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Cross Canada Tour
Iles de la Madelaine/Magdalen Islands

This string of islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence is arguably one of Quebec’s most unique and attractive regions.  Its unspoiled nature, colorful architecture and stretches of sand and cliff make this Francophone treasure an obvious destination.

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  During our ferry journey we met up with a local fisherman, Dany, who joined us for the usual round of cribbage.  After a few (wins) he unexpectedly invited us to a lobster feast, giving us his phone number and address and insisted we call tomorrow.  We were later joined by an older man, a local theatre actor who was obviously as eccentric as he was intoxicated.  He happily mumbled an assortment of nonsense in his harsh French Acadian accent, meanwhile blurting out the few English words he knew. 
 
Off the ferry we found ourselves tenting on the tiny Peninsula of Gros Cap on Cap-Aux-Meules, a convenient and still scenic central island.
We spent the better part of the next day exploring the Eastern group of islands on the archipelago. We ran into Dany from the ferry, who recognized our van. The Beast is something of a celebrity!  The feast had been cancelled because of late fishing times but we appreciated the offer none-the-less. As we drove around in circles, we came across the oddest, most creative little art gallery run by an even odder lady.  She had sculpted and shaped beach trash into pieces of very interesting, very unique artwork. 
Back on the central island before expected, we found ourselves with an entire evening to play crib at the local taverns that dot the islands core area. Still craving lobster, we found a great restaurant to fill our stomachs and Keith’s on tap to quench our thirst. 

   On Entry Isalnd we found ourselves transported to what felt like an entirely new country.
This tiny island is an escape from mainstream, where land and sea combine with the most amazing results  People live life at an easy pace.  They farm and fish and spend the better part of the day outdoors.  They have one store, a school and a church surrounded by an amazing backdrop to keep them nothing if not humble.  
We spent an entire day on this isolated island napping in fields, walking along beaches, chatting with fishermen, and sitting 600 feet above sea level, watching farm animals graze between the rolling green hills.

   Our tour of the west islands proved just as spectacular.  The Beast drove between mountainous sand dunes, along stretches of sandy beaches and red cliffs that jutted dramatically out of the water.  The ocean sparkled and the breeze was cool. We wandered around the tiny shops and museums, spending a pleasant afternoon as tourists.  We even ran into our drunken theater pal hitchhiking his way to the bank. That evening we enjoyed our usual round of crib and beer before crawling into the van, abandoning our tent for fear of hypothermia.
June 19 was our first (and most certainly not the last) rainy day. Luckily we had a week’s worth of laundry to catch up on and our crib board on standby.  After cleaning our clothes and scouting yard sales for deals, we ate lunch at a cute cafe only to once again find ourselves talking gibberish to the old actor whose slurred accent still rendered us clueless.
That day we spent 6 hours playing crib at all the pubs before finally settling down for some "Musique Quebecoise" and a rowdy audience of fans. * *See below for lame attempt at french language writing. Keep in mind that I can't type accents on this keyboard and I have absolutely no skill!
 
**Et maintenent je vais essayer d'ecrire en francais.
Pendent qu'on visitais les Iles de Madeleine on a ecoute le "musique quebecoise" auz Bar Bentral. Tout l'monde fumais, buovais, et chantais. Bien la, on a passe une bonne soiree...la, la!!

On Entry Island
maggie.jpg

Entry is one of those rare places where everyone knows your name, your grandfathers’ name and remembers people who lived in their community 25 years ago!  Now I say this because it’s true.  Sara’s parents lived on Entry 25 years ago.  It’s where she was conceived (I’m convinced she has dual-citizenship) and people knew her!  Local fishermen were asking if she was Faye’s daughter, how her father was doing and where her sister was.  The mail lady knew her name before Sara said a word-I swear! 

To see pictures of The Maggies here's what you do:
 
 
Click on the link below. Once you get to the Ontario page just hit the button at the top that says return to griffiths_sara's photos and that'll take you to all of Sara's albums.  Enjoy and hope it works!