Friday, September 16, 2011

Sea to Sea Sept 14

Paddled in the St. Lawrence - just above my ankles - that was enough exposure for  me to the very chilly water. The campsite by the sea was great - if amazingly windy - shaking the camper all night. No wonder they have so many windmills set up - they are putting the wind to good use.
Gaspe campsite

We went to bed early since it got dark so early - 7:30 and pitch dark - forgot that again we are in a new time zone so lost an hour. 

On the beach


Watching "Duchess of Duke Street" in bed!

However, we entertained ourselves lying in our comfy bed, sipping our wine and watching the first episode of The Duchess of Duke Street - an old series that we have never seen but got on dvd.  Great fun!

On the 12th, we set off on the coast road for Farillon National Park.

Miles & miles of coast road
 We decided to do the climb up to a lookout at the top of the ridge - pretty steep and great exercise especially after so much sitting.  Spectacular views in all directions.

View from the top

Me in my new radio-canada CBC T-shirt that I bought in Ottawa.  Richard's has a quote from Gabrielle Roy - so we fit culturally in this bilingual province.
After the hike up, we went down the 100 or so stairs to the beach - and Richard took a dip - braving the icy water twice!  The beach was pebbles - small and smooth tiny pebbles that were very hard on the feet.  I might have gone in the water had I thought to bring my sand shoes and bathing suit but, alas, I was not equipped so....:-)

Swimming off Gaspe


We love the camper - it is a great way to travel.  We can park anywhere and really don't need a campsite - the cost of those adds up - anywhere from $25-$35 a night so far.  The main benefits are the showers and sometimes picnic tables.  I say 'sometimes' since one site we stayed on had tables but they were so badly designed that when I joined Richard to sit on one side of the table, the whole thing and all the stuff on it fell on top of us. Fortunately, no lighted stove or pot of boiling water!
Shaving in camp

Richard is good at guessing where his chin is!  As you can see, we are on tarmac and this was probably in one of the rest stops by the highway.  The Gaspe has a staggering number of Haltes Municipales - areas with picnic tables, trees, rest rooms and water, often spacious and in pretty spots by the water - as well as campsites, mostly occupied by immense house size rvs that apparently people leave there for the winter and use during the summer like a cottage - except that there is almost no privacy and in some places they are simply in a grassed parking lot.


On the 13th, we wandered into the town of Gaspe and from there south into New Brunswick and Bathurst.  There we drove to a small waterfall on a native reserve and a restaurant selling "lobster rolls", pieces of lobster smothered in mayonnaise and packed into a hot dog roll.  Fortunately, we only bought one to try. 

Special 9/11 Fireman's Harley Davidson in Bathhurst - the owner was so eager to show us that he left us at the place where we were getting a long overdue oil change, went home to change and bring back his bike for us to admire.

Miamichi Campsite

That night we found a a campsite at Miramichi owned by a couple who told us we could buy 200 acres for about $40,000 if we wanted to move to NB.  Well, 200 acres sounds nice but...  He was building tree houses on the campsite - apparently a big winner.  Not sure why, but most appealing to kids to sleep up in the trees, perhaps, and adult Peter Pans.  Very cute and huge effort to build.  We climbed up the stairs to see the sleeping loft on one he had finished but I can't say it would appeal to me to bother.  Next morning, the 14th, we were able to do a load of laundry there and I borrowed an iron to steam Alex's sweater and block it. 

From Miramichi, we went in search of a fish market and processing plant where we were told we would find fresh lobster.  Actually, fresh, as in alive, was a bit intimidating - we have only a small pot in which to plunge any protesting leggy creature and likely could not get all of it in at once.  Fortunately, the market had mostly cooked lobster for sale and we bought 3 large ones which was recommended as a good amount for a feast for two and so it turned out to be.  Scrumptious. 


Then toward Moncton where we made calls in the hope of joining a Scottish dancing group for their Wednesday night class.  Unfortunately, they had not yet started their season so we backtracked and took the road toward Confederation Bridge and PEI.  Since it was dusk and we preferred to make the crossing in daylight, we looked for a campsite.  We found one on the beach but from the entrance, it looked just like a parking lot for rvs - not our scene - so we continued along the dirt road by the beach to a dead end where we found a turnaround and a nice flat and grassy spot. Private, level, and within hearing of the water. Just like home :-)  Perfect! Enjoyed our lobster and then watched another episode of Duchess before going to sleep.

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