Thurs, 10 Jul 2014 - Going Francophone
Marc gave me a tour of Manotick which included the old flour mill that was still in operation. I took some pics of the turbines, but since it was through a mesh screen the fancy camera took a picture of the screen instead of the turbines. Still, it was a fascinating old mill. Then we saw the locks and chatted with a couple from Chicago who had boated all the way in their spotless Nordic Tug.
We tried a bit of fishing for bass off the docks, but a couple of leaves is all I caught.
Then on to La Belle Province: Quebec. EVERYTHING is in French, including the road signs. It was like being in a separate country. Fortunately I had Herr Garmin to show me the way to Sherbrooke where I intended to camp. Unfortunately Herr Garmin was unaware of Hy 30 (bypass for Montreal) and showed me driving through a field.
Finally Herr Garmin got it sorted out and I got to the nice "little town" (pop 150,000) of Sherbrook. Here I found out what Marc meant about the streets being in very poor condition - I'm surprised I still have tires and suspension after driving over some of them. Fortunately they are aware of it and are fixing them. Unfortunately that means you get detoured to even WORSE roads.
But my Francophone Ordeal was not done yet. I found the campsite I was intending to stop at, got a campsite with only a few detours (person in the Office of course spoke only French, and I rapidly found out how bad my high-school French was! And they didn't seem to want to try to communicate in French - once they found out I could not speak it fluently, they switched to English but usually they knew English slightly less than I knew French).
Next, my Visa was declined. At least that's what I surmised from the French-language message on the machine. I wanted WiFi to log in to my account and see what the problem was - $8 for 24 hrs. OK. I went back to my campsite and found I couldn't log in. Back to the Office: "Ill ne marche pas!" Sure enough, they couldn't get it to work either so gave me my $8 back.
Back to the campsite, I tried phoning Visa, and after the usual "press 2 to access someone else's account" and miriad skill-testing questions ("How much money do you have in your chequing account?" Trick question - I don't HAVE a chequing acct!) I finally got my card re-activated.
Time to sit by the fire and read a book on the Kindle.