I made it to a campground at the above town after leaving Montreal around lunch time last Thursday. I have been here since then, relaxing and doing lots of sleeping. I must have been more tired than I thought!
When I arrived at the campground, I found to my dismay that the staff there could not speak English – well, one could speak a few words. I booked in for one night, which we managed okay, but after seeing how lovely the place was I decided to extend my stay for three more nights. So I went back and it took a really long time to sort it all out, because I had to move to another site for the days after Friday. The woman was very patient and I apologised profusely, but alas my English/French translation book was useless. However, just as I was leaving, who should come along but a woman who spoke both English and French! Oh joy, and she translated for us to clarify everything. Her name was Carole, and she told me her site number and to come and see her if I had any more language problems.
Got the tent set up, and then relaxed. It was around that time I spotted someone I reckoned had been following me all the way from Alaska. I first saw him in Fairbanks, I think it was. I’d noticed this bloke, another motorcyclist, quite regularly throughout my trip across Canada, but never actually spoke to him as he was always just behind me. He appeared to be an older man and had a white beard. Couldn’t see exactly what kind of bike he was riding either. I had a nasty feeling he may have been stalking me. Anyway, we finally got to meet at this campground, and had an extended chat about motorcycles and touring, until the locals started to look at me a bit strangely. I got a photo of this bloke and his bike, here he is:
This campground is great, and I arrived right in the middle of their Christmas in July celebrations. Everything here is in French, from the road signs to the menu at the campground store. Not everyone can speak a lot of English either, in fact, most people I spoke to (or spoke to after a fashion) could only speak a few words. It’s been good because I have extended my limited knowledge of the language. At lunchtime I asked for a “burger poulet” and got a chicken burger. Cool! I’m getting there and reckon if I stuck around for long enough I’d eventually pick it up.
Here’s a couple of pics of the campground:
All the signs are in French, not just in the campground, but right throughout this area. All the newspapers and magazines etc., are in French, everything!
The campground is right next door to a zoo, but I was too cheap to pay the $15 entrance fee. I did get a photo of a deer and her offspring though:
You’ll just have to pretend I uploaded photos of camels, goats, and some little horses.
As mentioned, I arrived in the middle of the Christmas in July celebrations. They really know how to decorate the place well. It has been hot and sunny every day, and whilst walking around taking these photos it felt like Christmas in Aussieland. This particular one I really liked – a moving arrangement where the reindeer is helping Santa down the chimney:
Most people here are long-termers, i.e. they stay here all summer. Most also decorated their residences in accordance with the Christmas in July theme:
Everyone gets around in these things (it’s quite a big campground):
For the Christmas in July celebrations they decorated them all:
Last night I met up with Tommy, Carole’s husband, who had also assisted me when I arrived and was having the French speaking problems. He invited me over to their campsite for their Christmas party. Had a blast! These people really know how to party and some were dressed up for the occasion too. One person was dressed as a Christmas tree and looked great. Carole and I exchanged email addresses and I told her to look me up if she’s ever in Aussieland. Lovely people.
Went for a walk through the town today, nice little place:
It has been a wonderful stay here, and great to immerse myself in this French culture. The language problems weren’t such an issue after all; the people have been very kind and friendly and PATIENT with me! I am liking Quebec more and more. Tomorrow the bike and I will go to a campground at a place called Trois-Pistoles, and from there to the Gaspe Peninsula. The campground at Trois-Pistoles has internet access, like this one, so hopefully I will be able to update this blog soonish.
‘Bye for now 🙂