A good time with good friends
Devils Rock near Haileybury
Reinactment at Fort Temiskaming
Ottawa, what a wonderful city. Beautiful and historic with magnificent gothic buildings
City of Quebec
Cannons aimed toward an approaching enemy.
The Old Walled City of Quebec
The Mc Lobster
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island lighthouses
Prince Edward Island
Hopewell Rocks Fundy Bay
Huge tides leave these boats high and dry in the Bay of Fundy.
Click NEXT PAGE to continue our journey through to eastern USA.
28/7/04 - 3/8/04
We picked up with Maureen and Richard as if time had stood still. I guess that happens with good friends. Haileybury (1–map) is a very picturesque town, which was a welcome relief after some of the very ordinary looking small towns we had just passed through and over the next week Richard was determined to show us every highlight of the area. We had anticipated a quiet time to catch up with good friends and also take care of some of our personal affairs, but there was so much to see and do and we certainly made the most of it.
We also happened to arrive during Haileybury's centennial celebrations so the village (population 4500) was hopping. Some of the highlights were a precision motorcycling display by the Ontario Provincial Police, an evening cruise on the lake and the impressive fireworks display that culminated the celebrations. Richard and I also got to do a bit of canoeing and Dianne joined Maureen in catching up with some sketching of the local scenery.
The weather during our stay was perfect with blue sunny skies and temps in the mid to high 20s (C). Hard to imagine the minus 30 -40 (C) that they get in winter. Just so we could appreciate how cold it gets Maureen explained that you can't go out in winter with wet hair for instance, it freezes in an instant. Also, if you go shopping for groceries and decide to stop over and visit a friend on the way home, you need to take the fruit and vegetables out of the car, or they'll freeze and spoil. Ice cream, of course, is Ok to leave in the car.
The deck of their house afforded us expansive views of Lake Temiskaming and we watched the summer act ivies and yacht racing. It was hard to imagine that it freezes in winter and that cars drive on it and locals build huts on it to fish through holes cut in the ice. It really is another world that we, Australians, find hard to comprehend.
4/8/04 - 6/8/04
We hadn't anticipated staying so long with Maureen and Richard, but not only was there so much to see and do, but we were also awaiting the return of our camera. We had first noticed a problem with the lens mechanism while in Alaska but elected not to send it for warranty repairs to California till after Jasper, Banff and Glacier National Parks. We couldn't bare to be without a camera there, and crossing the American Mid west on our Iron Butt run seemed the only opportunity to part with our camera. Dianne had phoned the Nikon Service centre and was given assurance that we would receive priority treatment, but now two weeks later and the camera still hadn't been returned. The problem was not with Nikon, who to expatiate things had decided to replace the camera and sent it express post, but with either the Canadian Postal service or Customs.
Anyway, despite having a wonderful time with our old friends, it was time to move on. We're not on holiday, we're on a tour with deadlines, so off it was to the capital of Ontario and Canada - Ottawa.
What a wonderful city. Beautiful and historic with magnificent gothic buildings housing the local and national governments. Our site seeing day took in the Byward markets, a ride along the Ottawa River and culminated with an impressive and patriotic light and sound display on Parliament Hill.
We were so impressed with Ottawa that we stayed two days, Dianne visiting the National Art gallery and me the war museum on the second day.
Time to move on and today we venture (with trepidation) into Québec Province. I say with trepidation because our encounters with the French Canadians to date has not been that welcoming, but we were pleasantly surprised and although Québec is very French, the people seemed friendly enough. Québec is an unusual Province. All of Canada is bi-lingual (English and French) except for Québec which is exclusively French. Ie. no English road signs or advertising or information or radio stations - at all... It seems too that most of the population can't speak or understand english either, they just seem to isolate themselves from the english speaking connection. Nevertheless, we had an excellent ride on smaller roads through the province on the 138 riding alongside the northern shores of the Ottawa river and through farmlands and small villages toward Québec City.
We had decided to stay in Levis, on the opposite shore to Québec City and asked a fellow motorcyclist for directions to the nearest campsite. She said, in broken English, "follow me" and took us 20 minutes our of her way to lead us to a campsite for the night.
A short ferry ride the next morning had us in Downtown Québec. We had expected to be impressed with the old part of town, dating back to the 17th century, but this was more than we had anticipated and we parked the bike and spent the whole day strolling around soaking in the aura of this magnificent city. The city is build on a hill overlooking the St. Lawrence river and protected by a cliff face and huge defensive wall with cannons aimed toward an approaching enemy - the British. Unfortunately a relatively small force of British troops entered the city through the rear and overpowered the French.
Since arriving in Canada, we had been intrigued by the influence of the French and Québec City was the logical choice to find out all about it. We spent a few dollars and visited an excellent multi-media display on the history of Quebec or New France as the province was known then and came away with more of an understanding. Those colonising British have a lot to answer for. When we visit Boston, we'll find out more about what really happened because the events there had a profound effect on New France.
Moving on and today we're off to New Brunswick traveling east on highway 20 and south on hwy. 185. English is the first language again but here in the Maritime provinces, there is a sudden and pronounced English influence as around 40 000 disgruntled British patriots, left America after the war of Independence and headed for this part of eastern Canada. Apparently about a third settled in Québec Province and that significantly boosted the English speaking population and led to social changes there. The remainder settled in the maritime provinces. The people here do seem to be a little different to the rest of Canada. More friendly, always ready for a chat, happier - often laughing and joking and generally a lot more relaxed and casual. We likened them affectionately to Tolkien's hobbits especially as many of them seemed to be short and round.
We passed through the longest covered bridge in north America before camping overnight in Woodstock.
Every day since the 28th July we've been expecting our camera to arrive and when we learned by phone that it had still not arrived in Haileybury this morning we felt we needed to become more proactive. To cut a long story short we spent the entire day either in the library emailing, or the post office opposite, trying to find out what was happening with our camera. Our concern was that not only were we unable to take photos but that we were now soon to leave Canada and if the camera did arrive it would have to be forwarded on to us in the USA - more potential customs hassles and delays.
Again Nikon rose to the challenge and the Service Manager offered to ship another new camera to us. We had to give him a US address and he guaranteed to have the camera there the next morning. Houlton was only about 20km from Woodstock and we gave Nikon the UPS address there.
Up early and off to Houlton. Through US customs - no hassles and we picked up our new camera an hour later. Sometimes the US just seems to be more efficient and organised with "can do" people. We've been waiting 2 weeks for this camera to get through customs or whatever and now we had one delivered from the west coast to the east coast in less than 24 hours. Impressive.
Maureen had told us about the Mac Lobster burgers you get in this part of the world. Lobsters are so plentiful even McDonalds puts them in a burger or roll, so to celebrate we had our first Mac Lobster burger.
Headed back to Woodstock, packed up the tent and hit the road trying to get as far east as we could to make up time.
12/8/04 - 13/8/04
Kelly, our daughters birthday today so an occasion for a phone call back home, then on to Prince Edward Island passing through Shediac which is the Lobster capital of the region. We had been told by several people that PEI, as the island is known, is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Canada and despite running behind schedule, we couldn't not visit.
The island is joined by the 13km Confederation Bridge and tourist traffic is heavy. Before the bridge the only way to get to the island was by boat and in winter the sea partially freezes so it would be necessary to drag the small boat over the frozen sections. Another reminder that despite the hot conditions we were enjoying now, in just a few months things will be very different.
We stayed on the east coast of the island at Cymbria which is near Cavendish, a busy sea side resort. The Prince Edward Island National Park runs alongside the coast with it's red sandstone cliffs and red sandy beaches and we took an opportunity to paddle in the calm sea and cool off a little.
PEI is dotted with quaint fishing villages nestled in protective coves and small villages with british names such as New London New Glasgow etc.
Rolling hills and colourful old houses are a feature of PEI and at this time of the year the fields are a patchwork of golden hay and green wheat. A photographers paradise and what joy to have our camera back.
Seafood is plentiful and cheap here so we bought a pound of scallops for tucker and fried them in about 6 cloves of garlic. We won't have any friends tomorrow, although we did have one in the middle of the night. A skunk decided to steal our food bag from under our fly. Despite me making loud noises he was persistent and made off with our bag. I ended up chasing after him in the nude. What a photo opportunity!! Almost a Nikon moment!
Left PEI and rode down the southern coast of new Brunswick following the smaller roads and making the most of the coastal scenery and the Bay of Fundy with it's red cliffs and beaches. Interesting area because of the massive tides - the height of a 4 story building! The harbours fill up at high tide but then empty at low tide leaving the fishing boats high and dry. Strange to see so many boats apparently beached at low tide.
On to Hopewell Rocks and the Fundy National Park - one of the marine wonders of the world because of the highest tides in the world. Here you get an opportunity to walk on the ocean floor twice each day at low tide.
Camped for the night at New River beach and enjoyed a magnificent sunset as we dinned on the beach. Our last night in Canada.
Making the most of the local seafood, a feast of scallops and garlic.
Farewell to Canada
|©Haydn and Dianne Durnell 200|