Thursday, August 25, 2005


august 4 thursday

it's finally time to leave montreal though we could easily spend a couple of weeks here without getting bored. but it's to expensive and we're keen on getting started. a bit afraid of it as well but that's normal.
pual who had just arrived the other night is going the opposite directin, started in halifax and wants to reach vancouver before the first snow in the rockies ( he handed us some maps he didnt't need anymore and told us about a very special campground in lanoraie where he spent the night before arriving in montreal.
we were amazed how much stuff fits in our eight bags and decided to get rid off some things soon (we didn't succed until now august 23...). and finally left the city. it was another very hot and humid day and it took us over an hour to reach the city limit and cross a sidearm of la fleuve.
we had to get used to cycling with heavy luggage again and everything and happily reached lanoraie at 5 p. m. but there was no shop so i went on another three km to buy some cold beer! great. the campground was as special as paul announced. we put up our tent for the first time this year jus next to "la fleuve" on a very private spot under some trees and without any direct neighbours. had a swim in the pool with some kids and just ate some bread and salad.
and there was a little thunderstorm during the night. (64.3 km)

august 5 friday

we left lanoraie quite late around 9h30 a.m. and cycled all day with the wind pushing from behind. the weather was still incredibly hot and we arrived at trois rivere and were not sure where to find the campground. a nice lady showed us the way accompanying us on her bicycle :-) it was way out of town!
(83.45 km - 4h26)
after we had put up the tent and drunken the first beer a guy travelling by bicycle arrived and asked if we mind him putting up his tent next to us. we didn't a spent the evening with him - mike. he showed us how to build a decent fire and informed us that "le grand tour" (thousands of cyclists doing a tour through quebec each year) would just start tomorrow in trois riviere. we talked and talked and went to bed quite late but it was ok.

august 6 saturday

i woke up real early and we left a quarter to nine. it took almost 20 km to reach the city center so we stopped at a cafe to have a grand bol de cafe au lait (milk and camping during summer don't go together well). after that i got an first impression of the quebecoise system de supermarche: maxi. unimaginably big and you just spend hours to buy some food because the items are either to big or completely different from ours. poor erk. he spent some time waiting in front of supermarkets...
we headed on for portneuf, had some great chicken (casse croute) for lunch an finally arrived at the campground. (97 km - 4h40) in portneuf. totally exhausted. the first spot we were supposed to stay was next to some partying teenagers, so i asked for a different one which we got. a couple from ontario handed some wood to us so i could built my first own fire. it's just somehow fascinating to sit in front of a fire and watch. i could do that for hours... we had spaghetti for dinner and were just happy!

august 7 sunday

again beautiful weather. we met "le grand tour" on our way to quebec city and rode along with them. that was fun. cyclists everywhere. rested at some little harbour and joined the "village du tour", the was not really correct cos we didn't pay for it but what the hell... (58 km)
had one of the best showers of my life (after a real "monsterhoeger" as we call them since our tour through southern sweden last year according to a village named asenhoeger located on a real mean hill). after that we listened to some live music and had a beer there. it was scrambled eggs for diner and an early sleep. oh and i forgot. they even had free internet access. we were able to get our blogspot and wrote some mails :-)

august 8 monday

we left the camp at 8h30 a.m. and went trough quebec city without doing much sightseeing. cos we just don't like it. as we noticed last year in sweden as well. big cities are just sort of troubling for people travelling by bicycle. you have to pay a lot of attention to the mostly heavy traffic and always dont't know where to leave your stuff securely.
we took a little ferry crossing "la fleuve" because the south side was supposed to be easier to ride (the north shore is said to have horrible hills).
it was again simply hot. we had our lunchbreak just at an roadside gas station and talked to a couple from montreal travelling by motorbike. they told us some interesting things about quebec.
after that we went on and on forever reaching montmagny at 6 p.m.(84 km) and decided to stay there for two nights. do some laundry and stuff. we could collect some wood close to the beach and the evening was just fantastic. magnificent sunset, beautiful (cheap) campground and a lazy day to come!

august 9 tuesday

rest day. it was still very hot. i cut my left thumb washing a knife, that makes three parts of my body damaged. one brand wound on the right index finger, cut on left thumb and sore left part of my "ass" due to the extremly hard saddle... outsch.
we went to town, decided after a visit at the tourist information to take the ferry in riviere de loup to st. simeon on the north shore to watch some whales in the tadussac area.
we spent some time in the mall and bought a frying pan, aluminium foil (to wrap potatoes and cook them in the fire) and a perfect butter container from campell's soup :-)
than went on to canadien tire to buy butane/protane for our stove. very hard to get as we noticed later cos everybody uses colemann cartridges...
after the laundry was done we again started a fire to cook on it for the first time. it worked perfectly. erk roasted some saussages with a custum made fork :-) and i did the vegetables. hhmmm, grilled aubergines are simply delicious.

august 10 wednesday

we left montmagny unwillingly. it had been so pleasant to stay there. but a strong "vent a dos" carried us away. we were almost flying :-)
and we seemed finally to get just to travelling, realizing we will be on the road for a whole year which is really hard to imagine. our first stop was l'islet sur mere. we had coffee and rode on till lunch in saint roche des aulnais. the landscape was becoming more beautiful with rocks gliding into the river and though rain was forcasted the sun burnt down and played bad tricks on erks nose...
we decided to sleep in riviere ouelle. unfortunately the campground was extremly expensive. you even had to pay for the shower, the pool and the drinking water. too bad. but so what. it rained during the night but sun was shing again the next morning. (78.5 km – 3h28)

august 11 thursday

we left early but both felt worn and tired. therefore our progress was slow. stopped after 17 km in st. denise for some cookies. by the way, you really can spend some months exploring the canadien cookie variety. until now we always bought a different kind - all of them delicious!
the weather was nice, less humidity and an astonishing clear sky. (later we found out that there are two different kinds of weather here during summer. winds from west: hot, getting more humid each day and finally thunderstorms or winds from east: chilly, but clear sky followed by a grey day full of rain). we stopped again in kamourska and had a bol de cafe au lait in an ecologic cafe located in an old beautiful wooden house surrounded by a beautiful and elaborated english garden. just next door was an old-fashioned bakery where i bought some "real" whole grain bread and the most delicious baguette of our trip so far.
lunch took place in notre-dame-du-portage - seems like we're eating all day long but you do need an awful lot of calories to keep the wheel rolling ;-) - in between we had our first fight which was good cos the situation needed some improvement and we still hae to figure some things out. but we succed!
finally we arrived in riviere du loup and stayed on the extremly cheap and nice campground "du quai" just next to the ferry. (71.77 km - 3h52 due to wind in the face...) the shower was great and i bought some wood to build a perfect fire. a family originally from irak arrived late and we had an interesting to with them the next morning.

august 12 friday

the day we left the south shore because erk wants to do some whale watching... we catched the 9h15 ferry and reached st. simeon an hour later. while waiting for the ferry a lady asked if we would like a picture of both of us and we liked.
on the ferrry was a strange red haired woman wearing just a bikini though the wind was real chilly... and i was right the other side of the river is extremly hilly!!! the first just from the port to route 138... we fought our way through the magnificant hills and decided to stay over night in baie st. cathrine (42.19 km incl. shopping tour... - 2h40 and first speed highscore downhill: 61.0km/h!!!!). campground lay on a small plateau just above the river. we took a place we weren't supposed to and had to move later because people had reserved it... but ok. went down to the beach to collect some wood, great sunset, erk just couldn't stop to take pictures. had risotto again for dinner. after a day with heavy traffic on route 138 the calmth was astounding.

august 13 saturday

left baie st cathrine very early and saw real life belugas in the fjord. took the free ferry across and spend some time in tadussac for the weather was grey and moist for the first time. wrote some emails in the nice internet cafe there and four postcards which we won't do very often for 2.50$/card... pulled some cash, bought food and beverages and started for another 50 km hill up and down. nice lunch at lac longue with chicken.
arrived in les escumines around 4 p.m. nice campground run by native people. the beans i used for risotto (again...) were tasting strange so it was only baguette, but who cares? (53.53 km – 3h04)

august 14 sunday

departed from les escumines feeling tired and worn but had to make it to forestville before 4 p.m. we thought to catch the ferry to rimouski. as there was supposed to be no campground until baie comeau (150 km up north...). but from the beginning. had some itchy hills and rested in longue-rive at the tourist information where a beautiful waterfall made his way down to the river. i talked a while to the girl working there. she had her hair done like irina just a day before.
fought our way on to forestville and finally arrived at 2 p.m. had the best ice-cream since we left denmark (soft is at some great bar laitier) and downhill just next to the ferry was a small cheap (12$) campground without showers but who needs a shower every day? so we decided to stay and take the early morning ferry. talked to two guys travelling quebec by bike for three months interesting. jean francois et jean ives. after that i went up the f- 14% hill again to buy some dinner. it was steak, potatoes and tomato salad cooked on a fire (erk collected the wood while i went shopping). delicious and the fire was terrific - i am getting a real fire building pro ;-). great view on "la fleuve" as well. (73km incl. shopping tour...)

august 15 monday

departure forestville by ferry 8h45 a.m. a very fast one going 55km/h. reached rimouski and departed immediately without having a look at the city. there was a real nice part of "la route verte" just next to the river, no cars and all. i visited an interesting church in st luce and talked about our jouney to two little boys on bicycles. they couldn't imagine how someone could be travelling like that!
went on to st flavie (gate to le gaspesie - finally!!!) afterwards and decided to take a day off again, laundry was waiting again... campground and restaurant "capitaine homard" (13$/night) were right next to the river and unfortunately also to route 132... but you get used to the trucks thundering through after a little while. (35.93km - 1h55).
oh and i forgot about the fight at breakfast. erk just had the last butter... quarreling went on all day long. we have to get used to care for three needs. mine, his and ours. that's complicated at times. but we will make it.
for dinner it was the expensive but excellent restaurant, mussels and homard sandwich and i discovered a poem by the regional very popular artist marcel gagnon which deeply touched me.

la voie

rendue au miieu de ma vie,
j'ai cherche a savoir "a quoi ca sert la vie?"
j'ai cherche dans les sports et les voyages,
j'ai cherche dans la politique et les performances,
j'ai cherche dans les religiones et les livres,
j'ai cherche dans le travail acharne et le luxe,
j'ai cherche de toutes les facons,
j'ai meme cherche des facons de chercher.

un beau jour, j'ai trouve sans chercher.
j'avais cherche trop loin, a l'exterieur,
dans les autres.
j'ai cherche l'impossible pour m'apercevoir
qu'il n'y avait rien a trouver.
on la possede tous a l'interieur de nous.

maintenant que je sais que la vie est faites
de petits et de grands moments presents.
maintenant que je sais qu'il faut se detacher
pour aimer plus fort.
maintenant que je sais que le passe
ne m'apporte rien.
maintenant que je sais que le futur me fait
parfois souffrir d'angoisse et d'insecurite.
maintenant que je sais qu'on n'a pas besoin
de voyager dans l'astral pour etre heureux
sur cette terre.
maintenant que je sais que la bonte
et la simplicite sont essentielles et que
pour rendre les autres heureux
je dois l'etre d'abord.

maintenant que je sais
qu'on peut aider les autres
surtout par l'exemple et le rayonnement.
maintenant que je sais que l'acceptation est un
gage de bonheur et que la nature
est mon meilleur "maitre".
maintenant que je sais: la reponse vient
du meme endroit que la question.
maintenant que je sais que je vis,
alors maintenant je vis tout simplement...

august 16 tuesday

rest day. well it was supposed to be but we still made about 20km. first a visit to the gaspesien welcome tourist information where cathrine was really helpfull :-)
then on to mont joli to search for a cartridge, buy some food and so on. we saw a bicycle with ortlieb bags in front of the mall and waited for the cyclist. and it was colette who had just done the loop round gaspesie we want to do. i talked to her quite some time in french and we exchanged addresses. she just sold her house in montreal and is travelling 8 months a year. for the rest of the time she lives with her sister...
after that we went to see the exhibition of marcel gagnon which really impressed and touched me. he is not only drawing but also doing sculptures, wall-paintings and writes... i even had a few words with him and found it great to meet someone so satisfied and simply living.
the evening was stormy. i had to cook pasta in the tent and the night was not really calm.

august 17 wednesday

we left st flavie avec le vent a dos. but it was a bit chilly again. we made just two small stops. one in metis-sur-mer, supposed to be one of the most beautiful villages along the river but it wasn't. and the other in st ulrice where we had ice-cream and cream cheese bagels. jummy. but the wind started getting on our nerves. had to cruddle behind the little toilet fur lunch because it was just to cold with the wind. arrived in matane around 3 p.m. and first didn't know what to do. the cheap campground at the entrance of the city was crappy, next to 132 and no shelter from the wind.
so we went to the nearby tourist information and while i gathered the information, erk talked to a couple from montreal that had been cycling quebec and new foundland for five weeks. they were really sympathetic and offered us to stay with them in montreal. said they'd been offered so much help from other people on their trip they'd like to give something back. my idea of the sense of travelling, voila. sylvain just bought some fresh atlantic shrimp and after i had tried one i asked erk to get some for dinner as well :-)
we went to the municipal campground and on the way stopped at the best depanneur (sort of a little conveniance store) so far. they had a lot of homemade stuff like bread, cake, salads and saussages. best baguette so far!!!
to get to the camp we had to climp a real nasty hill. we put up our tent and as we were thinking about a fire it started to rain... fortunately there was a sort of assembly room where we could cook and eat. went to sleep early. because it started getting cold - only 11°C...
(73.65km – 3h04)

august 18 thursday

started early again. but if you go to bed with sundown around 8h30-9h00 p.m. you can easily get up at 6 in the morning. first stopped at the marvellous depanneur to supply for the day and afterwards at canadien tire to get the cartridge for our stove (msr superfly, fits on all kinds of cartridges except the coleman ones...). but they didn't have them and after some discussing we finally bought our third stove - a real coleman. maybe we should have bought a multifuel which operates with all kind of fuels...
we met a real friendly "old" man in front of c.t. who told us that the cabbot trail in novia scotia consists of 300km of real big hills and that the northern coast of new brunswick is beautiful (people told us that it is boring) as well...
we finally started and the hills were soft. had lunch with great moist coffee cake in les mechines and decided to stay in cap chat (les capucines), had to go back 3km cos we missed the campground. but it was a terrifc one. on guy i just asked for some drinkable water sent his boys to ask if we needed some wood :-) life is great!
(72.67km incl return to camp - 3h30 - and new max: 70.3km/h)

august 19 friday

left early as usual.went on to cap chat to see the grand windmills from a rest area just after th village as lonely planet said but we couldn't. whatever. just went to st anne des monts and discovered a small camp which wasn't in our guides. l'ancre jaune. fantastic. very nice woman who ran the place. just at the shore, off 132, most wonderfull toilets and shower ever, reminded of real bathrooms.. and it was only 15$!
arrived there at 12h30 p.m. (37km). we took a nap in the sun and erk burnt nose and legs heavily and i started reading the language of symbols. went for a stroll "downtown" and found a tiny grill at the local quincecuillerie (homeworkers supply). had scrambled eggs for dinner again and wine from real glases thr woman gave to us :-) sunset was overwhelming.

august 20 saturday

headed for the internet cafe at the international hostel first - 8$/h - and almost no one wrote. but we shouldn't forget that time is following a different pattern at home. a week there is almost nothing while for us the world is changing every day...
had our "cookie-break" in cap-au-renard and some whales followed us all along the coast. the road wound its way between the river and the montain which were increasing in size each kilometer. no houses between the little villages.
had french fries for lunch in marsoui at some old fashioned crasse croute (diner). temperature only 13°C...
saw a young moose running along the road just 20m away and some sea eagles and more whales. mont st pierre was just too turisty so we went to mont louis and stayed at the campground there. arrived at 4 p.m., soon had some pasta and then came the rain. erk went asleep and i talked to the guy at the restaurant to get myself a little warm and dry. it worked. did the dishes an went to bed and read. during the rest of the night we didn't get a lot of sleep really. a huge storm arrived and shook the tent so bad we thought it could just fly away every second. but as it is our brave little tent. it didn't. (67km)

Saturday, August 20, 2005

la gaspesie!

we are now in la gaspesie. after almost 1000km of struggeling from montreal. we have seen some whales and one real interesting artist who lives in st flavie: marcel gagnon. great pictures! our next big destination is the forillon national park in an area called lands end... wheather is quite fair though the nights are getting colder. we succede in cooking on our own fireplace :-) and had the first mountain training between st. simeon and forrestville on the north shore of la fleuve...

Sunday, August 07, 2005

quebec - km 300

hi, we just started our one year round the world bycicle trip in montreal three days ago. now we already made it to quebec where we stay with the members of "le grand tour". thanx very much to them :-)