Saturday, August 16, 2014

A just-ride-there 104K day, with some very nice highlights: Some more Acadian celebratory decorations; pretty roadside plantings; a pair of yellow bicycles for Danni and Francis :-), and a hawk with an interesting call. Today Y confirmed that New Brunswick dogs are quite nice... Woof, woof-woof, woof-woof, woof, wag, wag, twirl on the spot, has been pretty much their behaviour at sensing us going by thus far. Y is feeling quite encouraged that she might not get charged in Quebec! We arrived at Auberge d'Anjou in Petite Roche before 5PM and so had a nice, relaxed time before dinner at their cafe (having just missed a torrential downpour that we watched from the warmth of the cafe). Wonderful food and the best coffee since leaving home (maybe because the owners Marc & MiMi, born in Petit Rocher, have just contentedly returned home from Nanaimo, after decades and children, to run this establishment). Highly recommended!

Friday, August 15, 2014

We rented a car from Enterprise today for a 400K tour-about and part of their logo says that they will pick you up (and drop you off) which was very handy for us from our accommodations. We visited pals Jill & Tom, and their beautiful daughter Elizabeth today for lunch (and a walk with Jill on a bridge that looked across to Fredericton). What a super fun visit and delicious lunch, including garden vegetable and salmon risotto and a beautiful blueberry cake!  It was a day off from riding today and this was a good thing, as a big downpour in the region lasted until about 2:00!  We get rained on sometime while riding, and usually don’t use our foul weather gear, as we usually dry quite quickly – but in the torrential rain, it can be a bit disconcerting on the road, as we think it is hard to see us through the blur of wipers and the splash from the tires.  We passed the geographic centre of New Brunswick today and we had a chance to see Miramichi's Quai Richie’s Wharf (which was closed up for the evening – some shops did not open due to the weather).  B did a safety check and clean of our bikes in preparation for the next two days of riding, which will take us to the middle of our trip, and to Campbellton, NB, which will be our last stop in New Brunswick before we head over the Gaspe in Quebec.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Such a nice morning for Y of speaking French and helping to cook poached eggs in the kitchen!  We had a good sleep in our trailer accommodations and had very nice company from Montreal at Breakfast in Charlie’s kitchen & breakfast area.  We had wind at our back all day and so averaged over 20K/hr with some long stretches at over 30K/hr.  As we sailed North, we saw many wonderful Acadian celebratory displays – their big day for partying is August 15th, which is Friday.  We picked up lunch, including a fruit poutine, and had a pic-nic by the entrance to Kouchibouguac National Park before another good stretch of riding to St. Margaret’s, where we had a break at the local golf club house.  The rain started just as we were leaving the club house, but it was quite light, off and on, and we were pretty dry by the time we reached our Miramichi accommodation, Regent Street B&B. The B&B host was helpful to offer to keep the bikes in the lobby and gave us soap for laundry! The evening ended with a leisurely, late dinner at Bistro 140.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

9th day of riding and 11th day of our trip.  We are one third of the way at mid-morning.  We started today with a beautiful European breakfast and headed out a bit late, so our mid-morning photo was a bit late too!  Most of our stops today were food stops: Cape Pélé Boulangerie; Shediac Lunch; & Vue des Dunes Dinner!  We’ve noticed that there are not many rest stops on the Maritime highways – but we saw one today, and stopped there!  Just before the stop we saw a sign with a pic-nic bench on it – we thought “yeah, benches, maybe other people, maybe a semi parked and maybe a pit toilet”.  When we got there, there was a bench – the sign was literally that there was a pic-nic bench – it was very nice, maybe a bit squeaky, but with a nice gazebo over top – a good place for a drink break.  Just before we arrived at Bouctouche (and met our host “Charlie” – Jean-Charle at Gîte Au Bord d'la Baie), we saw an interesting, old, rusting tractor with weeds growing through, in the middle of a pristine mowed lawn and neatly trimmed trees.  Across the highway, an elder person was standing looking out to the road and Y felt compelled to circle back and say hello, and introduce herself and the response was “my name is Emery”!  Emery then told us the story of the tractor as Y had taken a photo of it in passing.  Emery said the tractor had been pulled from the woods by the owner and placed prominently on the property to the dismay of neighbours.  The neighbours apparently have tried to purchase the tractor, so they can have it removed, but the owner neighbour won’t sell it!  Emery seemed to enjoy telling the story!  We ended today with a ½ game of Scrabble – B was tired and so Y pulled half the tiles from the bag – near the end of the game, we noticed that the game was on ½ the board – truly a ½ game of Scrabble! 


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

We again breakfasted with the two kindergarten educators from Japan, who were headed back home today and who loved the flower bell from Francis on Y's bike (as well as how tall and strong she is, with such long arms!).  A slow start out of Charlottetown set a very nice pace for the day!  It was a beautiful, relaxing day, with rolling country roads, including one red dirt road, and little villages on the sea (even one called "Victoria"; and one section called "Canoe Cove", which has a welcome sign with a window box of flowers).  We can't say enough about how beautiful the ride was today, both on the PEI side and the New Brunswick side, especially around Little Shemogue, NB. We had a very nice pic-nic lunch on the PEI side and then carried on to the PEI foot of the Confederation Bridge, where there is a phone to ask for a shuttle for bikes and foot passengers.  The wait was quite short and the two attendants were very careful with putting our bikes on their trailer.  The ride over the bridge was interesting and so was the view looking back from the New Brunswick side (later we also realized that we saved a a lot of money by going the so called backwards route, as one pays only to leave PEI, and the bridge shuttle is a fraction of the Ferry cost). We had a good rest of about two hours between the wait, the ride, and the exploring at the New Brunswick end of the bridge.  We drifted along by the waining sun on a sparkling sea and arrived at Little Shemogue Inn to our gracious hosts and a very beautiful and delicious host meal, served by their teen daughter. They have a red canoe that guests can take out to the ocean - maybe we can tomorrow morning.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Prince Edward Island, we are definitely coming back to spend more time with you very soon! We had the opportunity to see the West of the Island, and most of the mid-section as we rented a car for the day.  We picked up a car at airport (which is very close to town - well, everything is very close to town - the full map of the Island/Province is 70 cm wide and at 1cm = 2km; B has just verified: Vancouver Island is 32,134sqK and pop 760K; Victoria pop 370K; PEI pop 140K 5,660sqK).  Our bike safety check didn't work out in the morning, and by mid-morning we were headed to a number of destination hand craft shops Y had hoped to visit.  We found so many beautiful things so we packed up a box and sent it to ourselves, as our panniers are already pretty full.  We had lunch at the PEI Potato Museum and then drove towards Cavindish.  After a relaxing and beautiful walk on pink sands we saw the sunset from the North shore, then drove back to Charlottetown to return the car and enjoy a late dinner.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A swift ride to the PEI ferry resulted in a 9:30 AM sailing instead of our planned 11:15 AM.  Good on us! After the ferry we rode into Charlottetown along ~60K of undulating roadways with very little big vehicle traffic (we realized later that the trucks likely take the bridge at the other end of PEI).  There were quite a few "dirty shirts" hanging in the distance, but very few sprinkled on us.  The wind in many stretches made riding a challenge, as it was similar in peddling effort to an 8% or more grade.  We arrived in Charlottetown to a wonderful Confederation installation & sculpture work, which we stopped to photograph.  We've clocked 555.55K since St. John's (Ferry distances n/i).  After checking in at the Shipwright Inn, and upon seeing our room, B proclaimed, "now, this is how to bike across Canada!"  N.B.: We are now photographing at 10, 12, 2, 4, & 6 (not just 10 & 2).