Canada is a diverse country in many ways, but most particularly in a geographical sense. A ride across Canada, from west to east, is first of all typified by the extensive beaches on west Vancouver Island. You ride north, up around the vast reaches of the Yukon, then down through the spectacular peaks of the Rockies. You traverse the Canadian Shield. I don’t know if most Aussies have ever heard of it, but the Canadian Shield covers half the country, features millions of lakes and endless rock, and is virtually uninhabited. Two million square miles sprawls across six provinces, some of the oldest rock in the world. Think of plonking 2 1/2 Queenslands on a country. That’s the size of the Canadian Shield. Massive eh? You pass the voluminous depths of the Great Lakes, areas of water so large that if you tipped them onto the United States, you’d have the Seppos under ten feet of water. True.
I know a lot of tourists see all of the above, then do a u-turn and bugger off home. But trust me, go a little further east for the gold of this country: the Maritimes. Three provinces – New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, make up the Maritimes. It fair dinkum has to be my favourite part of Canada.
I ride down through New Brunswick, Canada, over landscape characterised by spruce trees, great roads, and few cars. Here, at Doaktown, deep in the heart of my North American fan base, the rumble of motorcycles cuts through the brisk morning breeze. A procession is led by Biker 1 astride a beautiful blue Yamaha V-Star, the 850 model – oops – the 900 (get it right Janette!) The 900 is closely followed by Biker 2 on a classy Triumph Bonneville with aftermarket pipes. They sounded great. Biker 3, the newest rider, sits atop a Suzuki, and a broader smile I never did see. What I also see, as Biker 3 approaches, are flashes of pink. On the bike. The streaks become larger as Biker 3 approaches, colouring my vision in a kind of swirling, psychedelic, candyworld of pink. I squint, and concentrate, then finally focus. It’s a…strike me pink, it’s a pink motorbike!
Here they are:
Here I am with the bike:
Okay, so I exaggerated a bit about the pink, but it’s my blog, so there. Three very nice bikes and their equally nice riders greeted me at Doaktown, and we rode together the 100 or so kilometres down to Fredericton, capital city of New Brunswick and hometown of my friends. I have to say, it was great to be finally riding with people, and people I actually know!
On the way to Freddie, we detoured to a hanging bridge suspended across a very picturesque and clear river. The bridge swayed quite a bit as we walked across, and we entertained ourselves by laughing at each other’s drunken-sailor attempts at reaching the other side. Got lots of photos – here’s the bridge:
We had to climb a few stairs to get there, then walk across this:
View from the bridge:
We left this beautiful and peaceful place, and headed for a campground where some friends have their RV for the summer. I was welcomed by some more Canadians, some familiar and some I met for the first time. All were Blogfans. It was very pleasing and flattering to hear they liked my blogs. Thanks to you all, and thanks for the great welcome! Denise was on hand with a coldie, she knows me well:
Millie, on the other hand, was somewhat underwhelmed. Guess you can’t win ’em all…
Denise, ever the amicable host, told me she was taking me down the road to see the country. At first I was somewhat puzzled, I mean, we were actually in the middle of the country. But here we are, walking down to see this mysterious country:
And there it is, the country…cracked me up!
More yabbering, a few drinks, great company…what a way to end the day. Riding across Canada and meeting friendly people all the way has been fabulous, but when your friends give you a welcome like this…well, it was wonderful and I had a great evening. It was the most relaxed I’ve been for a long time. Good times, and thanks to you all!
I’ll show you some photos of Fredericton, my favourite city in Canada, next time. ‘Bye for now.