Stephen French

Joined February 2019Living in: Dartford, United Kingdom
  • Day28

    Canada, thats it!

    July 16 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    We took the ferry across the St Lawrence which takes about ten minutes. It’s surprising how quickly the river flows at this point. As we get closer to the Quebec side a feature, the chateau Frontenac dominates the surrounding city from its hilly position. It’s just a hotel! We did go in but got fed up with the endless corridors. Then we explored the old town with all the other the Chinese and Americans and have to say it is very pretty. Halfway through the afternoon it started raining. We got absolutely drenched before we got back to the Airbnb in Levis which is lovely.

    Last day in Canada and we had time on our hands and Montmorency falls are just outside the city. I tried to book ziplining across them even though I wasn’t insured! It was fully booked or that what we thought. On arrival we found all the park employees on strike and protesting outside the entrance. We were stuck in a queue of traffic and they were blowing vuvuzelas a lot. God they are annoying. Walked in, took some photos then drove to Montreal and the airport and sadly home.
    3213 miles traveled.
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  • Day27

    Amusing.

    July 15 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Sackville to Levis 488 miles, 2975 miles travelled.

    It was a day of travelling, we drove from one end of New Brunswick to the other and then some way into Quebec. Heather was on moose watch. There were plenty of signs indicating they were about but no real moose were seen, much to her dismay. After a good few hours we arrived at Levis a town on the St Lawrence river opposite Quebec City. Yea! found another micro brewery.

    To amuse ourselves we took note of some towns on the way and their claim to fame;
    Floranceville: The French fry capital of the world.
    Hartland: Home of the worlds longest covered bridge.
    Nackawic: Home of the worlds largest axe
    New Maryland: Scene of the last fatal duel in New Brunswick,
    the local pub sells ‘shot chicken’!
    And
    St Louis-du-Ha! Ha!
    Because the name is funny.
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  • Day25

    Good sights, bad roads.

    July 13 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    The next day we had an Arthur and Martha day. Driving around looking at sights. Saw a sign ‘Have you seen enough trees yet!’ Yep. We were aiming for the Cap d’Or lighthouse. The further we went along the cape Chignecto peninsular the fewer houses there were. The last five kilometres is on gravel, up and down hill. It’s a bit out of the way. I was slightly disappointed with the lighthouse building as it wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. Just a breeze block square with a red light on top. The views however across the bay of Fundy and the cliffs are very nice. Heather pointed out a pod of dolphins that were frolicking around.
    Then it was back to the car and really badly maintained roads. We stopped at a place called Advocate with a little harbour for lunch then on to another community called Joggins and their fossil centre. There was a half hour guided tour of the beach as well as the learning stuff inside the centre. The fossils aren’t big or impressive mainly trees and splats of ancient shit turned to stone. It was all done very well and interesting.
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  • Day24

    The largest lobster in the world!

    July 12 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    It seems to us the only claim to fame the small seaside town of Shediac has is the worlds largest lobster so we had to take a picture or two. But we’ve been somewhere with a bigger crab claw!
    The dominant language around Shediac half an hour away from where we are staying in Sackville is Arcadian French, Sackville is almost exclusively English. It is strange! On the way, outside homes there is an increase in the number of Arcadian flags being flown. A French tricolour with a yellow star on the blue third. We don’t seem to see an English equivalent.Read more

  • Day23

    Sights, sounds and scent.

    July 11 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    In the morning we set off for a walk and to pick up some caches on the old railway line that passes next to the school. Heather smothered herself with deet and I said when they start biting I’ll do the same. Got to the first cache in the undergrowth and set off all the mozzies. i was absolutely bitten to pieces by these carnivorous insects. I couldn't apply the deet fast enough. Heather was ok.
    It was another lovely sunny day, the track is very straight and could be thought of as uninteresting. However we loved brushing past the colourful wild flowers that grow beside the track and there’s a shrub with white flowers that has the charming scent. Small yellow birds fly from perch to perch in front of us as if to lead the way. They don’t stay in one place long enough for me to take a picture. The trackbed clings to the edge of the marsh and in places there are no hills or high trees. We look up into a big sky with small fluffy clouds. Smashing to be here and so quiet.
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  • Day22

    Mud and rocks.

    July 10 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    An hour or so away from the school house are Hopewell rocks on The bay of Fundy which has the highest tidal range in the world. It beats the Bristol Channel into second place. Due to erosion, rocks some with trees on them have been detached from the reddish cliffs and stand alone like pillars. These pillars are referred to as ‘flowerpots’. Interesting in two ways. Looking at the geological formations for about five minutes and the second trying to get a photo without anyone else in. If I want to look at mud at low tide I can go to Erith. That’s $20 I won’t see again. Last interesting fact the Mary Celeste was built just across the bay.Read more

  • Day21

    Back to school!

    July 9 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    This is the school house and our apartment is on the first floor, furthest four windows. Built in 1907, only us here at night. During the day a charity that deals with sustainable forestry management is resident on the ground floor. Certainly a character building with original features and a slap of paint on top. The wooden floors catch your eye and the smell definitely reminds you of school days. Sackville is small town Canada. The centre has plenty of closed down shops and there’s just not enough money to make the place pretty though it could be. We turned a corner and heard singing. In a small park on a bandstand were escapees from the local high security care home giving a concert. I don’t know what there combined ages are but it would be a lot. Two Guitars, a fiddle and keyboards. Playing country and Western songs with a singer. Shouldn’t mock it was live, just.

    Ten minutes out of town is Fort Beausejour. Strategically placed on the border between the French Acadians and the English settlers of Nova Scotia. Couple of quid for a pleasant walk around. It has a Commanding position near the bay of Fundy and laid out in a star shape. The French built it and we the English gave them a whopping and took it over. What more do you want to know?
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  • Day19

    Some people!

    July 7 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Last full day in Nova Scotia and we were at a loose end though the day was shaping up to be a peach weather wise. Following a bit of googling we were on our way to a kite festival in the grounds that surround Halifax fort. After parking the car, we walked by government house, the home of the queens representative in Nova Scotia. Just as the Union flag was being raised. Seeing the sign for free tours in we went! While waiting for it to start this numpty walked in protesting about stolen land and the riches the monarchy had gained by exploiting Canada. The man in his early twenties was either stoned or required some psychiatric help. He was ejected by the lady security officer who incidentally had seen service in the UK with the police at Redditch near Birmingham. The tour was short but did give a little peek into the opulence of the governors mansion as well as some lovely displays of 200 years of history. At 1 o’clock we stepped outside to watch the changing of the guard. Guess what? up jumped that numpty again. Not the best idea to mouth off in front of a couple of guards with bayonets drawn. After being ignored and the small ceremony over he disappeared into the streets of Halifax trying to find someone else to preach to. The locals on our tour apologised and said he wasn’t representative of their nation. I think that was obvious.

    Off we went to see the kites. We had a pleasant stroll amongst the people trying to and some succeeding in getting their colourful objects into the air. That event wasn’t a grand affair so on we trudged and found ourselves at the Garrison brewery. I had a flight of four tasters of different beers. It should have been five but Heather wanted to try one called ‘pucker up’ which was flavoured with pomegranate and cranberry! Close by is Halifax railway station, couldn’t afford to let that one go by. Marvellous concourse and booking hall which serves the three trains a week that leave the station and take twenty two hours to get to Montreal. Obviously the station staff have a lot of down time. That was our nothing day.
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  • Day18

    Looks like we're walking on water

    July 6 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Plucked up courage and went for another walk. As it was my birthday, we added a bit of geocaching as well. The Salt Marsh trail is another disused railway converted to a trail, in fact it’s part of the same one that the Musquodoboit trailway uses. The trail is different, it rests on a stone causeway that splits the sea in two. We walked the nine kilometres across Cole harbour and back picking up caches as we went. Interesting to see water both sides of the trail. When this was constructed a hundred years ago there was no thought about the environmental impact a stretch of trackbed would have on tidal flow and the funnelling of the water through a couple of bridges. We stood on one and watched the speed of the incoming tide also the difference in height of the water from one side to the other is quite visible. However the cormorants are happy judging by the fish they were catching nearby. After walking back to the car we drove to our seventh brewery. ‘Upstreet’ and had beer and BBQ.Read more

  • Day17

    Victim of its own prittiness.

    July 5 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    A little further afield from where we are staying is Peggy’s cove. A magnet for us tourists. Such a little place overwhelmed by motorcycles, RV’s, cars and coaches. All looking for places to park. Then we take a photo, have an ice cream or a lobster roll and move on to the next picturesque spot. Large rock platforms are cut into by the creek where fisherman’s huts cling to the waters edge. Judging by the lack of development and a scene out of the nineteenth century this area must be subject to some serious planning regulations and house buying caveats. The coaches went one way and we moved on to Mahone bay. One of a number of communities further along the coast with wooden houses some over a hundred and fifty years old embellished with ornate verandas that lead down to the shoreline. The UK doesn’t have a monopoly on twee, rustic and watery settings.Read more

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