Thursday, August 29, 2013

And we're off! Canada here we come!

With dozens of last minute adjustments to the bikes and our luggage, we have finally left Vermont. Thank goodness for a bit of pressure due to Roel’s expiring US visa, as I’m not sure we ever would have gotten out, otherwise!
Finally getting on the road!
 Per usual, we got a much later start than hoped for and wound up only getting about 139 miles away from home to Camden, Maine. The weather was gorgeous and with a clear sky, we decided to ride through the night for a while as the full moon was illuminating everything around us. We tried to find an established campsite but by the time we rode into Camden, they were just locking up and our bikes wouldn’t be quiet enough to allow entry after “quiet time.” Right. So we headed down the road a few miles and found a nice field to pull off into. No homes. No gate. No trespassing signs. It turned out this field led down to the ocean (it must be a site they sometimes use for special events, as it looked like they had recently mowed it to accomodate a large tent) and so we set up camp by the light of the moon and stayed up for a while longer appreciating the moon bouncing off of the waves that were softly lapping at the pebbly Maine shore. Upon waking, we found a cluster of blackberry bushes and supplemented our breakfast with some perfectly ripe berries. I can’t imagine the paid campsite that wouldn’t let us in down the street, holding a candle to this one. 
It really doesn't get much better than this...
  Down the road, we stopped across from Fort Knox for coffee and a chat with some of the Maine locals. Gotta love that Maine accent!
And on to Acadia National Park for some gorgeous riding roads, beautiful and refreshing Sand Beach  swimming and stunning views from Mt. Cadillac.
Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, Maine
I was adamant that we treat ourselves to a Lobster Roll before leaving Maine, so a little way down the road we stopped at Ye Olde Dutch Restaurant. While there, a lovely Canadian couple from Toronto, Norma and Paul, on a Harley stopped and we had a chat. They were heading back over the border to their vacation home in New Brunswick, so we decided to ride together.
We were over the border with no trouble, at all, and Norma and Paul very kindly offered that we could continue to ride with them and stay at the lovely, spacious farmhouse they were staying at.
With our new friends, Norma & Paul
Relieved that we wouldn’t spend the next hour(s) looking for a place to camp we gladly accepted their offer, and rode on to St. Andrews by the Sea in New Brunswick. Meeting couples like Norma and Paul is part of what makes traveling the way we do so fulfilling. Before travelling to Australia, I don’t think I would have ever considered staying at the home of two strangers, and as a person with a home, I’m not sure it ever would have occurred to me to invite strangers into my home. But the invitation by Norma and Paul to join them for the evening just went to show how big their hearts are and how amazing it can be when we can just let ourselves trust one another. The four of us spent hours chatting and sipping wine. Roel and I went to sleep that night in a massive, soft, warm bed in a lovely old farmhouse in a new country. Never would we have imagined that our first night in Canada would be passed in this fashion. And the next day we set out for Nova Scotia. 

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