No Biking. Just Hiking.
The fly on my tent was soaked this morning from condensation. Attempts to dry it out before packing it up were entirely unsuccessful, although I did manage to get the ground sheet mostly dry.
My boat was scheduled to depart at 9:00 but I had to be there for 8:00. Since I was up early, and since there’s no WiFi at the campground I headed into town to a WiFi-friendly area (personally, I think for $22/night there should be WiFi). I checked-in and paid for my tour ($80) and was given my big orange survival jacket for the boat ride. I’m not going to say this was the best windbreaker I’d ever worn but it just might be – plus in the event of the boat flipping over it also serves as a flotation device (ie. I’d die of hypothermia instead of drowning). I also met up again with Marie-Michelle – last night she had another great baleine sighting with the whale jumping out of the water (well, not like Marineland but still, pretty cool).
The first island stop was Île Quarry. Those of us not camping disembarked here. There were several routes available including a guided tour. Guided tours can be great when you’re in the mood for one. I wasn’t. Plus the tour was in French so it wouldn’t have done me much good anyway. So, I waited to see which way the tour was going to go and then went the other way.The nice thing about Île Quarry is the multiple hiking routes available. The not-so-nice thing (and no fault of the island) is that if you do the shorter treks first and then decide to do one of the longer routes, well … one might find themselves somewhat rushed to make it back to the boat in time (uh, hypothetically speaking, of course). The longer route in question is 10.8km around the perimeter of the island – actually, not the full perimeter. The full perimeter route is a little over 16km. The 10.8km route took longer than I had anticipated. It would seem walking on rocks and stones makes for a slower pace than regular walking. A lot slower. Anyway, the next stop was Île Niapiskau. There was only one route available here of about 4.5km. This one went through the woods, and then along the shore, then along a marsh, and back into the woods before arriving at the monoliths. I found these to be more impressive than the monoliths on Île Quarry but mainly because I didn’t really have time to get close to the Quarry monoliths due to my haste to catch the boat. This time there was plenty of time to check things out.
By 4:15 we were back on the boat headed for Havre-St-Pierre. There were a couple of scenic stops along the way, and then a detour to another island to pick up a couple of more passengers. By 5:00 we were back at the marina returning our really warm windbreaker/lifejackets.
Despite taking food and water with me for the hikes I (shockingly) didn’t consume much of either throughout the day. Oh, side note – I shouldn’t admit this but when I was carrying my backpack I couldn’t help but think that it was excessively heavy. Sure, water is heavy. The trail mix has some weight to it. And of course cameras aren’t immune to gravitational forces. Anyway, I didn’t give it much thought as I just figured the water was the biggest contributor. Well, while I was waiting for the boat on Île Niapiskau I was rummaging through my bag and discovered that I’d been carrying around some of my bike tools (including the not-particularly-light chain whip). Note to self: Leave tools behind on my next hike. So, anyway, back to the eating (or not eating segment of this update) … after a long day of hiking I decided that I had earned a poutine and with a Casse-Croute nearby I knew where to go. Once again, the poutine didn’t disappoint – and neither did the serving size. The cheeseburger I ordered as a side wasn’t the worst cheeseburger I’d ever had but it was probably close. Good thing I could wash it down with some leftover gravy!
Poutines eaten: 1
Cheeseburgers I wish I hadn’t eaten: 1
Oh, and on my way into the campground tonight I witnessed another seagull diving display. The seagulls here are so much cooler than seagulls back home (you know, the lazy, annoying, french fry eating kind). These seagulls are the real deal. Very cool. The video below is VERY low resolution – and contains VERY bad camera work. Viewer discretion is advised.
So, after another beautiful (yet windy) day, it’s another chilly evening so I’m hunkered down in my tent trying to stay warm. Hopefully there will be a nice warm sunrise tomorrow morning!
Unrelated, it’s hard to believe it was 20 years ago today that I won Miata #1. It saddened me deeply when I learned it was no longer on the road. RIP.
Equally unrelated, I wasn’t sure I’d get to make this update – when I turned on my MacBook Pro, a grey globe just kept flashing on the screen – several times. Fortunately, it eventually went away and booted up. Not sure what that means – hopefully nothing serious. I’d look it up but, oh … did I mention there’s no WiFi at the campground? Yeah, I know. Again with the First World problems.