Creignish Cabot Trail, Sunday, 10 June 2012, Day 6

Cabot Trail Coastline

Good to be back in a proper bed not I am not sure I am cut out for this camping malarky anymore but I am 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 I decide to do the Cabot Trail which is just a short circuit of Cape Breton of about +-400kms 🙂

Cabot Trail Cold

Cabot Trail Warmer

 

Cabot Trail

It started of cold and wet so I was not having much fun however at around 3pm the sun had decided to come out which made the rest of the trip very enjoyable. So it 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, on with the winter gloves, off with the winter gloves, on with the in between gloves off with the in between glove on with the summer gloves etc.choices choices choices!

Bike trying to escape

At the end of the day I 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

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 hole into itself after 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 the job is done chain lube now functional (How long who knows) I also adjusted the chain while I was busy at the back end. And then I watch the sun go down and spent the rest of the evening chatting to Sandra the elderly lady who runs this joint an American schoolteacher who came out here during the Vietnam war and never went back. All in all a nice day 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. I am Of to Louisbourg tomorrow for some Canadian history or maybe I will go somewhere else who knows? 🙂

BB Craigish

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Creignish to Louisbourg, Monday, 11 June 2012, Day 7

Early morning visitor eeeek

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

Morning Visitor eek

No you cannot come in !

You Can

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 in Canada to ensure I 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. I spent a couple of hours wandering around and the weather has changed for the better and the sun was actually shining all day.

Louisbourg

I was planning on spending a longer time at the fortress but as it was not fully open I got out at about 3pm so I 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 its a lot more expensive here so looks like its back under canvas for me so I am 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 the bear bell I got from Liesbeth is going to help me here walking on my own and there was a bucket full of wooden sticks at the beginning of the trail which you can pick up and borrow 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 a leg I had to check if I understood them correctly as well so I decided to turn back and kept them well within earshot

Bear bell no good here!

Amusing Hydrant

Started to get into my photo groove and I do not want to publish them all here as I I am not sure how big this blog can get before stops working so for those of you who are interested let me know and I will share a link to Drop Box where you can see all of me photos. I am 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 I need to find a happy medium

Mines bigger than yours!

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 down 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 are totally wrong so I arrived in Charlottetown at 9.30pm 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 my calculations are reasonable 🙂 I was cream crackered and I did not fancy another 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 a 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), I had spotted there was a hostel on PEI Island so plugged the address into my GPS and as I said arrived at 9.30pm at night. I went for a walk as my head was a bit woolly as it had been a long day on the bike and I thought maybe I will stay 2 nights here as the place had a nice vibe about it but I changed my mind when I was on the internet later that evening and I typed in Charlottetown PEI to Fairbanks Alaska into Google maps and I got the following response

7,663 km and 93 hours eeeeeeek

That’s bleeding miles as I said before these distances are 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 far but in reality I may have bitten of more than I can chew so as per Oliver Twist “I am reviewing the situation!”

Charlottetown PEI to Fredericton, Wednesday, 13 June 2012, Day 9

Huge Bridge to and from PEI

Good night sleep and another beautiful sunny day I could get used to this, a pleasant free brekkie 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 I said earlier I have paid for my discover Canada ticket and by Jove I am going to use it.

Anne of Green Gables house

I 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 850km away in 2 days. I drove 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 things here. I had another pleasant chat with the helpful lady in charge and I figured out the nicest slash most efficient route to Quebec and the first thing I did was take a wrong turn and I went off in 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 had 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 who I had met outside McDonald’s who gave me a more interesting route to Fredericton than I originally intended so thanks for that and on the way I nearly killed Bambi! I was barrelling along the road under the speed limit of course and further up the road 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 I 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 over here I 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 I took the lining out of jacket and pulled out me summer gloves the last 20 minutes of journey it had 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.

I was wondering around town and I saw a part that was cordoned of so I asked what was going on and the answer was there was going to be a light show at 9pm so I came back expecting a full sound and light show projected on the building it turned that they had just put some new lights on the building and the premier of New Brunswick did a speech and flicked a switch not what I was expecting but amusing to be part of this as it took a long time as they had to do everything in both French and English.

Fredericton to Quebec, Thursday, 14 June 2012, Day 10

excellent road quality!

Long day in the saddle about 600km the aim was to get to Quebec for a rest day away from the bike. Lovely sunny day and the scenery has changed yet again instead of trees trees it has turned to rolling hills and later a nice run along the St John River and later in the day along the St Laurent River 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

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

    

 

Quebec City, Friday, 15 June 2012, Day 11

Quebec City

I spent a pleasant day wondering around the great city of Quebec I walked for miles and I am absolutely cream crackered. I 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 for a change. I think I have seen most of central Quebec City but I will be popping out for a final loop as I just popped back to the hostel for some food and to rest me pins.

Quebec City to Montreal, Saturday, 16 June 2012, Day 12

Cooling down in Montreal

Up and out quite early by my standards and was on the road by 9.15am with the first order of the day to stop at the first Tim Horton’s I come across for my breakfast. I have mentioned Tim Horton’s a couple of time and I have 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 trousers disgust and I have become an addict. They also do excellent breakfast sandwiches which is my usual kick start for the 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

It was short run of 250km today following the river between Quebec and Montreal it was supposed to be scenic route but I must of missed that route as its was not in the least bit 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 it is 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 on so I was started to sweat a bit and it was about 3pm when I finally made it to 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 so I have decided that I would also do two nights in Montreal and treat my self to a sleep in on Sunday Morning. I went for a wander and was directed to a free festival going on in town the Montreal francofolies festival which was a nice place to hang and people watch in the sun. One of the headline acts 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 comments on Canada

  • Where ever I go there is always someone cutting the lawn this seems to be a 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 has obviously 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 sleep in if that is possible in a 10-person dorm and of to discover Montreal tomorrow.

    Montreal