July 8, 2018
July 8, 2018
Our riding today goes very smoothly. It is a nice sunny day and there is nothing noteworthy except that the weather is good and thankfully the shoulders are a bit wider on the roadway.
Le Camping https://lecamping.ca/index.php is a beautiful place right on the bay and our site has its own little rocky outcrop. The owners are Andre and Julie, a nice couple about our age who recently bought the property. They are transitioning the business from mostly long term seasonal sites to a place more welcoming for short term guests. Tomorrow’s temperatures are predicted to be in the upper 90’s, so we book two nights and plan to spend the next day sitting in the shade.
|Our view of scenic Chaleur Bay|
|The sawmill operation is huge and looks like a big employer for the region. Maybe some of the logs that passed us on the Gaspe ended up here.|
The heat arrives but it’s really not that hot here. There is a breeze off the water and plenty of shade. I am really glad I’m not riding because it is reportedly 98 degrees in Bathurst where we would be headed.
On Chaleur Bay there are common terns, loons, a few gannets, cormorants, a great blue heron, and a family of ducks swimming just off shore. The bay is the perfect temperature for wading and aside from one load of laundry, all I do is hang out and read and relax. Up until this point I had considered New Brunswick just something to cruise through on our way to Prince Edward Island, but after today I am happy to slow down and enjoy the province we are in.
It is always a good day for knitting. Local lore indicates that I may need this woolen shawl by the time we get to Newfoundland
I make clam chowder for dinner with the ingredients I shopped for this morning when Julie kindly offered a ride into town with her teenage daughter. It is creamy and delicious and there is no lack of good baguettes in the grocery stores here so it’s a balanced meal.
Andre tells us about a paddling trip we can take tomorrow with Nepisiguit Adventures. It’s about a 10 k float down the Nepisiguit River with a local guide and it includes dinner, so we sign on. This is such a beautiful and wild area and it will be good to get off the road and into the wilderness. We had only planned to be in the Chaleur region for one day, but this place is hard to leave.
It was supposed to be raining all morning, but it is another sunny day. That’s good, because I feel like I have spent enough time canoeing in the rain in my life and I don’t need to pay a guide for that experience.
We cycle a quick 4 km to Petit Rocher and have non-oatmeal breakfast at Auberge D’Anjou. It is a cafe that’s only been here a short time, but the owners have many years of experience running a similar business in France. The pastries in the case look just like those you find in a French Patisserie. Even though we are ordering a cooked breakfast I have to try a pastry as well. It’s excellent! My french toast is made on homemade raisin bread and served with fruit and what tastes like homemade yogurt. There is wifi and we manage to get one blog post out.
|I guess I am pretty excited for this meal. Notice that they gave Tom a sandwich and a half for some reason.|
Our canoe trip fortunately includes transportation to and from the river and Andre is the guy who is going to shuttle the cars. On our way to the put-in point at Middle Landing, he shows us the route we will be riding to Bathurst tomorrow and where to pick up the short section of bike trail to get off the road for a bit.
The river is quite scenic and we paddle past pink granite rocks and tall evergreen trees and an enormous eagle nest. A bald eagle is perched in a tree right over the river and takes off as we pass beneath him.
The river meanders past pink granite rocks and through the tranquil Acadian forest. The water is pretty low but since we aren't carrying any gear it's easy to paddle.
Samuel, our guide, shares his knowledge of the river and the local history with us as we go. He knows a lot about the Mi’gmaq people and the early European explorers. We are the only guests on the trip so we get to hear all his stories and eat all the fantastic food he has prepared as well. If you ever come to New Brunswick don't miss the chance to explore the wilderness with him or one of his guides. https://www.nepisiguitadventures.com It was a treat for us and we are not used to someone else making our meals or launching our canoe so we can keep our feet dry.
|We enjoyed homemade granola bars, elderflower cordial, homemade strawberry shortcake, wintergreen tea made from the wild teaberry plant and other delicious delicacies.|
|Pabineau Falls - Our take out was safely above this.|
|Samuel tells me how the teepee is authentically built and all about the future of the Mi'gmaq trail.|
The Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq trail is an ancient trail that was used for thousands of years by the First Nations people and later by explorers, trappers, and settlers. A group of local outdoors enthusiasts are clearing and restoring the trail and volunteers are building tent platforms and teepees for hikers to use along the way. Our dinner stop is on a big rock platform at one of these sites. Samuel shows us the teepee which was thoughtfully built in an authentic way with consult from the Pabineau First Nation. It is big enough to hold several tired hikers after a day on the trail. Clearing and restoring a 141 km trail for the enjoyment of others is an impressive undertaking and I hope can come back some autumn day to backpack a section of this quiet and scenic trail. www.migmaqtrail.ca
Tomorrow we are going to cycle up the Acadian Peninsula and the weather is predicted to be fine.
|A special thanks to our Le Camping hosts, Andre and Julie. Their hospitality and enthusiasm for New Brunswick made our time within the province far more rewarding.|