Exporail Re-Visited (May 29, 2016)

This was my second visit to Exporail, and I’m still in love with this place. My initial visit was on August 1, 2015, almost a year ago. For my previous visit please see Exporail – Awaken Your Inner Child.

Panama City Beach, Florida (Jan 1 to 7, 2016)

Some photos walking along parts of the 28 mile long soft, white sandy beach of Panama City Beach, Florida … my current vacation spot … enjoy.


Thorne Lake – Cottage Country

Traditionally, a friend and I would go camping for in an Ontario provincial park during the second week of September. After our last two trips in 2013 and 2014, when we had high winds, lots of rain and cold temperatures, we decided instead this year to rent a cottage on a quiet lake. What a wonderful change! I could get used to this type of living.

Oh yea … this year the days were sunny and warm. But I just knew that had we gone camping, it would have been cold, wet and windy!

Québec – Saturday, August 22/2015

The last day of my journey, and what a wonderful journey! I have learned so many new things about photography and myself. One important thing that keeps coming to mind is that I believe this is the first time I’ve been on a long trip where the journey was more important than the destination. I had made accommodation reservations before the trip based on how far I felt I could drive each day, but the places I visited each day were usually decided the night before. And I haven’t been disappointed with my decisions. No regrets!

Today I drove around the perimeter of Île d’Orléans, made a stop at an observation tower and visited Montmorency Falls, where I climbed somewhere in the neighbourhood of 480 stairs to reach the top of the falls.

And tomorrow, Sunday, it is time to head back home to Ottawa and my friends.

Québec – Tuesday & Wednesday, August 18 & 19/2015

Tuesday was primarily a travel day, but what a neat way to travel. I left Campbelltown, New Brunswick, in the morning and crossed into Quebec heading for the town of Matane. I had reservations on the MV F.-A.-GAUTHIER, a large ferry – 133 metres (436 feet) long, can hold 180 vehicles and 800 passengers, and reaches speeds of 20 knots (37 kph or 23 mph) as it makes its two-hour crossing to Baie Comeau. And this ship has class!

From Baie Comeau, I drove to Tadoussac. On Wednesday, I headed out on a Zodiac whale watching cruise for two hours, followed by an hour-long cruise up the Saguenay River and back to Tadoussac.

After spending three hours in the cold and wet, I warmed up and dried off by wandering around the harbour at Tadoussac, where I walked on rocks carved from glaciers over 10,000 years old. It was awesome!

Thursday was primarily a travel day from Tadoussac to my “auberge” on Île d’Orléans, and Friday it rained most of the day, so it was good to just do not much of anything.


New Brunswick – Monday, August 17/2015

I spent a wonderful night at a B&B in Shediac and learned a neat cooking recipe from the owners over breakfast. I can hardly wait to try it out on my friends. It is easy and impressive.

My goals for today were: (1) explore the Irving Eco Centre; (2) visit the Historic Acadian Village; and (3) find my hotel in Campbelltown.

Irving Eco Centre
Located near the town of Saint-Édourd-de-Kent, is a protected area consisting on a beautiful beach and boardwalk that sits atop a long sand bar peninsula. I started off on the boardwalk, as most people were doing, and then I remembered the last lines of the poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

So instead of walking along the boardwalk, as most people were doing, I went down to the sandy beach, removed my sandals, strapped them to my belt, and then walked along the shoreline. My jeans quickly became wet above my ankles from the small waves, but I didn’t care. I decided to explore and as I did the years of my age flew away. It reminded me of the line, “We are losing sight of the retreating shoreline of early childhood.” from the book The Way the Crow Flies by Anne-Marie Macdonald.

My photos from the wonderful moments spent there …

Historic Acadian Village

Very similar to Upper Canada Village in Eastern Ontario, this Acadian village is a reconstruction of two periods of Acadian history, each period separated by a covered bridge. Between the time I spent at the Irving centre and the driving, I was only able to spend a few hours at the village before it closed. I would have liked to see more and talk to some of the people who played the role of the Acadians, but alas, no time. I was, however, able to walk through the entire village and get some photos.

Last, but not least, I found my hotel in Campbeltown. I was hungry when I arrived and there was no restaurant in the hotel. I asked the desk person for a name of a local restaurant and she told me that there were only four good restaurants in town and they were closed on Mondays. So I had my first MacDonald’s burger since starting this journey.

New Brunswick – Sunday, August 16/2015

The week-long photography course is finished and now I am on my own to explore more of New Brunswick. I travelled from my home of the past week, the St Martin Country Inn, to a B&B in Shediac. I had four specific goals during this day long trip: (1) follow the New Brunswick coast line and visit the harbour at the town of Alma; (2) take in the view from the light house at Cape Enragé; (3) go to Mary’s Point, a UNESCO world heritage site, to see the migratory birds; and (4) visit the Hopewell Rocks.

Cape Enragé: One of my photography comrades from the past week described the beauty of this place and strongly suggested that I visit. So I did, but I didn’t see much because a pea-soup thick fog bank rolled in just before I had arrived.

Mary’s Point: Sorry, no birds. I bumped into a local there while I, and a lot of other photographers, were looking for the birds, and she told me that she and her husband had not seen any birds for several days. It was at the end of the period they typically flock to Mary’s Point.

Hopewell Rocks: I decided to just drive through the town of Hopewell. When I passed through, the tide had come in so all the rock formations were covered in water.

But I did manage to take some photos.

Despite not seeing what I had planned to see, I had a great day and I learned a bit more about New Brunswick.