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We headed off today and the weather was just beautiful and the ride was thoroughly enjoyable and we got in to have plenty of time to wander about the streets. When we first arrived the streets were packed but the crowds had diminished somewhat by the time we headed out which was nice.

There were more bikes, mopeds, jeeps and everything else you could think of for hire at Martha’s Vineyard and a lot of it was just a stone’s throw from our hotel

Parked up at Oaks Bluff waiting to load on the ferry

And this was the view from where we waited to get on the ferry at Oaks Bluff

And a view of the ferry (The Governor) Sharen and Ken crossed on, we both loaded at the same time and we got on a larger one than them

This is a view of one of the docks in Newport Rhode Island, sort of a Newport Version of Constitution Dock in Hobart. There were heaps of yachts coming and going and we saw some of the New Zealand crew. Needless to say the locals are pretty stoked that the American team won the Americas Cup

A sneak peek inside the door of the Vanderbilt Grace Hotel and Spa (not staying there but looked yummy)

And this is more of the decoration at the door with the pumpkin harvest theme included which is very popular at the moment

A view down Thames Street virtually empty. When we rode up here we literally had to duck and weave through the foot traffic

And the view from our Hotel room window…very nice though we may not think so after the bar and grill next door ramps up tonight…we will see

Bits and Bobs:

Hi Cory, we saw 2 Cory Lanes today, 1 we rode on and the other we rode past.

Saw some good T Shirts which would appeal to my brother Bryan but couldn’t pick between them all. Sorry mate!

And a litter sign we have seen a lot of in Massachusetts

Last 2 night’s Accommodation:

Dockside Inn
9 Circuit Avenue Extension
Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard, MA 02557

A very nice building, comfortable room, generous inclusions with snacks and tea and coffee available all day and continental breakfast as well as a beach room (towels, eskies, deck chairs, boards, ice and ice buckets), Jacuzzi, and a welcome cookie and glass of champagne. What can I say? Bed beautifully comfortable and handy to wharf side restaurants and anything you may want like rental cars, jeeps, Vespa’s, pushbikes and tour buses but I’m glad we have our own transport. A comfortable spot to drop.

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A beautifully warm day saw us exploring this intriguing little island and we loved every bit of it.

A delightful streetscape in Edgartown before the crowds arrived so we got a parking spot and didn’t have to watch where we walked. We were amazed at the number of people moving about the island all day given there is practically no one here compared to 2 weeks ago and at least half of the shops that are open now will be closed in 2 weeks’ time. Weird!

A lovely spot for coffee at a little café called ‘Amongst the flowers'.

A panoramic view across the channel to the island of Chappaquiddick including the ferry. We decided to give it a miss when we saw the queue already on the other side waiting to get back.

The lighthouse and clay cliffs at Gays Head

Lunch at Meneshma and Norm spotted this little boat so added that in honour of our little granddaughter Stella

A view along the inlet at Meneshma behind ‘The Galley’ where we got a killer BLT for lunch

And a view across the water to some more quaint houses in Oak Bluffs on our return

Bits and Bobs:

Cracked me up to see 2 particular street signs today. Bog House Way and Nip’N Tuck Lane! Seriouly, I’m not kidding.

Found outside a toy shop in Edgartown this morning

Found outside a tiny Bait and Tackle shop in Edgartown

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It’s been a day of vastly different views of all description and we have enjoyed just soaking them all up. Thankfully it stayed dry in spite of looking threatening for a good part of the day and then this afternoon the sun broke through, lovely.

A church and house around the square in Falmouth a beautiful little village dating back to the 1,600’s

Coffee on the sidewalk was a delight and to prove fall /autumn has begun we had gently falling leaves around us as we sat

We walked down to the street of Woods Hole while we waited to board the ferry and this was the rear of some buildings which appealed to me. Very quirky.

A ship and tug in the harbour at Woods Hole

Some rigging work under way as we approached Oaks Bluff

Some of the beautiful houses on Ocean Avenue overlooking Ocean Park and the Bandstand

We found Hansel and Gretel’s house amongst the many hundreds of ‘Gingerbread houses’

The Methodist Tabernacle – open to the air and seats several thousand. An awesome sight

A view of the wharf in Oaks Bluff

Bits and Bobs:

Now I can understand the skateboard and mopeds but motorbikes? Come on!

A sign on the waterfront where many restaurants and bars are located. We saw it before we headed to Nancy’s for a delicious dinner

Last 2 night’s Accommodation:

The Windfall House
108 Main Street (Rte.130)
Sandwich Massachusetts 02563

An historic old Inn which we had the run of as we were the only guests for the first night and not a lot different the second so spread ourselves out in the sitting room which was lovely. Small quirky rooms but comfortable. Delicious breakfast included and also complimentary afternoon drink which was welcome. Comfortable bed and friendly helpful hosts with terrific dinner recommendations. A lovely stay.

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Nice day of exploring today after a yummy breakfast. This is a street view in Dennis

Then coffee in Brewster. By the way we have seen many houses buildings with timber board fronts then shingles for the rest of the buildings. this was an economy option during the 1.700's. Interesting to not where the money was in that time i.e. where the all round timber buildings were / are

A whimsical shop in Wellfleet which among other things according to their advertising even sells fairy doors!

The Pilgrim commemoration tower in the background and war memorial tribute in the foreground in Provincetown

Our lunch choice in Provincetown. Chowder soup and lobster slide roll. Delicious!

A shot for the young grandchildren, a view in the Marc Jacobs store

What is left of the old wharf at Provincetown

An attractive corner in the village of Chatham which was a very pretty sight

We also drove through Hyannis which seemed a reasonably ordinary sort of Village but the ride to and from it was just beautiful with glimpses of the ocean and beautiful leafy green avenues as well as a lot of spectacular real estate which we have also experienced throughout the day. In fact, we have seen houses from the cute and quirky to the incredibly spectacularly grand and everything in between. Incredible!

Bits and Bobs:

A sign in Wellflleet…personally I think the children are running from the Acupuncture!

Also in Wellfleet. A SPECIFIC help wanted sign. Loved it!

On the wall of the Provincetown Post Office. Not sure what it is supposed to mean.

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A shot of all of us (Ken, Sharen, Nola, Norm) in the foyer of Omni Parker House after breakfast this morning. A beautiful building!

We collected the bikes and got out of Boston pretty comfortably and headed for Cape Cod and arrived in Sandwich a picturesque little village which we tramped all over this afternoon. We are here for two nights so head off for a trip up to the end of the cape and back tomorrow.

A lovely house in Sandwich

The First Church of Christ, Sandwich

A view across to the outlet to the ocean from the boardwalk which was substantial

Uplands built in 1740, a beautiful house just down from our accommodation. Sandwich was first settled in 1670 and most of the historical houses have names on them and the year they were built and sometimes more history as well

Bits and Bobs:

I enjoyed the creativity of some of the mail boxes and here is a small selection below

# 1

# 2

# 3

# 4

And a sign on a private garden, self-explanatory I would think.

And a peculiar sign. Is this referring to the settlement or those IN the settlement?

Last 2 night’s Accommodation:

Omni Parker House
60 School Street
Boston Massachusetts 02108

A beautiful stately building and what a lovely experience to be here. The staff is welcoming and helpful and the rooms are comfortable if small (unless you upgrade which we didn’t’). Even so the bed was deliciously comfortable and we made good use of the space we had. Have loved the experience and gobsmacked with some of the history. A snapshot only below:
John F Kennedy proposed to Jacqueline Bouvier in Parkers restaurant and he also made his first public speech here
Malcolm Little (Malcolm X) was a bus boy in Parkers restaurant in the early 1940’s
Ho Chi Minh was a pastry cook in Parkers Kitchen from 1911 – 1913!

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It has been lovely and sunny all day but the breeze is very nippy in the shade and I’ve had a quiet kickback day for my birthday, explored a little bit of the city for the second time, the first being in 1998, then got my hair done and now chilling a bit before we head for dinner with Sharen and Ken but here is some of what we saw today.

In the Botanic Gardens this is a cute sculpture immortalising a children’s story written about the ducks and gardens

A view in the Botanic gardens across a pond and bridge towards the ‘new’ Boston

A quirky carousel on the Boston Common, a public space beside the Botanic Gardens

The State Legislature Buildings

A residential street view one street behind hotels and offices

Kings Chapel

A sculpture tribute to the Irish Immigrants who have enriched the Boston Community

A quirky dog house at the dock

I like Boston it is a thriving city and yet there is an eclectic mix of commerce, space and city living all in close proximity and easily reached.

The bikes are finished ready to be collected in the morning then we all head for Sandwich for a couple of nights. The GPS is loaded with maps so we will see how it performs on the trip.

Bits and Bobs:

Loved the fire hydrant with what looks like a firemen’s helmet on the top

When a ‘No Trespassing’ sign isn’t clear enough try this one we found on the side of an apartment building

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The day dawned clear and sunny but cold so after an experience of a ‘genteel existence’ over a very leisurely breakfast we headed south for Boston. We wanted to be into Boston early in the afternoon to get the bikes to the bike shop and given our late departure it was a case of keeping at it and we did.

My two big memories of the day are the huge number of bridges of all shapes sizes and design over small to huge waterways. Gosh this is a country with vast water resources and certainly highlights what a vast and dry continent Australia is.

The second observation is that we have been travelling in very remote areas and we experienced heaps more traffic than we have experienced for the last week or so, thankfully it was well behaved and predictable and the weather was dry. Makes it all so much easier.

The only photo for the day is outside the bike shop where the bikes are safely tucked away for a service and mine for a new rear tyre and Norms to get a new GPS bracket fitted for the new GPS which we have here with us and have to take outside for it to register satellites tomorrow and then we can download updates to the system and to maps from the internet so it is ready for when we head off on the 25th.

It was great to catch up with Sharen and Ken tonight and share a meal with friends they met on their tour and who head off tomorrow. Tomorrow our break is half way through…hard to believe!

Last night’s Accommodation:

The Hawthorn Inn Bed and Breakfast
9 High Street
Camden, Maine 04843

A lovely old building and we had booked a garden room so we didn’t have to lug cases upstairs which ended up basically being half in the basement so we lugged them down instead. We waited for 2 hours to get in our room and weren’t impressed and it was only half cleaned then. We were told they had 8 of their 10 suites emptied today and were struggling to manage..…I thought that was what they should consider normal. The hosts seem very gracious and make an effort to remember individual names and be welcoming and their knowledge of the local area was good and also tips to visit and dine. If I came back I’d book another room and see if it was better than what we had. Breakfast was included and was a special experience.

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I told myself last night I’d go and get a photo of the Algonquin Hotel which can accommodate 1,000 but is closed for refurbishment at the moment but I forgot so this one is compliments of the internet. The Canadian Pacific Railway used to end here in times gone by and this was where anyone who was anyone stayed

A glimpse of the fall / autumn colours on the side of the road as we headed for Bar Harbour this morning before the rain set in and once it set in it was pretty much with us for the rest of the day until we got into Camden. The day was so dark that shortly after we set out this morning the GPS unit switched itself to a night time screen and it stayed on that for the rest of the day.

We set out for the via to Bar Harbour as the sky got darker and the rain got heavier so we ultimately decided we wouldn’t see any of it and instead of continuing we headed for Camden and asked Sharen and Ken to email us a photo for the blog of what we should have seen and here it is. We have loved seeing all the little islands from the shore as we have travelled along the coast and I assume this is the ship they were on. Gives a good perspective to gauge the size of it. Very impressive!

This is the Verona Bridge, looked awesome disappearing into the mist

As we were heading to the bridge from Verona Island to the mainland we saw a huge grey fortress type building to our right with a US flag flying in the centre of it and when we got across the bridge we saw a sign pointing us to Fort Knox (the original one)so we figured we’d do a quick drive by photo shoot but when we got to the spot to go in discovered it was a pay and walk scenario so given all the layers of bike gear we turned around and left. This shot of the fort and bridge is compliments of the internet and you can see both the bridge and the fort. Apparently the bridge also has an observatory in one (at least) tower, not that it would have been too effective today to see anything

Stopping for a bite of lunch and Norm thought he’d take this shot so you could see the amount of water in the paddock behind! OK so it's a river but there was an awful lot of water around.

It’s probably just as well the weather was so crappy or I would have taken forever to get here as there have been so many spectacular houses to photograph…had it been fine. This is one across the road from where we are staying and typical of many

And a view of the harbour after we checked in and showered. We came out to sunshine and drying roads, couldn’t believe it!

These are some falls which literally run under the main street and two lots of buildings. Don’t know what it’s like in a flood!

And finally a beautiful boat near where we dined tonight. Lovely outlook to dine by

Last night’s Accommodation:

The Kingswood B & B
327 Mowat Drive
St Andrews New Brunswick E5B 2P1

What an absolutely lovely home to be welcomed into! The building is a delight with spacious guest dining and siting room and our room is large light and airy and very comfortable and the bathroom has everything we need even if not huge but everything else makes up for it. Our host is both charming and helpful and has lots of tips for local sights and experiences. The décor beautifully complements the building and it all feels lovely to experience. Good value for money with a delicious included breakfast to set us up for the day and plenty of room to park. Yum. Would love to come back at another time.

Last night’s Dinner:

Niger Reef Tearoom – Looking from the tearoom to the sea
A recommendation from our host saw us eating here and the food was superb. It was a cosy little space with friendly service and superb ambience. I could imagine sitting on the veranda on a summer evening looking out over the water. The name comes about from a ship (The Niger) running aground years ago on the reef and keeling over which couldn’t be re-floated until the next high tide so as a result the reef is now the Niger Reef and there is now a flashing red light so no one else does the same thing. Life is funny, it’s always the disasters we remember and this is a typical example.

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We headed for the ferry in the moonlight and the glimpses of ocean looked spectacular. Thankfully there weren’t any Moose or Deer to glimpse in fact the only glimpse we have had was of a doe nonchalantly grazing on the side of the road a few days ago. In any case this is a view of the sunrise from the ferry terminal at Digby

And one across the traffic as we lined up to get on the ferry. Note the moon is still visible over the cliff top

Approaching Saint John and the sun is shining and looking good for a ride

Heading in search of a lighthouse on the coastal route we spotted this quirky little shed on the way into Chance Harbour and by the time we turned around the sky was getting grey and threatening

And this was the view across Chance Harbour

Since rain is supposed to be on the cards for tomorrow and we were in relatively early we decided to explore the town this afternoon in case we missed the chance for taking photos in the morning and we found a lighthouse after riding in and out of bays and coves on the way where there was supposed to be an elusive lighthouse…unless it was the Cove trail!

HMS Transportation Building. They have limousines and stretch limousines (most of which have ‘For Sale’ signs on them) and all sorts of other bits and pieces as well as an awesome old workshop but shut up this afternoon

A main street view in St Andrews

A pretty quirky mural on the side street to the wharf

Looking from the wharf back to the town

Last night’s Accommodation:

Garrison House Inn
350 St George Street
Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada B0S 1A0

An absolutely charming little Inn lovingly maintained and decorated and topped off by a lovely warm welcome by our hosts. We had a spacious room on the first floor with a comfortable bed and our own bathroom. There is a bar and restaurant on site and the food for dinner was delicious and it was good to see a good number of meals being served. There is also a lovely closed in veranda area which would be ideal in hot weather. Breakfast was included but we had an early ferry trip so our host supplied us with some delicious muffins and bananas to take with us to fill the gap which we were grateful of and they were also delicious. Room to park out back out of sight. Good value for money.

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Well we started the day with a fortress and cemetery ended it with another two. This is at the Halifax Citadel just up the hill from our hotel, the fourth fort to be built on the site and it is very impressive. As we were leaving we followed a huge white limousine out of the site.

Norm has always had a fascination with the story of the Titanic and last year when we were in Belfast we visited the Titanic Museum. Today we completed the circle and visited the Fairview Cemetery to visit the gravesites of those who drowned on the Titanic to pay our final respects and it was overrun by tourists as it has been since the movie apparently. Such a shame, it was a lovely peaceful place apart from the tour groups and guides so this picture gives a better perspective of the place….and a couple of bikes as well. We beat the limousine to the cemetery

A tip from Sharen and Ken was to visit Peggy’s Cove as they had been bussed there from their ship and what a treat it was. It’s a quaint old time fishing port locked in time and the many little communities and coves on the way there are also delightful. This is actually at Peggy’s Cove

And so is this one and we met the limousine coming into the cove as we were leaving

One in French Village

And then lunch at Mahone Bay and this is the quirky little main street. We lunched in the Pub to the right (first floor)

A view from the balcony across the water to a couple of summer houses literally floating on the water and moored….told you it was quirky and yep you guessed it, the limousine trailed in behind us so we’ve obviously seen all the ‘must sees’

And if money is no object you can own your own island. This was just off the shore coming out of Mahone Bay

Annapolis Royal Fort is directly opposite our accommodation tonight as well as two ancient cemeteries. It is beautifully maintained

A view across the inlet. Would have liked to stroll along the boardwalk at sunset but we just didn’t have time

And this is a bird sculpture at the front of some magnificent gardens we were too late to get into

Bits and Bobs:

Another interesting Canadian road sign

And finally a shot for Kevin of the two bikes and Louisiana rego plates in the car park at the hotel this morning. That would be the underground ‘heated’ car park….something Louisiana residents would be unlikely to even imagine. Ha ha

Last night’s Accommodation:

Cambridge Suites Hotel, Halifax
1583 Brunswick Street
Halifax Nova Scotia B3J3P5

Lovely spacious room and nice and private with sink, fridge and microwave so possible to be self-contained if you want to be. Seemed funny to be so quiet after a few B&B’s with less than soundproof walls. The restaurant was nice, staff helpful and dinner superb. There is also an onsite pub but we didn’t visit. There is also a business centre as well as a mini mart with snacks, TV dinners and all the things you forget to pack Very impressive. Yet another comfortable bed and lovely hot shower. Parking underneath so we were very warm by the time we headed off.

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Another lovely day for riding and beautiful roads for bikes. We wound our way back out over the Seal Island Bridge and the Causeway and onto a magnificent combination of forest and coastal views. We felt like the day was full of ‘snapshots’ of all sorts and we feel a bit saturated with the beauty we have been moving through the last few days…and probably a bit tired from some big rides as well.

From the restaurant at breakfast we spotted this cruise ship coming into the inlet I imagine where Sharen and Ken’s had done the previous day

We had decided to go and have a look at the reception centre on the right with the large fiddle in front but once the ship docked we declined the opportunity and got on the road. Cape Breton is apparently known for their fiddlers and there is much playing of fiddles throughout the area. I figure they need fast fiddle music to dance to and stay warm in the depths of winter…but I could be wrong

Lunch at Sherbrooke Village a quirky little place which also had a pioneer type village museum but we figured we didn’t have such an exploration in us today and given we got in at 6pm tonight I’m glad we didn’t.

A really pretty house as we headed out of Sherbrooke Village

Typical snapshot glimpse of what we experienced today on the road

And another one. We saw many settlements with a combination of well-kept permanent homes, others which look like holiday homes and a good number in some spots abandoned as well as many ‘For Sale’ signs.

Nola following a typical school bus onto a mini version of the same sort of bridge as the Seal Island one on yesterday’s entry. We were talking to a trucker when we had a coffee this afternoon and he told us he had a truck and Pantech lift up and blow over on its side in a hurricane once. Not an experience I’d like.

We have seen small and large glimpses of quiet little streams and galloping rivers and everything in between as we have travelled today. This was the West River which Norm took the opportunity to take a shot of since I needed a break

And one of me – Norm is not to be trusted with a camera obviously. Not to worry, the nap did the trick and I felt much brighter to get in even with the Halifax traffic and bridge all of which felt pretty huge

The Halifax Bridge compliments of the internet.

Bits and Bobs:

Living in the State of Victoria we were compelled to take this one especially since we missed it a couple of days ago

Norm is not a great fan of celery so this sign appealed to him where we lunched today

This sign in the men’s loo also appealed to him

And this one appealed to me where we stopped for a coffee this afternoon. I’ve felt like that sometimes when I get to a loo

Last night’s Accommodation:

Holiday Inn Sydney Waterfront
300 Esplanade
Sydney, Nova Scotia B1P147

Lovely spacious room and nice and private. Seemed funny to be so quiet after a few B&B’s with less than soundproof walls. The restaurant was nice and staff helpful. There is also an onsite pub but we didn’t visit. Yet another comfortable bed and lovely hot shower. Parking out the front.

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We started off our day with a yummy breakfast at our accommodation and heard lots of great tales about a former owner who was the right had man of Alexander Graham Bell and then we headed to the Alexander Graham Bell Museum and here was I who in my ignorance thought his inventiveness had been confined to the telephone! We also caught up with Sharen and Ken at the museum for a coffee as they had left their ship to tour the Museum. Really must explore our Bell family history, photos of Alexander at different ages reminded me so much of my Pop and his Dad as well as my brother Bryan.

The Bell girls…..and the sign says it all. Ha ha.

Celebrating the centenary of the first Canadian flight of the Silver Dart

And a sculpture of the Bell’s on the waterfront. I loved that they were totally devoted to each other

Happy to report the weather was much friendlier today and we didn’t have to add dri-az-a bone pants or other extra waterproof gear against the chill factor and the ride was awesome.

We followed the Cabot Trail around Cape Breton so saw scattered fishing villages and little settlements, magnificent mountains and plunging cliffs and valleys as we rode beside soaring birds riding the thermals beside us. The National Park part of the trip had some great viewpoints to take ion the awesomeness of the views. Truly breathtaking. Without doubt one of the most spectacular motorbike rides we have been on and the roads were great. Beautiful camber, hills and lots of corners and all but a couple of sections had an excellent surface. Ahhhh!!

Scattered communities like this (on the way to Cheticamp) were common

A detour off the main road found these fishing boats out of the water, an unexpected bonus

Early into the National Park this was the view…and the promise of awesome roads to come

White Point, an active fishing community though tiny (a tip from last night's host)

The Neil’s Harbour Chowder House (another tip from last night’s host) very quirky place and delicious lunch

Looking back to the village in Neil’s Harbour

A protected shore as we head south

Even a road cutting looks great

We had a ferry ride between Jersey Cove and Englishtown and the wind was giving the ferry a beating and it was struggling to straighten up to the shore which didn’t deter cars from driving off. Unbelievable! We didn’t have to wait long until it was our turn

Shortly after that we crossed an impressive bridge but couldn’t get a photo as there was roadwork happening so this one is compliments of the internet.

We were glad to get to our hotel as even though the kilometres were down a bit today the maximum speeds varied from 50 – 80 for the majority of the day so a lot slower travel than yesterday which had big stretches of 100 – 110kms so my knees were getting a bit stiff by the time we got in.

Bits and Bobs:

We found these growing wild along the side of the road heaps yesterday and more today. We call them Easter Daisies at home but they no doubt have a different name here

Last night’s Accommodation:

Broadwater Inn and Cottages
Route 205 East 975 Baddeck Bay Rd
Baddeck, Nova Scotia – B0E 1B0

(Our room was to the right of the main building and you can see our deck) A nicely maintained complex. Nice and cosy room attached to the main house. Plenty of room to spread out and nice and warm on a cold night. Breakfast included in the dining room in the main house which was a treat. Plenty of room to park and glimpses of the lake across the road and a relatively short trip back into the town proper for dinner. Helpful and friendly hosts. The bonus was the interaction at breakfast with our host and learning all sorts of great stuff re the history of the area and the involvement of Alexander Graham Bell, his colleagues and their families.

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Well we had a lovely sunny day but the wind chill was pretty brutal. Fall really is coming and we had many layers on and the hand grip heaters cranked up well.

One of the last rural glimpses of Prince Edward Island. The soil is really red like the area Norm grew up in and the potatoes look terrific….in face we also saw a HUGE pumpkin out the front of a farmhouse yesterday and it literally spread out wider than a chep pallet…I kid you not!

A statue at the base of the Confederation Bridge on Prince Edward island called ‘The Quartermaster’ to honour the Marine and Rail personnel from across the Island who ensured safe passage for people and freight to and from the Island before the bridge was constructed

The Confederation Bridge from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island (shot compliments of Wikipedia). By the way there is no charge to go to the Island but the charges on the bridge to return are as follows:
$44.50 – car
$17.75 – motorcycle
$7.25 – for every extra axle

Morning coffee in Amherst and here is an example of the local pink sandstone in some of their public buildings (the front one badly needs cleaning as you can see) then since Norm’s GPS gave up the ghost this morning we mucked about for nearly 2 hours trying to get a replacement with no luck. We finally rang the Bike people in Boston where we are getting the bikes serviced and they are arranging one to be there for him when we get there on the 23rd

A fuel stop in Truro where we had traffic lights to get into this huge site with fuel stop and restaurant, truck parking and for good measure a Freightliner Dealer’s workshop, so a work shot.

We were grateful to get to Baddeck and had a yummy dinner and now getting ready for bed so we’re ready for another big day tomorrow. This is a little lighthouse we passed on our way to our accommodation taken from the wharf when we went to dinner

And a wider shot in the moonlight on our return

We enjoyed a lot of time on the Trans Canadian Highway today and it was a terrific piece of infrastructure literally going up and down over a mountain range and beyond. Signs to say to expect winter conditions for big distances and many miles of snow markers each side of the roadway and signs to be aware there can be snow blowing across the road as well. Happy to say we didn’t experience any of that!

Bits and Bobs:

I missed the (one of) Midland Truck Depot on the way off PEI, this is a rreally very polished fleet we have seen throughout Canada. A light almost wedgewood green metallic livery with a white stripe. Probably more on the green side than grey and without doubt every one we have seen looks great. Good to see.

The last of our PEI signs. Haven’t seen this one anywhere else, I note that one of the sponsors of the sign is MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) Makes sense.

Last night’s Accommodation:

The Sonata Inn
3 Grafton Street
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, C1A1K3

A stately building beautifully maintained with lovely facilities. Large room, tea and coffee making facilities, guest laundry (we found after doing our washing by hand DOH!) roomy dining room and mezzanine sitting area with DVD library. Breakfast included (delicious) free parking and helpful staff. Sounded a bit freaky hearing so much noise from other suites but didn’t detract from the experience overall. Good value for money.

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The day dawned sunny but was soon cloudy and rain forecast to come in from the south west by lunchtime so we headed north to explore the world of Lucy Maud Montgomery and ‘Ann of Green Gables’ the creation of Ms Montgomery.

The farmhouse which inspired the home of ‘Green Gables’ in the book

Ann’s room as described in the book

A couple of things which DO exist are the ‘Haunted Forest’ with a scary man obstructing the path or so he said

And ‘Lovers Lane’ with me looking towards my lover

The Ann of Green Gables Museum home of an Aunt and Uncle of Ms Montgomery. She is said to have stated that this was her favourite place on earth

We have just loved the country scenes throughout Prince Edward Island. The land is obviously productive and this is all framed in incredibly beautiful undulating country well treed and scattered with picturesque houses and farm buildings. Real picture book stuff. What a treat to these former farm kids to experience.

A combination of farmland and fishing scene on the way to Cavendish. We hoped the colourful buildings may have a coffee shop amongst them…no, all fisherman’s sheds and no coffee in sight

One for the grandkids. This was in Kingston and the sign said ‘Haunted House’

On our way to downtown Charlottetown for coffee and we discovered the Fire House with the 1929 fire truck out for a polish

St Dunstan’s Basilica. The first Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Charlottetown founded St Andrews College the first post-secondary institution in the colony in 1831 which was re-located and re-opened in Charlottetown as St Dunstan’s College (later University). The University Board of Governors base is next door.

A lovely old walking street in the University area

Peake’s Wharf where we had a beautiful ‘Moos’ ice-cream

A bonded warehouse in the prohibition days

A lighthouse along the waterfront beyond what looks like a Governor’s residence (coat of arms and flags all over the place)

An example of some serious real-estate on the water’s edge. This wasn’t far from the Governor’s residence (see above) and the historic Beaconsfield House

Bits and Bobs:

Forgot to say yesterday once we were on the main highway that we were blown away by the huge numbers of 5th wheelers and caravans and Winnebago’s of all size and description heading west. Really must be considered the end of the summer holiday season

A sign to discourage drink driving we haven’t seen anywhere else. We have also seen some other interesting signs only on Prince Edward Island so if it’s dry when we leave tomorrow I’ll try and get them

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Today’s weather was a huge improvement on yesterdays and it felt soooo good to feel the warmth of the sun. We had beautiful views of quaint farm buildings and fields as we headed out of Grand Falls and then sparse communities spread through the mountains where the farming gave way to logging activities and miles and miles of beautiful forest with much water lying about in streams ponds and lakes. It was a bit daunting heading for the mountain stretch to read the sign ‘Expect Winter conditions for the next 138 kms’. There was also no fuel for that stretch (and nothing other than forest also but it was a pretty ride. Thankfully we didn’t encounter any snow but a bit of mist and VERY cold weather with the grip heaters cranked right up and lots of layers of clothes.

A cute little Church on the side of the road, one of many we saw today

Would have loved to get a shot of the changing autumn leaves in the high country (they have obviously experienced icy conditions to start the change) but we had a lot of kms to make and there weren’t too many wide spots to pull off to park up. As we gradually descended to a lower altitude the temperature improved and yippee as the day progressed we could turn the grip heaters back to 3 instead of 5 all day yesterday and thinking they weren’t working. Lovely!

A road works maintenance yard. The salt storage shed is the pointed one on the right and the large storage shed has the vinyl / tarpaulin type material over a metal frame like a lot of new barns,

We were blown away by the Confederation Bridge between New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. 13 kms long!!!!! Unbelievably impressive. It is apparently the longest span bridge which sits over ice. Doesn’t give much of an idea really and doesn’t really show the highest section for larger ships to pass underneath

A shot from under the bridge (2 lanes only) and the speed limit was 80kmh today according to the electronic sign so I imagine it can be reduced if needed. Also a number of traffic lights across to stop traffic if needed

Bits and Bobs:

The New Brunswick version of a weighbridge sign

Bus stop ahead. Have also seen them with a red light instead of amber and that is a school bus stop.

Finally got my ‘Moose” sign. There are several versions of these. Just a moose, a moose with ‘attention’ underneath, a colliding moose and car asking to avoid collisions and one the same as this but with flashing lights and a warning to reduce speed at night.

And finally a sign before many bridges warning of bridges icing up before the roadway

Last night’s Accommodation:

Hilltop Motel & Restaurant
131 Madawaska Road
Grand Falls (New Brunswick) E3Y1A7

A lovely warm welcome from the staff and a lovely warm comfortable room. Good facilities, comfortable bed and parking for the bikes. Great restaurant onsite where the food was good and service great also. Good value for money.

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Well today was definitely on the side of endurance rather than enjoyment. The day started off pouring rain and with much water pooling on the roads and continued that way all of the day when it wasn’t hailing (and man did that sting the old shins through the merino long johns, draggen jeans and waterproofs) and then had some fog thrown in for good measure as we climbed higher as well as the rain and or hail up until the last 50 KM when it dried up briefly and then alternated light rain with dry patches. The fact that we had strong wind all day meant the road was largely dry for the last run into Grand Falls and the waterproofs were more or less dry.

We started the day with a ferry ride across the St Lawrence River. The Ferry attendant asked “did the GPS send you here?” and when we said “yes” he replied “they haven’t figured out there is a bridge up the river a bit, but the ferry saves you about 43 kms anyway” and with the way the weather looked we were grateful

A look back to the old city skyline of Quebec and the ship Sharen and Ken will climb on today and then travel (in the dry) to meet us in Boston. To the far right the steam / smoke is from a paper mill. We’ve seen quite a few in Canada and also a huge timber mill today as well.

Also because of the weather although we travelled through what was probably some of the most picturesque country we have seen on this trip our cameras were safely tucked away in the dry and even had they not been they wouldn’t have done justice to the first up intensive farming mixed with forest areas and then high country grasses water and marshland broken up by rocky crags and then tree covered hills disappearing into lakes. Ahh…what a shame. Anyway this is a brief shot where we stopped at a truck stop for lunch and sat for the first time at a diner style counter to eat so we didn’t drip all over their café floor. The soup was hot and welcome.

And here are the Grand Falls where two rivers merge and there is a barrier to hold back water depending on the season and how much is needed for power generation and how much damage can be done with the ice as it breaks up. Our Motel is on the top right hand edge of the view

And one from below the falls of the canyon walls with a bridge over connecting two sides of the town

Bits and Bobs:

Saw some great road signs today but will hopefully come across more of them another day when it is dry enough to stop and take a photo.

Last 2 night’s Accommodation:

Le Port-Royal Hotel & Suites
144 rue Saint-Pierre
Quebec City QC G1K8N8

Quirky little Hotel with a Pub and Restaurant attached and car parking out front. The original building was built in 1860 and was a market for 75 years specialising in coffee tea and chocolate and has undergone a number of transformations since. We are in the original hotel building and have a lovely stone wall facing onto the square with a killer view across the square to the old part of Quebec (as you have already seen). Staff is very helpful and friendly. Good facilities in the room including a cook top, microwave / inverter oven, fridge and sink. Nice spot to drop for a couple of days and on the doorstep of the old city.

Last nights Dinner:
The current restaurant at the Hotel (Le Quay 19) has been open for 3 months and was hopping last night. Their Chef won the Quebec Master Chef competition and the food was delicious, a reasonable cost and all the staff were friendly and attentive. Good value for money. They are currently showcasing a local artist (spectacular sailing paintings all for sale) and plan to change artists and paintings every 3 months. Nice touch.

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The view of the square from our window last night

Dinner with Ken, Norm, Nola and Sharen in what is supposed to be one of the oldest houses in the old city which was very quaint inside, and the meal was beautiful as well. Decided to take a photo as we left but it was raining when we left.

Looking up the street to the funicular which pops up just outside of Sharen and Ken’s hotel – The Chateau Frontenac on the top left hand side of this shot

A view of the top of the Chateau Frontenac with a helicopter which was circling all day covering the Cyclist Grand Prix. Cadel Evans was riding but we didn’t manage to see him (we don’t think) in spite of witnessing many passes throughout the day

An early round of the Cyclist Grand Prix outside of the restaurant where we ate last night. It was very impressive and then when a tail ender was passing us two team cars both tried to overtake him and one bumped him and he fell heavily. He did well not to pick the bike up and throw it I thought

The restaurant today

The City Hall

A rear view of the Post Office which was a stunning building

Norm on the boardwalk outside the Chateau with the ship Sharen and Ken will board tomorrow

With the Cyclist Grand Prix on today there was no hop on hop off bus tours so we had to resort to walking. Oh dear, and who did we run into on our way back to the hotel? You guessed it Sharen and Ken so we started our afternoon off a little earlier then intended and here is a great mural we discovered in the fog last night, it tells the story of Quebec’s history

The only Mountie we have managed to catch up with so far

A nice spot for coffee in Our Lady of Victories Square(Notre dame Victories)

A quick shot inside the church before it closed. Apparently when the British were about to invade the French Colony of Quebec the locals packed the Church in panic and prayed they would survive. There was a massive thunderstorm and many ships of the British fleet sunk and they retreated. Pretty powerful this praying stuff!

Yet another attractive walking street in the old town below the walled city.

Yay!! When Sharen and Ken got back to their hotel who should they run into but Cadel Evans so of course an autograph was the order of the day

Bits and Bobs:

We have seen many different versions of this sign warning of falling snow. Don’t think I would like to be walking anywhere in these streets when the thaw sets in!

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With predictions of thunderstorms strong winds and possibly hail we headed out ready for a day more on the side of endurance rather than enjoyment and within a few minutes were riding through road works with the road dug up and inundated with water. Not very friendly but we soldiered on and headed north east on the motorway and when it wasn’t raining it was pelting rain until we headed for Joliette for a coffee and we even glimpsed some patchy faint blue sky in the direction we were heading. We found some coffee and by the time we finished it had stopped raining and the sun was out

We had previously decided that the US and Canadian favourite pastime was to play golf given all the manicured courses we have come across ,both public and resort on this trip but today with all the many and varied Church’s, Cathedrals and Basilicas we have seen we think Church building is right up there as well.

Joliette Cathedral. With all the adjoining buildings this looks like a University / Seminary type arrangement but the road was ripped up so we couldn’t get all that close and didn’t really have time either

Joliette square with a water feature to the right. We had coffee at the end of this part of the square

Heading out of town Norm spotted a motorbike shop and I needed a bolt in the back of the Pillion backrest so we wheeled in there and got one and he discovered this Victory bike and the mini snowmobile which needless to say we haven’t seen in Australia

Sanctuary du Notre Dame Basilica du Cap at Cap-de-la-Madeleine. A relatively new building and very nice and HUGE! Had lunch at the restaurant

Inside the Basilica

The Visitation Champlain (I think) Church

Cute house not far from the church

Thankfully the weather stayed dry from lunch on but remained very humid and was hot when we got into Quebec as we negotiated one way lanes and barricades in place for a bike grand prix tomorrow

The yummy view from our hotel room and the tower to the left is the tower from the Seminary

Bits and Bobs:

A sign we don’t have at home – notice that there will be snowmobiles crossing ahead

And another one – a Weighbridge sign…love the old fashioned scales and weights. Cracks me up

Last night’s Accommodation:

Couldn't get back far enough to get the full 24 storeys in but we got two good bikes in so a bonus.

Intercontinental Montreal
360 St Antoine West (Ouest)
Montreal QC H2Y 3X4

Beautiful hotel, beautiful room (big), beautiful bed, fantastic and helpful staff, great restaurants and bar areas serving up delicious food and drinks and parking underneath and even the heating / cooling controls on the wall are connected to something and they alter the temperature as they are supposed to…what more can I say?

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It’s been moving today to see and hear commentary about the 12th Anniversary of 9/11 and made us grateful for what we are free to experience both here and at home. Lest we forget.

We went on a hop on hop off tour this morning and didn’t enjoy it. The commentary sounded like someone reading from a phone book (the bit we could hear of it) but we enjoyed the company of some holidaying Canadians who are here to see the big ships which come in tomorrow…of course they do, we will be gone. That Murphy never rests. When we finally got off the bus and onto another for a short time found a brilliant guide. DOH, where was he when we needed him? The best bit about it was being on top of the bus and in the breeze as it has been a very hot and humid day. Severe thunderstorms predicted for tonight and tomorrow. Could be fun.

The lane behind our hotel…enclosed, looks awesome. Lots of shops here also and there are huge areas of shops underground in Montreal, 1,600 shops according to the guide

A cute sight from the bus, we saw several of these groups

And even cities have to receive brick deliveries…feel sorry for them with some of the skinny winding streets they have to negotiate in the old part of town

Liked the look of this silhouette sculpture of wolves

Also the awning with the Blues Brothers above this Jazz restaurant

We found bikes parked up in heaps of places throughout the city and even when they weren't in groups like this they were often in1's and 2's behind cars at intersections

This was a sculpture at the door of the Centre of Contemporary Art , looked like glass and turns out it was and apparently took 3 months to assemble here and will soon be removed to protect it from super cold weather. The exhibition it is part of has been so popular that it has been open 7 days a week. Very cool!

St Joseph’s Oratory (210m high) as we climbed the road to Mount Royal

A misty view from the top of Mount Royal over the Olympic Stadium and part of the city

Montreal’s Cathedral (a reduced scale mode of St Peters Basilica in Rome) and surrounds

Notre Dame Basilica (Montreal Version) looks a lot like the Paris one from the front

A quirky way to tour the city and I swear the front horse stood up straighter when I focused the camera

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A bit of a dilemma this morning. Montreal had a forecast of 33c and humid but had been told if we stayed north of the St Lawrence River the road would be more curvy BUT there was a heavy cold front coming in from the north so instead we decided to cut and run and came into Montreal via the freeway / motorway / highway / parkway (whatever it is called here). We were in for a late lunch and got a tip from the bellboy who was rapt with our bikes of a great spot to go for yummy food. By the way the 33c hasn't eventuated and we had rain or drizzly mist and wet roads nearly all the way to Montreal. The roads only dried out when we were well along the city freeway and we still have low cloud with the tops of multi storey buildings disappearing into the mist.

Waiting for our table at ‘Olive + gourmando’ which was really hopping. We sat down at 2.30pm after waiting 10minutes for a table (seat about 50) and it was well worth waiting for DELICIOUS. People continued to queue for tables the whole time we were there and the lunch crowd gradually moved on to the afternoon coffee and cake crowd

We had just left the café when we saw this W Model Kenworth trying to see-saw his way around a corner and then shortly after we met him coming back to attack the street from a different angle and started pumping out something from somewhere. Certainly the right size motor for the job!

This building has been a hospital / hospice for a couple of hundred years. The partially demolished wall was to make way for St Pierre Street to the St Pierre River

An impressive couple of buildings at the end of St Pierre Street (goes down beside our hotel) onto the old dock area on the river. Across the river we found an ugly example of modern architecture (as well as a couple of other examples I won’t include here) and a massive silo arrangement with rusting metal and broken windows everywhere we looked.

Bits and Bobs:

An interesting ‘No Parking’ sign we found at the Ottawa Civilisation Museum – basically ‘Park here and you will visit court and the judge and their gavel will deal with you’

Have seen many of these throughout Canada, just missed one for Moose as well, and might find another one later on.

On our way to lunch Norm said “Oh I just had a terrible sinking feeling” when I asked what he was talking about he pointed to the sign above.

Spotted this on our way to lunch also. They were very small one way streets; perhaps it is to discourage racing through the streets….or excessive noise….who knows. Never seen one before.

On our table at lunch.

Last night’s Accommodation:

Minto Suite Hotel
185 Lyon Street North
Ottawa ON K1R 7Y4

The Hotel was a nice place to drop for a couple of nights. Comfortable space within the hotel and our room, lovely restaurant and facilities and the staff are great. Convenient with all we wanted to see. Small kitchen so possible to be self-contained if wanted. Couldn’t ask for more. Bikes are safely tucked away in the underground car park so happy about that and we were free to roam this great capital city of Canada. Taxi at the door all hours. Good value for money.

We also shared a lovely dinner in the adjacent Prime 360 Steakhouse with Sharen and Ken.

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