and never went back. All in all a nice just updating this blog which is turning out to be quite a chore so this could get less and less or shorter and shorter who knows. Of to Louisbourg tomorrow for some Canadian history or maybe I will go somewhere else who knows? :-)

BB Craigish[/caption]
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:27 PM   #9
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Creignish to Louisbourg, Monday, 11 June 2012, Day 7

Early morning visitor eeeek[/caption]

Was woken up early by Sandra knocking on my door as there was in the garden eeeeeeek. Had a grandstand view amazing but scary creature. Nice way to start the day. Had a leisurely breakfast and loaded the bike ready to hit the road again highly recommend the eclectic http://www.bbcanada.com/159.html had a very nice couple of evenings there.



Morning Visitor eek[/caption]

No you cannot come in ![/caption]

 

Short day in the saddle today only 250kms to Louisbourg to see http://www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/ns/louisbourg/index.aspx as I had brought a discovery Canada card so I have to see all the national parks and 150 museums to get me money out of it. Unfortunately it was not fully open like a lot of things in this part of Canada the season does not begin till middle of June. Spent a couple of hours wondering around and the weather has changed for the better the sun was actually shining all day.



Louisbourg[/caption]

Was planning on spending a longer time at the fortress but as it was not fully open got out at about 3pm so decided to see if I could find a guest house similar to the last couple of nights but I think I hit there jackpot there as a lot more expensive so looks like back under canvas to me so I a in a totally empty campsite next to the harbour right in the centre of Louisbourg which has a recreation room where I am sitting updating this blog and it getting awfully cold. After I set up camp I went for long walk along the coastline instead of bear warnings it was Coyote warnings so wonder if bear bell I got from lies is going to help me here walking on my own and they was a bucket full of wooden sticks which you can pick up to fight them off with! About an hour in I met a couple of young Canadian guys who had just seen fox running across a field with a leg in its mouth! Yes I had to check if I understood them correctly as well so I decide to turn back and keep them within earshot

Bear bell no good here![/caption]



Amusing Hydrant[/caption]

 

Started to get into my photo groove and do not want to publish them all here as I not sure how big this blog can get before tops working so if those of you are interested you let me know and I will share a link to Drop Box where you can see all of me photos getting quite trigger happy now but its a toss up between stopping every five minutes to take a piccie or just keep on rolling and enjoying the scenery need to find a happy medium

Mines bigger than yours![/caption]

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Old 02-19-2013, 05:29 PM   #10
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Louisbourg to Charlottetown PEI, Tuesday, 12 June 2012, Day 8



Got up and the sun was shining no bears this morning so a relaxed break up of my campsite soaking up the sun not getting any quicker at this but when the sun is shining who cares. Leaving Nova Scotia and heading for Prince Edward Island and as usual Philly calculation on distances totally wrong so arrived in Charlottetown at 9.30 that evening in my defence there was an hour and half wait for the ferry and the ferry also took an hour and half so I would have been there in time for tea so calculations reasonable. Was cream crackered and did not fancy a night under canvas even though the sun had been shining all day and it was a lovely evening I think my love affair with me tent is over especially when you can get a bed plus breakfast in hostel for roughly the same price. So many thanks to lovely people of the VIC (Visitor Information Centre absolutely brilliant folks have been nothing but helpful and there’s is also free internet), had spotted there was a hostel on PEI Island so plugged the address into my GPS and as I said arrived at 9.30 at night. Went for walk as my head was bit woolly as it had been a long day on the bike and thought maybe I will stay 2 nights here as the place had a nice vibe to it but changed my mind when I was on the internet and I typed in Charlotte town to Fairbanks Alaska and got the following response

7,663 km and 93 hours eeeeeeek

That’s bleeding miles as I said these distances a blowing my poor little brain when I was looking at the map of the world I have on my wall at home it does not look that fare but in reality I may have bitten of more than I can chew so as per Oliver Twist I am reviewing the situation!
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:31 PM   #11
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Charlottetown PEI to Fredericton, Wednesday, 13 June 2012, Day 9

Huge Bridge to and from PEI[/caption]

Good night sleep and another beautiful sunny day could get used to this free brekkie pleasant chatting to the young backpackers so another slow start. Plan for today was to go to Cavendish to see Anne of Green Gables house/museum like said earlier I have paid for my discover Canada ticket and by Jove I am going to use it.

Anne of Green Gables house[/caption]

Went for a walk around the grounds and then decided I better get a move on if I was going to get to Quebec City 850 clicks away in 2 days. Went over the confederation bridge after stopping and doing the mandatory photo shoot.



And also went to the VIC to get my free map of News Brunswick my 3rd province/state or whatever they call them here. Had another pleasant chat with the helpful lady in charge and figured out the nicest slash efficient route to Quebec and first thing I did was take a wrong turn and went a completely different route than planned as my GPS decided it wanted to try something different.

Being seeing signs all over the place for lobster and I am not sure if I like it enough to shell out on getting one (see the pun) so to lower the threshold I have also seen McDonald's advertising a McLobster so for lunch decided give it a go and had a McLobster and Chips which was how you say different still not sure if I am a lobster fan or not yet.

The lady in the VIC described the route as tree rriffic and excusing the bad pun she was right as was another biker I met outside McDonald’s who gave me more interesting route to Fredericton than I originally intended so thanks for that and on the way I nearly killed Bambi! Was barrelling along the road under the speed limit of course and further up a dear runs out into the road no problem its quite away up the road and its seen me so its bound to get out the way nope it stops dead in its track and then tries to do u turn and head back in the same direction its just come from so was just like Bambi on the ice except it was tarmac and I was headed straight for it was able to wash of enough speed and to see Bambi disappear into the undergrowth. Note to self they are not kidding about animals wandering out into the road must moderate speed and be more careful. Half an hour later barrelling along at a fair rate of knots last scare of the day already well forgotten.

Saw 30 degree centigrade on my thermometer so took the lining out of jacket and pulled out me summer gloves last 20 minutes of journey started to rain but no problems as the rest of the day the weather had been great. So your asking is he camping tonight well the answer is nope found another hostel where I have a dorm all for myself with Internet so I am doing my finances eeeeeeek and updating this blog. Tomorrow is Quebec two nights there me thinks depends how quickly I get away in the morning as it nearly 600km so another long day in the saddle.

Was wondering around town and I saw a part that was cordon of so I asked what was going on and the answer was there was going to be a light show at 9 o clock so I came back expecting a full sound and light show projected on the building it turned that they had just put some lights on the building and the premier of New Brunswick did a speech a flicked a switch not what I was expecting but amusing to be part took a long time as they had to do everything in both French and English.
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:33 PM   #12
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Fredericton to Quebec, Thursday, 14 June 2012, Day 10

excellent road quality![/caption]

Long day in the saddle about 600km the aim was to get to Quebec for a rest day from the bike. Lovely sunny day and the scenery has changed yet again instead of trees trees turned to rolling hill and later a nice run along the St John River and later in the day the St Laurent which was nice even though progress was slow as was keeping of the main highways and sticking to the back roads which are a bit rough in places.

St Laurent River[/caption]

 



Managed to get to Quebec at about 8 in the evening good news was somewhere I gained an hour and the clocks had changed. First hostel I went to was full but luckily the second one had room. Knackered and for some reason Quebec not very motorcycle friendly they are banned from the old town and finding somewhere to park proved quite difficult had to put it in a paid parking! Unheard of in Europe as I just parked it on the pavement so seeming different regulations here. Wondered into town where there was a sort of a festival going with live bands playing 80 soft heavy metal numbers weird but pleasant way to spend an evening.



Also, they where doing a rehearsal for an upcoming Cirque du Soleil performance, which you could see in from a distance which was interesting.

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Old 02-19-2013, 05:36 PM   #13
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Quebec City, Friday, 15 June 2012, Day 11

Quebec City[/caption]

Spent a pleasant day wondering around the great city of Quebec walked for miles and I am absolutely cream crackered. Also did a quick ferry trip to Levis and back to get some great views of the city. Nice to be out of the saddle made a change. Think I have seen most of central Quebec City but will be popping out for a final loop as I just popped back to the hostel for some food and to rest me pins









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Old 02-19-2013, 05:37 PM   #14
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Wow, you sure a long way to ride!!! thanks for the detailed report and pics

You can blame idiots with straight (LOUD) pipes who cruise thru the old city revving their engines for the ban on all bikes in the old city... Mind you, if you get thru, there's an underground municipal parking lot with designated motorcycle parking in view of the parking lot attendant, for a really cheap rate ($3 a day), so maybe it's for the locals, but that's where I parked when I was there.

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Old 02-19-2013, 05:38 PM   #15
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Quebec City to Montreal, Saturday, 16 June 2012, Day 12

Cooling down in Montreal[/caption]

Up and out quite early by my standards and was on the road by 9.15 with first order of the day to stop at the first Tim Horton’s I come across for breakfast. I have mention Tim Horton’s a couple of time and have I promised to elaborate in short its a place that does all my favourite breakfast/lunch type food so in short a semi fast food coffee shop that does excellent glazed cinnamon rolls much to my old ever tightening leathers disgust I have become an addict. They also do excellent breakfast sandwiches which is my usual kick start for day so a cheddar bagel with ham cheese and egg and a cup of coffee and todays surprise with the combo a chocolate cream filled donut. I am sure someone told me that motorcycling burns a lot of calories well that is what I want to believe.

Montreal[/caption]



It was short run of 250km today following the river between Quebec and Montreal supposed to be scenic route but I must of missed that route as its was not to interesting in my book though there where some nice bits every now and again. It was a hot balmy day and by the time I hit the traffic jams in Montreal it was beginning to swelter and with my panniers on very difficult to carve through the traffic as I am quite large (stop sniggering at the back this is not a Tim Horton reference) with all my luggage so was started to sweat a bit and was about 3 when I made the hostel that I had punched into my GPS. I am feeling very tired not sure if the heat or that I been going quite hard for the last couple weeks I decided that I would also do two nights in Montreal and treat my self to a lie in on Sunday Morning. Went for a wonder and was directed to a free festival going on in town Montreal francofolies festival which was nice place to hang and people watch in the sun. One of the headline was Julian Clerc which was a coincidence as I have been humming voici les clef for the last couple of days unfortunately you had to pay for that part of the festival so I stuck to the freebie part outside in the sun.



While I am in a chatty mood some thoughts and comment on Canada

  • Where ever I go there is always someone cutting the lawn seems to be national obsession

  • Lots of graveyards never notice them at home but they seem to be all over the place here. Always seem to be in great location with great views so somebody thought about this

  • Love the old wooden houses with the porches and stairs outside and loads even have rocking chairs on them they look very homely and welcoming

  • Tim Horton’s glazed cinnamon rolls not sure I have mentioned these yet

  • Lots of churches that spring up in every village of all shapes and sizes

  • Quebec province is like entering a whole other country than Nova Scotia and New Brunswick very French so have been practicing my bonjours and svp the signs and way thing work all slightly different, which keeps it interesting for me.

  • In short I am a big fan of what I have seen so far time for bed and a lie in if that is possible in a 10-person dorm and of to discover Montreal.

    Montreal[/caption]

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