Phillys Big Trip (Alaska to Chile or is that Argentina)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by dean10, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    I have been on the road for a couple of months now with I short break in between and been meaning to post something on this forum but never seem to have had the time. The idea is to ride my motorcycle from Alaska to Argentina it was originally titled Alaska to Chile until I was informed that its Argentina at the bottom not Chile so you can see map reading and planning not really my forte. This really became apparent when I shipped my bike to Halifax not realising it was bleeding miles to Alaska! My original plan was done based on a map I have on my loo wall and looking at that the distances did not seem that far 35,000km later I think I am getting the hang of scales and distances and dreaming of the trip on said loo a distant memory.
    I have been keeping a blog first with IWeb application and recently I have moved everything to Wordpress as this is more interactive so I thought I would share this with you guys on this forum. Have removed link to blog as to keep you guys keen on this forum does not take a genius to figure out blog site


    Maybe doing the odd update on here as well and as I head further into the unknown may need some help from you experts out there. My current problem is that my spanish is crap and I am struggling to communicate with folks down here so looking on doing a language course in Antigua so looking for recommendations
    And I now I mainly only look at the pictures so would like to post a few here as well
    [​IMG]

    Some Random photos from the trip so far or some tasters
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    The boat across the atlantic
    [​IMG]
    Morning visitors in Nova Scotia

    Who is interested now that enough for now take a look at the blog and I shall post some pictures during the week if I have access to the Internet
    #1
  2. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Getting the Bike Across the Atlantic, Wednesday, 23 May 2012, Day 0


    The Boat Across the Atlantic[/caption]

    A short ride from Den Haag in the Netherlands to Zeebrugge in Belgium, to put my bike on MV Grand Mercury to be delivered to Halifax Nova Scotia estimated time of arrival 4th June 2012.


    Packing[/caption]


    Nice trip down to Zeebrugge[/caption]


    WW Office Zeebrugge[/caption]

    No problem in getting my bike delivered at Wallenius Wilhelmsen Office I even managed to leave my helmet , boots and leathers with the bike which was good as this mean less for me to carry on the plane as I was seriously struggling for space there as well.
    #2
  3. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Den Haag Toronto Halifax, Tuesday, 5 June 2012, Day 1


    Starting Mileage in KM[/caption]

    Mandatory picture of odometer starting mileage or is that kmleage

    A very long day I got up at 4.30am and I got a taxi to Den Haag Central Station to catch the train to the Schiphol. On the train I had a panic attack as I was not sure if I had swiped my OV card so I jumped of the train at Leiden before the inspectors came through and I walked down to the entrance hall to swipe my OV card only to realise I had already done this in the Hague so the panic attack was for nothing so I slepped back to the platform to the train I just got of as it was still there and I got back on it. I received some weird looks from folks on the train at my antics as I was lugging two huge bags and a rucksack weighing in total about 25 KG.

    I got the plane to Toronto no problem only a bit of a challenge on the amount of luggage I had with me but as I had sorted this already on the phone so I knew it should and was not an issue.

    9 hour flight to Toronto with AirTransit a charter company so a no frills and no leg room airline but being a dwarf no real problem for me and it was cheap as chips and they let me buy a one way ticket which normally costs a small fortune on the major airlines.

    I arrived at 11.30am Canadian time in Toronto and my next plane was not till 17.30pm so after clearing customs which was easy as it was a fellow biker customs officer the first job was to see if I could get an earlier flight which was also easy and after convincing them that my extra bag was hunting equipment they waived the extra luggage allowance charge on that which was great :-)

    I got to Halifax airport at about 7pm in the evening and I found it was miles away from town and that the taxis were very expensive but I managed to found a local bus that would take me to Dartmouth and I got another bus from there to the motel were I was staying out saving me a small fortune. I am going to use the buses tomorrow as well when I go and pick my bike up.

    Checked in to Lake City Motel and went to grab something to eat before crashing as I had been up 24 hrs. And I was starting to feel a little bit tired!
    #3
  4. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Halifax Nova Scotia Picking up the bike, Wednesday, 6 June 2012, Day 2


    Amusing T Shirt[/caption]

    Just in case you were worried about me getting kidnapped well check out the photo above I have made it more difficult for potential kidnappers !

    Today was glorified treasure hunt with the end result being my motorcycle and me reunited. I got a bus into Halifax trying to find a Post Office to get a money order as that is the only form of payment that Wallenius Wilhelmsen would accept. The nice lady behind the counter and me had some fun trying to get this accomplished what with all of the weird spellings and not enough space on the forms. Job 1 done. Next of to find the Wallenius Wilhelmsen office via Tim Horton’s (More on Tim Horton’s later) for breakfast. I find the building and its huge next to find the correct office suite which took a while as the building was actually 3 separate buildings and finding the right elevator shaft for the office I wanted was proving difficult (Jet lag)

    I finally found the right lift but then had to swap to another as it did not go to the floor I wanted. I handed the nice lady the money order and the notice of arrival (technical term me now an expert on the import and export of goods) and she gave me the instructions on how to get to the customs office which was another 15 min walk away.

    Job 3 customs no problem there as I had no drugs and firearms on the bike according to me so they stamped the papers so job 4 was to get Auto port which was a 25 minute taxi ride away. Not for me as I had got a map of the public transport system of Halifax so instead I got a ferry from Halifax to Dartmouth and then on number 60 bus which stopped just outside where I wanted to be and only cost a couple bucks to get there rather than an expensive taxi ride.


    Me on a ferry[/caption]

    It took about 15 minutes while they went to pick up my bike and after checking it was all there and nothing was broken or missing I had won the treasure hunt and I had successfully brought my motorcycle from the Netherlands to Canada and was on my way :-)


    Halifax[/caption]




    Dartmouth Artie![/caption]


    Picking up the bike[/caption]




    I spent the rest of the day doodling around Halifax getting used to driving in Canada and I also visited a graveyard where they had buried some of the bodies that they could find from the Titanic disaster this was a very interesting place.


    Titanic Graveyard[/caption]


    Dean![/caption]



    [​IMG]
    Funny looking Birds here[/caption]
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  5. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Halifax to Clyde River, Thursday, 7 June 2012, Day 3


    First night under canvas[/caption]

    First day on the bike I am taking the Lighthouse route from Halifax to Yarmouth only to find out that it is no longer called the Lighthouse Route but South Shore Route. I spent hours on Garmin Base Camp trying to get the route onto my GPS but I failed miserably so I did it manually on the GPS itself but this slow going so I will need to brush up on my GPS skills or I am going to miss out on a lot or get seriously lost.


    Peggy Cove[/caption]





    A most pleasant day in the saddle, zooming along the coast of Nova Scotia. First mechanical calamity I noticed that the GPS was a bit wobbly looks like it had lost a screw. It was late in the day so a mad rush trying to find a hardware store which sounds simple but not when you are in the middle of nowhere and its about an hour or so ride between each village if you can even call them that. I eventually find a hardware shop in Shelbourne, which was just closing who were able to help me in getting the right screw I also brought some Loctite to ensure that I did not end up loosing another screw. It is a crap design of the holder it has the full weight of the GPS hanging on it and it bounces all over the place it is no wonder the screw had worked loose. So I finger tightened the two screws and I headed for the nearest campsite which turned out to be closed and did not open till next week! So I spent about 30 minutes repairing the GPS properly at the side of the road and then headed to another campsite that someone had mentioned that was about 40 km away.

    I finally found it Clyde River Farm and I met John the owner who had to laugh when I asked if there was anywhere local to get something to eat Yes was the response back to where I just come from! He was kind enough to invite me to dinner at his home a Burger and blueberry muffins mmmm lekker I must have looked bedraggled as he also set up a camp fire for me by my campsite and I spent a pleasant evening with John and his wife Maureen and 3 other friends of theirs who had pop by for coffee and did I mention we had Muffins as well at the house.

    First night camping got off to great start with the help of John Ta Mate. Early night looks like this going to be the norm for a while.
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  6. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Clyde River to Annapolis Royal, Friday, 8 June 2012, Day 4


    Huge wooden Church[/caption]

    Uneventful day good night sleep under canvas even though it was only 3 degrees centigrade according to John my 30 year old duck down still going strong unfortunately the zip has gone at the feet area so some maintenance is required to avoid cold feet syndrome. Weather is weird her started over glorious sun shine and so pulled the lining out of my jacket and pulled me summer gloves out but within an hour the sun had gone and it was down to 10 degrees centigrade so cold weather kit on only for it to change to 21 degrees centigrade a couple of hours later making wardrobe planning a complete night mare!

    Driving along when all of sudden I saw a large church not to impressive they are all over the place here but what made this special was that it was huge totally dominating the horizon so what it just another church but the amazing thing for me was that it was made of wood which blew my socks of as I have never seen such a tall wooden construction (sad git need to get out more :-))


    Big wooden church![/caption]

    Did my first off road excursion today as the GPS was set to include dirt roads as these are very rare in Europe but they are all over the place here. Going have to rethink the off road strategy because basically I am a crap off road rider and just do not have the confidence or the skills to handle anything to serious yet just not relaxed enough as soon as I hit the dirt I automatically stiffen up am totally nervous till I hit the tarmac again so maybe my original plan of going over the trans Labrador highway is not going to happen as this is about 500km off road which could ruin my underwear planning (another wardrobe issue)


    Big River[/caption]

    It is 21.30 just getting dark and I sitting outside my tent typing this probably going to be another early night as not much going on here and it is getting cold fast.


    Annapolis Royal[/caption]
    #6
  7. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Annapolis Royal to Creignish, Saturday, 9 June 2012, Day 5


    Campsite before it started to rain[/caption]

    Wet, wet, wet and wet grrrr wet. I woke up and it was raining so rolled over and went back to sleep as I was snug as a bug in my sleeping bag. It kept on raining or so I thought as I was camping under some trees so the rain dripping on my tent made it sound like it was pissing down when in fact when I did get out it was only spiting so I had to break down a wet tent and gear in in the damp which was not to enjoyable a very slow morning especially with the multiple trip that I did to the shower complex first time I found out that you need change for hot shower so went back to the tent to pick up some change but then I forgot my shower bag so I had to go back and get that all this is in the wet so folks where starting to stare.

    I hit the road and basically it rained all day so just put my head down and headed for Cape Breton in the hope that the sun would come out. It did not so spent all day on the bike getting soaked so by 6pm in the evening I was a damp squid and I had no desire to camp as it was still raining so I went to the tourist info who directed me to a great cheap little BB in Creignish more on this later. I took no photos today so one from the day before my campsite before it started raining.

    Creignish Bed & Breakfast is run by Sandra, which is an old school house converted into a BB from the outside looks overgrown but inside a very cosy fascinating place with an interesting owner. In the sitting room it overlooks a feeding table where there are squirrels, chipmunks, humming birds and all sorts of other colourful birds so after a long wet day on the bike a dry little haven its so nice that I have decided to stay 2 nights and use this as base to do the Cabot Trail (I have I already gone of camping I am not sure I can afford to do that!)


    BB Creigish[/caption]

    Comments on my kit on how it stood up to the wet

    Rukka Gloves are actually waterproof I do not recall ever having a pair of gloves that kept my hands so dry for so long how long will these last before they start to leak (Cynic)

    Rev-it Boots also kept me feet dry

    Damen Waterproof trousers also worked so on the whole very happy with me new Kit lets hope they stay waterproof for a while longer as I am guessing I will be needing them

    And my faithful 7-year-old Rukka jacket still keeping me warm and dry and seems to take whatever the weather wants to throw at me had some wet arms today but that was my own fault for not tucking the gloves in correctly.
    #7
  8. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Creignish Cabot Trail, Sunday, 10 June 2012, Day 6


    Cabot Trail Coastline[/caption]

    Good to be back in a proper bed not I am not sure I am cut out for this camping malarky anymore but I am going to have to persist or this is going to be a very short trip. Huge breakfast like I said I like this little BB. Not sure what the weather is going to do but I decide to do the Cabot Trail which is just a short circuit of Cape Breton of about +-400kms :-)


    Cabot Trail Cold[/caption]


    Cabot Trail Warmer[/caption]




    Cabot Trail[/caption]

    It started of cold and wet so I was not having much fun however at around 3pm the sun had decided to come out which made the rest of the trip very enjoyable. So it went from 10 degrees C riding through the mist and clouds not been able to see much to glorious sunshine and 20 degrees C so again serious wardrobe issues on with the waterproofs of with the waterproofs, on with the winter gloves, off with the winter gloves, on with the in between gloves off with the in between glove on with the summer gloves etc.choices choices choices!


    Bike trying to escape[/caption]

    At the end of the day I found a nice little pub which had live Gaelic music so had a big bowl of chilly to warm me insides and spent a nice meal tapping me foot to the music.


    Cabot Trail Musicians[/caption]

    Back to the BB where I did some quick repairs to the bike. Mechanical issue 2 the tube that runs from my chain oiler to the chain had rubbed a hole into itself after the last bodge job I had done to fix this so as per all my fixes out comes the duct tape and the zip ties and hey presto the job is done chain lube now functional (How long who knows) I also adjusted the chain while I was busy at the back end. And then I watch the sun go down and spent the rest of the evening chatting to Sandra the elderly lady who runs this joint an American schoolteacher who came out here during the Vietnam war and never went back. All in all a nice day just updating this blog which is turning out to be quite a chore so this could get less and less or shorter and shorter who knows. I am Of to Louisbourg tomorrow for some Canadian history or maybe I will go somewhere else who knows? :-)


    BB Craigish[/caption]
    #8
  9. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Creignish to Louisbourg, Monday, 11 June 2012, Day 7


    Early morning visitor eeeek[/caption]

    I was woken up early by Sandra knocking on my door as there was a bear in the garden eeeeeeek! I had a grandstand view to this amazing but scary creature. A nice way to start the day. I had a leisurely breakfast and loaded the bike ready to hit the road again and I highly recommend the eclectic <a href="http://www.bbcanada.com/159.html">http://www.bbcanada.com/159.html</a> I had a very nice couple of evenings there.




    Morning Visitor eek[/caption]


    No you cannot come in ![/caption]


    You Can[/caption]

    Short day in the saddle today only 250kms to Louisbourg to see <a href="http://www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/ns/louisbourg/index.aspx">http://www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/ns/louisbourg/index.aspx</a> as I had brought a discovery Canada card so I have to see all the national parks and 150 museums in Canada to ensure I get me money out of it. Unfortunately it was not fully open like a lot of things in this part of Canada the season does not begin till middle of June. I spent a couple of hours wandering around and the weather has changed for the better and the sun was actually shining all day.








    Louisbourg[/caption]

    I was planning on spending a longer time at the fortress but as it was not fully open I got out at about 3pm so I decided to see if I could find a guest house similar to the last couple of nights but I think I hit there jackpot there as its a lot more expensive here so looks like its back under canvas for me so I am in a totally empty campsite next to the harbour right in the centre of Louisbourg which has a recreation room where I am sitting updating this blog and it getting awfully cold.

    After I set up camp I went for long walk along the coastline instead of bear warnings it was Coyote warnings so wonder if the bear bell I got from Liesbeth is going to help me here walking on my own and there was a bucket full of wooden sticks at the beginning of the trail which you can pick up and borrow to fight them off with ! About an hour in I met a couple of young Canadian guys who had just seen fox running across a field with a leg in its mouth! Yes a leg I had to check if I understood them correctly as well so I decided to turn back and kept them well within earshot


    Bear bell no good here![/caption]
    [​IMG]



    [​IMG] "

    [​IMG] Amusing Hydrant[/caption]

    Started to get into my photo groove and I do not want to publish them all here as I I am not sure how big this blog can get before stops working so for those of you who are interested let me know and I will share a link to Drop Box where you can see all of me photos. I am getting quite trigger happy now but its a toss up between stopping every five minutes to take a piccie or just keep on rolling and enjoying the scenery I need to find a happy medium

    [​IMG]
    Mines bigger than yours![/caption]

    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Louisbourg to Charlottetown PEI, Tuesday, 12 June 2012, Day 8



    Got up and the sun was shining no bears this morning so a relaxed break down of my campsite soaking up the sun not getting any quicker at this but when the sun is shining who cares. Leaving Nova Scotia and heading for Prince Edward Island and as usual Philly calculation on distances are totally wrong so I arrived in Charlottetown at 9.30pm that evening, in my defence there was an hour and half wait for the ferry and the ferry also took an hour and half so I would have been there in time for tea so my calculations are reasonable :-) I was cream crackered and I did not fancy another night under canvas even though the sun had been shining all day and it was a lovely evening I think my love affair with me tent is over especially when you can get a bed plus breakfast in a hostel for roughly the same price. So many thanks to lovely people of the VIC (Visitor Information Centre absolutely brilliant folks have been nothing but helpful and there’s is also free internet), I had spotted there was a hostel on PEI Island so plugged the address into my GPS and as I said arrived at 9.30pm at night. I went for a walk as my head was a bit woolly as it had been a long day on the bike and I thought maybe I will stay 2 nights here as the place had a nice vibe about it but I changed my mind when I was on the internet later that evening and I typed in Charlottetown PEI to Fairbanks Alaska into Google maps and I got the following response

    7,663 km and 93 hours eeeeeeek

    That’s bleeding miles as I said before these distances are blowing my poor little brain when I was looking at the map of the world I have on my wall at home it does not look that far but in reality I may have bitten of more than I can chew so as per Oliver Twist "I am reviewing the situation!"





    #10
  11. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Charlottetown PEI to Fredericton, Wednesday, 13 June 2012, Day 9


    Huge Bridge to and from PEI[/caption]

    Good night sleep and another beautiful sunny day I could get used to this, a pleasant free brekkie chatting to the young backpackers so another slow start. Plan for today was to go to Cavendish to see Anne of Green Gables house/museum like I said earlier I have paid for my discover Canada ticket and by Jove I am going to use it.




    Anne of Green Gables house[/caption]

    I went for a walk around the grounds and then decided I better get a move on if I was going to get to Quebec City 850km away in 2 days. I drove over the Confederation bridge after stopping and doing the mandatory photo shoot.







    And also went to the VIC to get my free map of News Brunswick my 3rd province/state or whatever they call them things here. I had another pleasant chat with the helpful lady in charge and I figured out the nicest slash most efficient route to Quebec and the first thing I did was take a wrong turn and I went off in a completely different route than planned as my GPS decided it wanted to try something different.

    Being seeing signs all over the place for lobster and I am not sure if I like it enough to shell out on getting one (see the pun) so to lower the threshold I had also seen McDonald's advertising a McLobster so for lunch decided give it a go and had a McLobster and Chips which was how you say different still not sure if I am a lobster fan or not yet.

    The lady in the VIC described the route as tree rriffic and excusing the bad pun she was right as was another biker who I had met outside McDonald’s who gave me a more interesting route to Fredericton than I originally intended so thanks for that and on the way I nearly killed Bambi! I was barrelling along the road under the speed limit of course and further up the road a dear runs out into the road no problem its quite away up the road and its seen me so its bound to get out the way nope it stops dead in its track and then tries to do u turn and head back in the same direction its just come from so was just like Bambi on the ice except it was tarmac and I was headed straight for it I was able to wash of enough speed and to see Bambi disappear into the undergrowth. Note to self they are not kidding about animals wandering out into the road over here I must moderate speed and be more careful. Half an hour later barrelling along at a fair rate of knots last scare of the day already well forgotten.

    Saw 30 degree centigrade on my thermometer so I took the lining out of jacket and pulled out me summer gloves the last 20 minutes of journey it had started to rain but no problems as the rest of the day the weather had been great. So your asking is he camping tonight well the answer is nope found another hostel where I have a dorm all for myself with Internet so I am doing my finances eeeeeeek and updating this blog. Tomorrow is Quebec two nights there me thinks depends how quickly I get away in the morning as it nearly 600km so another long day in the saddle.

    I was wondering around town and I saw a part that was cordoned of so I asked what was going on and the answer was there was going to be a light show at 9pm so I came back expecting a full sound and light show projected on the building it turned that they had just put some new lights on the building and the premier of New Brunswick did a speech and flicked a switch not what I was expecting but amusing to be part of this as it took a long time as they had to do everything in both French and English.

    #11
  12. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Fredericton to Quebec, Thursday, 14 June 2012, Day 10


    excellent road quality![/caption]

    Long day in the saddle about 600km the aim was to get to Quebec for a rest day away from the bike. Lovely sunny day and the scenery has changed yet again instead of trees trees it has turned to rolling hills and later a nice run along the St John River and later in the day along the St Laurent River which was nice even though progress was slow as was keeping of the main highways and sticking to the back roads which are a bit rough in places.


    St Laurent River[/caption]





    I managed to get to Quebec at about 8pm in the evening good news was that somewhere I had gained an hour and the clocks had changed. First hostel I went to was full but luckily the second one had a bed. Knackered and for some reason Quebec is not very motorcycle friendly they are banned from the old town and finding somewhere to park proved quite difficult I had to put my bike in a paid parking! Unheard of in Europe as I there I would just parked it on the pavement there seemingly different regulations here. I wondered into town where there was a sort of a festival going with live bands playing 80 soft heavy metal numbers weird but a pleasant way to spend an evening.



    Also, they where doing a rehearsal for an upcoming Cirque du Soleil performance, which you could see in from a distance which was also interesting.





    #12
  13. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Quebec City, Friday, 15 June 2012, Day 11


    Quebec City[/caption]

    I spent a pleasant day wondering around the great city of Quebec I walked for miles and I am absolutely cream crackered. I also did a quick ferry trip to Levis and back to get some great views of the city. Nice to be out of the saddle for a change. I think I have seen most of central Quebec City but I will be popping out for a final loop as I just popped back to the hostel for some food and to rest me pins.















    #13
  14. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Wow, you sure a long way to ride!!! thanks for the detailed report and pics :thumb

    You can blame idiots with straight (LOUD) pipes who cruise thru the old city revving their engines for the ban on all bikes in the old city... Mind you, if you get thru, there's an underground municipal parking lot with designated motorcycle parking in view of the parking lot attendant, for a really cheap rate ($3 a day), so maybe it's for the locals, but that's where I parked when I was there.

    :lurk
    #14
  15. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Quebec City to Montreal, Saturday, 16 June 2012, Day 12


    Cooling down in Montreal[/caption]

    Up and out quite early by my standards and was on the road by 9.15am with the first order of the day to stop at the first Tim Horton’s I come across for my breakfast. I have mentioned Tim Horton’s a couple of time and I have promised to elaborate, in short its a place that does all my favourite breakfast/lunch type food so in short a semi fast food coffee shop that does excellent glazed cinnamon rolls much to my old ever tightening leathers trousers disgust and I have become an addict. They also do excellent breakfast sandwiches which is my usual kick start for the day so a cheddar bagel with ham cheese and egg and a cup of coffee and todays surprise with the combo a chocolate cream filled donut. I am sure someone told me that motorcycling burns a lot of calories well that is what I want to believe.


    Montreal[/caption]







    It was short run of 250km today following the river between Quebec and Montreal it was supposed to be scenic route but I must of missed that route as its was not in the least bit interesting in my book though there where some nice bits every now and again. It was a hot balmy day and by the time I hit the traffic jams in Montreal it was beginning to swelter and with my panniers on it is very difficult to carve through the traffic as I am quite large (stop sniggering at the back this is not a Tim Horton reference) with all my luggage on so I was started to sweat a bit and it was about 3pm when I finally made it to the hostel that I had punched into my GPS. I am feeling very tired not sure if the heat or that I been going quite hard for the last couple weeks so I have decided that I would also do two nights in Montreal and treat my self to a sleep in on Sunday Morning. I went for a wander and was directed to a free festival going on in town the Montreal francofolies festival which was a nice place to hang and people watch in the sun. One of the headline acts was Julian Clerc which was a coincidence as I have been humming "voici les clef" for the last couple of days unfortunately you had to pay for that part of the festival so I stuck to the freebie part outside in the sun.







    While I am in a chatty mood some thoughts and comments on Canada
    • Where ever I go there is always someone cutting the lawn this seems to be a national obsession
    • Lots of graveyards never notice them at home but they seem to be all over the place here. Always seem to be in great location with great views so somebody has obviously thought about this
    • Love the old wooden houses with the porches and stairs outside and loads even have rocking chairs on them they look very homely and welcoming
    • Tim Horton’s glazed cinnamon rolls not sure I have mentioned these yet
    • Lots of churches that spring up in every village of all shapes and sizes
    • Quebec province is like entering a whole other country than Nova Scotia and New Brunswick very French so have been practicing my bonjours and svp the signs and way thing work all slightly different, which keeps it interesting for me.
    • In short I am a big fan of what I have seen so far time for bed and a sleep in if that is possible in a 10-person dorm and of to discover Montreal tomorrow.


    Montreal[/caption]
    #15
  16. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Netherlands
    Montreal, Sunday, 17 June 2012, Day 13

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    stripes are slimming![/caption]

    It is supposed to be a rest day but it did not actually turn out that way I did have a bit of a kip in but as I stated this quite difficult in a 10 man dorm. I had a leisurely breakfast and the first destination was to go up the mountain/hill Mont Real to see the views. Gorgeous hot day but I am now a bit burnt from my day wandering around Quebec city and my aversion to Sun tan cream so I am trying to keep in the shade as much as possible but this is proving difficult as its mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun so very little shade to be had. Long trek up the Hill but worth it, as the views are great.


    Views from Mont Real[/caption]



    Finding my way down the hill proved a bit more difficult as I got lost and I went of the beaten track and I found myself scrabbling down a very steep incline basically on my arse. Eventually I found my way down and I ended up enjoying a tam-tams session (Drums) which was not difficult to miss I just followed the sound of the drums.


    Timtams![/caption]



    I went for another wonder and found another festival where they had shut of a whole street for a block and there was an impromptu street party going on with all the cafes shops and restaurant taking over the street. I seem to be going from one festival to another here, which is great. I wandered through China town and finally reach the old city and quay side part of Montreal and I have walked miles again and so I decide to walk some more around this area.











    I finally get back to the hostel about 8pm so I have been walking on and off for 9 hours so I am a tired little boy. To top it of was looking for a food hall in some of the malls to get some dinner as I had not eaten since this morning but they where all closed as it was a Sunday so found this place that did burgers and chickens and ordered some chicken wings the guy was really chatty and was surprised when I knew where Dhaka (Bangladesh) was so he gave me a double order of wings a huge amount of chips which there was no way I could eat all on my own so found some Irish folks outside the hostel to share my food booty with. Sitting here just updating this blog all in all a very pleasant day indeed even though me footy pegs are a bit sore. Short run to Ottawa tomorrow and will probably do a lot more walking there as well but after that it back to the bike and time to start putting some serious kilometres on the clock
    [​IMG]
    Montreal Sculpture[/caption]
    #16
  17. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Montreal to Ottawa, Monday, 18 June 2012, Day 14


    I loved this monument in Ottowa[/caption]

    Its a hot short day ride today from Montreal to Ottawa not very interesting run only 200km arrived at about 3 pm at a hostel, which used to be a prison very interesting place. Got out of me bike gear as I was sweating a bit and headed out to discover Ottawa. At first I was not to impressed as I have been spoiled with Quebec City and Montreal but the more I looked the more I found some great little parts in this town as well. I had a real cultural day and went the Canadian Parliament where there were free guided tours and today both lower house and the senate where in session and was allowed in the public gallery for both which was great not just from a building perspective but to watch democracy work from close quarters which was very enjoyable especially as they went from English to French all in one debate which made it more intriguing. Beautiful building and views not sure we have this kind of access to government in the UK and or NL or maybe as a local I have never tried but I thoroughly enjoyed myself.


    Ottawa[/caption]





    After the culture I went to the main shopping mall as this is where you can normally find the cheapest nicest Asian food in the Mall food courts and I pigged out on a lekker Chinese. My jeans had ripped open round the crouch and this was getting embarrassing every time I sat down as my crown jewels where on full display great for me in this heat but I am not sure Canada is ready for them just yet so I went to get some new jeans. The reason the other ones split methinks is all them Tim Horton’s I have been eating and I have finally have to admit I can no longer fit in a 34 inch waist so I had to buy a bigger size so it seem I grown 2 inches in the waist and shrunk an inch in height old age can be such a bitch. Other bad news today was that I found out that Apple are introducing a new OS Operating system which is quicker better cooler faster etc. than the old one however the downside is that it will not support I Web and guess what this blog is on! So need to find a new platform to keep you lot informed with what I am up to. So a new mini project as I go off the radar into the middle of Canada I have no idea which way to go yet but that is half the fun!










    Ottawa by night[/caption]


    Scary things come out![/caption]
    #17
  18. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Ottawa to Temagami, Tuesday, 19 June 2012, Day 15


    nice sunset[/caption]

    Hot day in the saddle it reached 31 degrees centigrade at one stage sweaty hot. Plan was to try and do some serious km today but as usual I did not hit the road till 10.30am after my free breakfast at the hostel, I had not sleep much as it had been very hot and sweaty in the room as well. I spent all day driving until about 17.30pm when I eventually ran out of steam so I grabbed some food and went to look for a campsite I had seen on the free map I got from the info desk in North bay. In answer to yesterday question on which route to take I have decided to take the 11 not the 17 to Thunder Bay as it is 1.5 hrs. Shorter! And is more scenic. The roads have been pretty boring for most of the day with the odd glimpse of interesting scenery every now and again this does not bode to well if it is going to be like this for the next x thousand clicks.

    When I got to the campsite it was closed or so it seemed. I talked to some folks and they told me just to set up camp and sort it out the morning so it a huge campsite with only about 3 other groups on it. Seemingly the season here does not start till the 1st of July so I seem to be well ahead of the season here as well. Sitting on a bench outside typing this fighting of the fly’s and the mossies so I am wrapped in my inner sheet which has allegedly been treated with DEAT so I hope that will keep them bastards away. Someone from Ontario Parks popped round and informed me that camping was 37 CAD a night jeepers I could have got a hotel for that I thought camping was supposed to be the cheap option! He told me that Ontario was one of the most expensive provinces in Canada I am going to have to check prices before setting up camp, as I was not expecting it to be this expensive. Going to watch the sunset over lake Temagami and probably have an early night and see if I can hit the road at reasonable time and gets some km under my belt


    Temagami Under Canvas[/caption]
    #18
  19. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Temagami to Hearst, Wednesday, 20 June 2012, Day 16


    what is the difference between a buffalo and a bison?[/caption]

    Even though I went to bed at 10.30pm I still not did get up till 9am the following day must be more tired than I thought. Sun was up looks like it is going to be another hot one. Packed up slowly enjoying the sun and went to pay my camping fees turned out that the 37 CAD included tax which took a bit of the pain out of the price. Hit the road with first stop you guessed it Tim Horton’s for breakfast the usual. Planned to do a long day in the saddle but it turned out shorter than planned. I stopped in Cochrane where I had heard about a polar bear sanctuary where you could swim with them (comment in the same pool but thick glass wall dividing humans (dinner) from the polar bears) Unfortunately it was closed as all the old polar bears had died and they had just got one new one who was being acclimatised to its new surroundings. I was chatting to the girl on reception when she says there he is so got a glimpse and few photos from a distance I tried to persuade her to let me and have a look around but I couldn’t swing it.






    Polar Bear![/caption]

    I went to the library to use the free Internet to scope out this evening’s accommodation and check my mail. When I hit the road again the weather had changed and in no time it was pissing down quick pit stop to get wet weather gear on but I was well soaked by the time I could pull over and get my kit out. Temperature also dropped significantly. I hit Hearst at around 5 pm and I had heard from here it was about 200km to next bit of civilisations so I decide to call it quits for the night (Moose on the road at dusk) as I was cold and wet and had spotted a sign for a special offer at Howard Johnson motel so I am having an evening of reasonable luxury why because I can ;-). A one horse town but I found a local cafe and had a huge dinner of souvlaki I am glad of the extra inches on me new jeans they are going to be filled very quickly at this rate.

    The driving scenery is not so interesting but still having a giggle as I have a big smile every time I see the huge American trucks, the school buses and when I see huge freight train going past all of this is fascinating to me and the fact that even though mundane it all so different for me so having a chuckle to myself as I tootle along.
    #19
  20. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Hearst to Thunder Bay, Thursday, 21 June 2012, Day 17



    Quite a strange day got up at about 8.30am ish and did a Skype call to the folks back home who are also looking after my affairs so they are holding up bank statements with me saying file, keep, through away or archive got myself a great little secretary (me Mum :-)) So that business at home sorted now for business here. Finally looked out the window and it is pissing down so going to be a damp day today. Slowly sorted my kit out as I was in no hurry to get wet and when I was loading the bike I noticed that one on the main screws holding my panniers on had worked it self loose so out with the toolkit to remedy this. It should have been easy but I did not have the right tool needed that being a large screwdriver which I did not have so tried tightening it with Canadian $ coin and a set of pliers for some extra mechanical advantage only end up bending the coin so looks like I am going to jail for treason as I have just defaced her majesty coinage I thought it would be stronger. So I packed the bike and rode round the corner where there was a workshop that dealt with huge American trucks they should have some proper kit there. I asked to borrow a screwdriver which they let me have no problem I even asked one of the mechanics if he could have a go at the screw as I was not strong enough to turn it as it was sort of jammed he managed to get it seated probably and I was ready to hit the road in the wet.

    First breakfast no need to ask where (Tim Hortons) and then to fuel up, as it was 200km to the next petrol station and I did not want to be caught short. The road was also straight with no corners for that distance as well and I thought I would be bored shitless but it was quite interesting going for miles with no one around with only the odd truck to overtake. It rained for the first hour and then stopped and then started again so all day wet dry wet dry etc. was the order of the day. Scenery improved later and the road even had a few corners in it as well. I stopped in a place called Geraldton where I saw an interesting building on hill, which turned out, to be a glorified tourist info spot called a Discovery Centre a very chatty girl working there gave me the grand tour, which was great as it was raining again outside.


    Geraldton[/caption]







    Got to Thunder Bay at about 5.30pm ish and found a great little hostel just outside town which is as cheap as chips and run by an old couple who have set up the hosteling backpackers guide to Canada so a very interesting eclectic place.


    Thunder Bay Inter Hostel[/caption]



    Going to be another early night and the decision is whether or not to get to Winnipeg tomorrow 700km about 9 hours driving or to break it into 2 parts but there is not much in between and I do not fancy riding late at night as there often moose on the road and talking about moose I saw my 1st one today and they are enormous think I would loose out if I hit one of those luckily this one was at the side of the road and not wandering in the middle. All in all a nice day even through I kept getting rained on but that added to the interest I guess a bit.


    Remote Petrol Station[/caption]


    Worlds largest Snowman Allegedly[/caption]

    #20