Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces


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purplerhody
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Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby purplerhody » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:41 am



I am planning a 6-7 week trip next spring - leaving the last week in June - to Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. I have just started planning the trip in earnest and collecting the necessary maps. My riding partner and I both have 1800 Goldwings and I will be pulling an Aspen Sentry camping trailer. I would be interested in hearing about good roads that other people have found. I am also considering shipping the bikes/trailer one way to give us more time to explore these areas as my riding partner still has to work and the ride coast to coast would take up too much time to do it both ways.

Any advice on bike shippers would be appreciated. We will probably ship from Seattle, Wa to Portland, Maine, and then enter Canada in New Brunswick and due a counterclockwise loop through PEI, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Labrador and then back in to Quebec via Highway 389. If you have been through any of these areas and have suggestions, that would be great!



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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:30 pm

Ride the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia. I guarantee you will not be sorry - one of the most majestic and amazing roads in Canada, if not North America.

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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby Fatwing Chris » Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:23 am

Brush up on your French if you're heading into Quebec.For the most part they can speak English,but choose not to.Could be they just hate us Ontarians,but this has been my experience(as well as others from here that I know)from a few trips through there myself.When I'm going to the Coast now I go through the States and bypass Quebec.
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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby themainviking » Sat Nov 02, 2013 1:06 pm

Fatwing Chris wrote:Brush up on your French if you're heading into Quebec.For the most part they can speak English,but choose not to.Could be they just hate us Ontarians,but this has been my experience(as well as others from here that I know)from a few trips through there myself.When I'm going to the Coast now I go through the States and bypass Quebec.


I second this. They want your money, but they do not wish to be courteous about it. I lived in Quebec for three years. It was the worst three years of my entire life. And I spoke french, but with an obvious, to them, non french accent. If it is the Gaspe area you are attempting to include in your travels, by all means do that, as it is just up the New Brunswick border. Up there they are more like New Brunswick residents anyway. Then if it was me, I would skip back just into New Brunswick again, and over the border into Maine. I also tend to cross into the U.S. at Cornwall, Ontario, when headed east, and bypass "La Belle Province" (The pretty province) coming back into Canada from Maine.

As an afterthought, I should not discourage anyone from visiting Quebec, even though I feel as I do. I would simply like to pass on the above as an advisory of what "could" happen.
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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby redial » Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:39 pm

I spent a little time in France, and while there I found that once I established that: "Nous some les Australiens. Je ne parle pas en Francais" (We are Australians. I do not speak French). Once this was established they usually were happy to converse in English, although do not expect slang and idioms to be understood. Be polite and courteous, and you will usually get through. I liked France very much.
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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby purplerhody » Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:08 am

Thanks for the comments...right now it looks like we will enter Quebec from Labrador to Baie-Comeau via Route 389 after a counter-clockwise loop through the Maratime provinces. We will then be starting back to the west coast and Seattle from that point but are trying to decide how much time we will be able to budget for Quebec. Debating whether to drop back through central Quebec to Maine or just head west through Quebec. Anyone done either of the routes and/or have suggestions.

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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby Fatwing Chris » Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:15 am

redial wrote:I spent a little time in France, and while there I found that once I established that: "Nous some les Australiens. Je ne parle pas en Francais" (We are Australians. I do not speak French). Once this was established they usually were happy to converse in English, although do not expect slang and idioms to be understood. Be polite and courteous, and you will usually get through. I liked France very much.


I think you'll find quite a difference tourist wise between Quebec and France.Don't think that line would cut it there.They don't even seem to want to acknowledge the fact that you're trying to speak their language.
Like Viking said don't let us keep you from going,but don't be surprised if you get attitude from them.
One other thing would be to not try and ride the bike in the old part of Quebec city.Streets are sort of cobblestone and hard to ride on.
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby thrasherg » Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:33 am

Wow, some of these comments are very different to what I experienced. I agree that if we spoke English when in Montreal and surrounding areas, no-one wanted to understand us and we got the cold shoulder (Or it felt like we did!!). However, the minute we spoke French (My wife is french and all my family speak it fluently) we had a very warm welcome, many people came and spoke with us, told us of places to visit and we had a great time. They do speak an odd French, but we found that if you made an effort to speak French, they really warmed to you and became very friendly. I was amazed how many people struggled with English, At one camp site, my daughters started playing with some other kids and one boy was 11 and all excited that he was about to start learning English the following year at school, so it seems English lessons start a bit late, and that might be why so many struggle with English, but the country is a lovely place to visit, once the white stuff has gone!!

Gary

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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:41 pm

In and around Montreal, most everyone will speak English to you. Once you get farther east, and especially in rural areas, there are many places where they do not speak English at ALL - they don't know it.

Like anyone and anywhere, you will find friendly people, and not-so-friendly people. If you are friendly to them, and if you speak ANY French, make a concerted effort to at least try - they will be friendly to you. For the most part. :)

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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby themainviking » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:16 am

purplerhody wrote:...right now it looks like we will enter Quebec from Labrador to Baie-Comeau via Route 389 after a counter-clockwise loop through the Maratime provinces.


I would suggest that you skip Labrador with your intentions. From the ferry drop off coming from Newfoundland, the road 510 to Happy Valley, then 500 to the Quebec border and finally on to 389 to Baie Comeau is just over a thousand miles, and it ain't a good road, or it wasn't the last time I was up there. Keep in mind that there are also not a whole lot of places to get fuel, so if you bypass even one, you may not make it to the next one. Labrador is still wilderness in the largest sense of the word. It makes the Alkan Highway to Alaska look like a super interstate. If you really wish to view the wild of Labrador, perhaps the ferry across and a run up to Happy Valley and back to the ferry. If you decide to make the whole trip as you mentioned, realize the lack of civilization for fuel or for tires or for repairs.
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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby purplerhody » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:48 pm

Please see attached link for a 2011 report on the road between Labrador City and Baie-Comeau, Route 389.

http://alavigne.net/Outdoors/TripReport ... /?p=hwy389

I read with interest the previous comments about this road posted in response to my earlier email by "themainviking" but was interested if he took this road prior to 2011. I also would be interested in hearing from anyone who has taken this road since 2011. It sounds like RVs and semis use this route regularly and the report I appended is from a motorcyclist. It does not look too bad and it appears that there are enough gas stations along the way that you would not have to carry fuel....still noodling on the possibilities...I am motivated to brush up a little on my ancient high school french!

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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby themainviking » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:14 pm

I did not realize such a writeup existed. Yes, my use of those roads (highways???) was prior to 2011, and in fact, it appears that it shows some improvement, with the exception that the town of Gagnon is gone now. I would have counted on that town as a food and fuel stop and perhaps an overnight. So, it looks like you are not unknowledgeable of the roads and lack of civilization. I hope you have a great time. Although there is a lot of barren country after you get past the Maniqoagans, it has it's own beauty. The silence can be total. I was not on a motorcycle when I drove there, but in army trucks in convoy, headed only to Goose Bay // Happy Valley area so we had lots of help changing the continuous flat tires on the trucks. The roads both sides of Churchill Falls were the worst, and winter is harsh on roads up there. I still won't personally motorcycle up that highway, because I am too advanced in years to withstand too much hardship, but as I said earlier, I wish for you to have a most enjoyable time. If I was twenty years younger, I just might be talked into it, but my spirit of adventure went with those twenty years, :lol: I will eagerly await your trip report next year.
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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby Bigbiker0 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:45 am

Fatwing Chris wrote:Brush up on your French if you're heading into Quebec.For the most part they can speak English,but choose not to.Could be they just hate us Ontarians,but this has been my experience(as well as others from here that I know)from a few trips through there myself.When I'm going to the Coast now I go through the States and bypass Quebec.


Sorry to contradict you but you will not have any prob. to be understand people here, except Montréal area people not they don't want speak english but they can't .But you can bee sure they will try hard to communicate (that what make traveling more fun)
I am pretty sure there will be someone pretty close to help you to suit your needs.We don't have any prob. with people from Ontario .
Come visit us we love tourist and motorcyclist are welcome everywhere.
Drive safely Heaven do not exist.

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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby Bigbiker0 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:50 am

purplerhody wrote:Please see attached link for a 2011 report on the road between Labrador City and Baie-Comeau, Route 389.

http://alavigne.net/Outdoors/TripReport ... /?p=hwy389

I read with interest the previous comments about this road posted in response to my earlier email by "themainviking" but was interested if he took this road prior to 2011. I also would be interested in hearing from anyone who has taken this road since 2011. It sounds like RVs and semis use this route regularly and the report I appended is from a motorcyclist. It does not look too bad and it appears that there are enough gas stations along the way that you would not have to carry fuel....still noodling on the possibilities...I am motivated to brush up a little on my ancient high school french!

It is important you take right à Ste-Flavie to make sure you have the ocean to your right.Most people go strait at Ste-Flavie so you have to fellow the traffic.
Gaspésie is a must.
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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby Fatwing Chris » Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:16 am

Bigbiker0 wrote:
Fatwing Chris wrote:Brush up on your French if you're heading into Quebec.For the most part they can speak English,but choose not to.Could be they just hate us Ontarians,but this has been my experience(as well as others from here that I know)from a few trips through there myself.When I'm going to the Coast now I go through the States and bypass Quebec.


Sorry to contradict you but you will not have any prob. to be understand people here, except Montréal area people not they don't want speak english but they can't .But you can bee sure they will try hard to communicate (that what make traveling more fun)
I am pretty sure there will be someone pretty close to help you to suit your needs.We don't have any prob. with people from Ontario .
Come visit us we love tourist and motorcyclist are welcome everywhere.


Actually Mont Tremblant was one place that my nephew had a problem just like I described.I apologise for painting everybody with the same brush,but this has not been just my experience.Cheers.
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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby Bigbiker0 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:34 am

Funny because it is very common for us french in a group of 5 to 6 people to speak english because there is ONE english fellow with us.
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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby Seldom Home » Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:57 pm

Bigbiker0 wrote:
Fatwing Chris wrote:Brush up on your French if you're heading into Quebec.For the most part they can speak English,but choose not to.Could be they just hate us Ontarians,but this has been my experience(as well as others from here that I know)from a few trips through there myself.When I'm going to the Coast now I go through the States and bypass Quebec.


Sorry to contradict you but you will not have any prob. to be understand people here, except Montréal area people not they don't want speak english but they can't .But you can bee sure they will try hard to communicate (that what make traveling more fun)
I am pretty sure there will be someone pretty close to help you to suit your needs.We don't have any prob. with people from Ontario .
Come visit us we love tourist and motorcyclist are welcome everywhere.


I wonder how many of the people that claim to have been poorly treated because the locals didn't/couldn't speak English make an effort to speak with non Anglophone tourists that visit their areas. Or is that "different".
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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby Bigbiker0 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:23 am

Do you make the same effort to speak French in your area when we visit you?
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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby Seldom Home » Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:55 am

themainviking wrote:
purplerhody wrote:...right now it looks like we will enter Quebec from Labrador to Baie-Comeau via Route 389 after a counter-clockwise loop through the Maratime provinces.


I would suggest that you skip Labrador with your intentions. From the ferry drop off coming from Newfoundland, the road 510 to Happy Valley, then 500 to the Quebec border and finally on to 389 to Baie Comeau is just over a thousand miles, and it ain't a good road, or it wasn't the last time I was up there. Keep in mind that there are also not a whole lot of places to get fuel, so if you bypass even one, you may not make it to the next one. Labrador is still wilderness in the largest sense of the word. It makes the Alkan Highway to Alaska look like a super interstate. If you really wish to view the wild of Labrador, perhaps the ferry across and a run up to Happy Valley and back to the ferry. If you decide to make the whole trip as you mentioned, realize the lack of civilization for fuel or for tires or for repairs.




Have you ridden this route yourself on a motorcycle?
If you " ferry across and a run up to Happy Valley and back to the ferry." you will have already done the roughest part of the ride.
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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby Seldom Home » Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:51 pm

Bigbiker0 wrote:Do you make the same effort to speak French in your area when we visit you?


I see you list your location as Mont Tremblant. You are certainly in prime motorcycle territory. It's too bad for the francophobes that will miss out on the spectacular riding possibilities.
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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby Bigbiker0 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:25 pm

Even if my english is not very good,I visit Ont. from north to south and from east to west and I went to California from my door 3 time and every time I could do everything I wanted.That's the fun to travel meet other people in their living.
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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby vinlugg » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:19 am

thrasherg wrote:Wow, some of these comments are very different to what I experienced. I agree that if we spoke English when in Montreal and surrounding areas, no-one wanted to understand us and we got the cold shoulder (Or it felt like we did!!). However, the minute we spoke French (My wife is french and all my family speak it fluently) we had a very warm welcome, many people came and spoke with us, told us of places to visit and we had a great time. They do speak an odd French, but we found that if you made an effort to speak French, they really warmed to you and became very friendly. I was amazed how many people struggled with English, At one camp site, my daughters started playing with some other kids and one boy was 11 and all excited that he was about to start learning English the following year at school, so it seems English lessons start a bit late, and that might be why so many struggle with English, but the country is a lovely place to visit, once the white stuff has gone!!

Gary




Gary,
I have to agree with you. Similar situation for us. Wife is fluent and we go to Quebec and Montreal on a regular basis. Seldom , if ever, run into people that aren't nice. Of course you can go anywhere in your own local area and find plenty of rude folks. My wife is dissappointed everytime we go to Quebec because so many of them automatically speak enlish now. She enjoys the french practice.
I lived in Germany for several years and , at first, thought the Germans where rude... really wasn't the case. I was uncomfortable dealing with a different culture. As soon as I tried to fit in, everything changed.
Anyways, in my opinion I would go to Quebec and Montreal... there's much history and beautiful things to see there.
Happy Riding

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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby Bigbiker0 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:26 am

I do travel a lot in states even if my english is not very good,I am not shy to ask people to speak slowly or to repeat, end every time I can exchange on any subjet.
Traveling is discovering others things and difference peoples.
Drive safely Heaven do not exist.

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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby vinlugg » Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:56 am

Bigbiker0 wrote:I do travel a lot in states even if my english is not very good,I am not shy to ask people to speak slowly or to repeat, end every time I can exchange on any subjet.
Traveling is discovering others things and difference peoples.



8-) 8-) 8-) 8-)
Happy Riding

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Re: Travel to Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

Postby mikemajor » Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:42 am

Don't miss out on a fantastic trip because of negative comments. Your attitude will probably set the pace…
Be open for a different culture and see a part of North America as you have never imagined. Every nation has its share of ****, but you will find most people friendly and warm if you approach them politely.
Don't forget that these people have to struggle to keep their culture and language alive.
As mentioned earlier, the Gaspé peninsula is a must to visit along with the Cabot trail in Nova Scotia.
The northern part of your trip is a remote part of the country with much wilderness and less developed areas, but if you like this kind of trip don't forget your bug juice.




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