Wednesday, September 14, 2011

From Sea to Sea Day 10 - September 11

Making tea on the new Coleman- note the teapot!
In Ottawa, we went in search of more camping gas. MEC was all out because huge demand in Japan for portable stoves and gas had taken supplies off for this important cause. Luckily we found a substitute but the whole search made us rethink our (actually, Richard's) commitment to tiny mountaineering and backpacking stoves.  Consequently, we stopped at a Canadian Tire and invested in a two burner Coleman stove, the gas for which is a third of the price and available everywhere.  We like to cook outside when the weather is nice and one burner, relatively unstable stoves are all very well but sometimes it's nice to have hot water ready at the same time as the food!  The Coleman will probably fit in the kayak as well...We also found a small folding table - both these items turned out to be on a great discount so we really lucked out there too.

From Ottawa we made our way straight through Montreal to Quebec. 
Montreal almost unrecognizable to either of us from the network of elevated highways and cloverleafs leading down to boulevards with familiar names: Cremazie, St Laurent, Sherbrooke...but the streets themselves barely visible.
We arrived in Quebec about 6 p.m. on Saturday night - relying on the gps to get us to to the centre which turned out to be just in front of the Chateau Frontenac and the way up was indeed up, up very steep hills and around sharp bends along one way streets that had me closing my eyes and blessing Richard for being the driver.

Ready to post off to baby Alice

Since we didn't know where to go at that time of night, we searched on the gps for a campsite.  The most appealing one took us back over the bridge the way we had come and then seemed to be another 30 km north toward Rimouski.  We decided to visit Quebec on our return journey and stay at the campsite then.  We kept driving, setting up for the night at a rest stop about 9:00.

After looking at the map, we decided to drive all along the coast road around the Gaspe - it looks as if it will be beautiful and wild as well as populated with small villages and farms.

We found a Basque fromagerie and watched two young men synchronize their stacking of two lines of what appeared to be slabs of cheese still in the process of draining whey.

Blogging with Wi-Fi

Further along the road, we reached
Trois Pistoles village and found a small cafe with working wi-fi and excellent croissants.  We're on holiday! 

So far, 5,559 km.

Trois Pistoles church - bells ringing on the hour.

The long, long road around the coast of the Gaspe was a scenic delight.  We were up and down into little coves and broader bays , marked at their boundaries by steep cliffs and dramatic headlands.  Every house in every village looked freshly painted and every one was framed by a freshly mowed, weed-free, very green lawn.  We have never seen so much trimmed and disciplined  grass!  All dwellings looked decked out in Sunday best, none uncared for and equally surprising to us, few for sale.  Also, few flowers or shrubs. 

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