The joys of hitch-hiking

Slow travel

in this year-long trip of ours, so far we’ve chosen to travel without a car. And our current Workaway is at an out-of-the-way eco-resort up the route du Fleuve, along the St Lawrence river. Public transport doesn’t reach here. There are no buses for 26 kilometres. There might be an occasional train, but it’s a fancy tourist one which doesn’t come close to us.

Our Workaway hosts, who set up the Repere Boreal a couple of years ago, are very hospitable and do their best to give us lifts for expeditions on our days off. But it’s not always possible. In fact that has opened up another door for us – to the delights of hitch-hiking.



On Tuesday we set off in the pelting rain. We reasoned it would be easy to get picked up as car drivers would take pity on sodden hitchers. However, the opposite was true. We had to wait about 15 minutes. Maybe they didn’t want the interiors of their cars getting wet. Or maybe they couldn’t actually make us out in the driving rain.

Smile – you’re on MY travel blog!

It was worth the wait, though. We were picked up by a couple of friends, originally from India, now living in Vancouver and Ontario respectively. They were two lovely people on a week’s road-trip in Quebec. One was a documentary film-maker and blogger. His camera was running when they picked us up, and we got interviewed. Not sure whether we made the cut, but it leads to the curious experience of the mutual blog!

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The camera never lies?

produits du terroir


Staying (and working) at a motel on an island, the Ile d’Orleans, which is very obviously geared towards tourism, has got me thinking more about image recently. Filling your motel rooms, getting people to come in for tastings of your local wine, cheese and cider – it’s all about presenting the right façade.  And it’s true, there are some beautiful vistas of the countryside and the river. And there are delicious local products. The sign outside the local service station/general store is enticing:



Inside, you do find local beer and chocolates. But also a lot of overpriced junk food. It’s a service station.

I was thinking that maybe, à la Facebook, this blog too has been guilty of presenting a sanitised version. For example, sunset from the motel terrace:

sunset view from terraceActually, I had to cross the road to get this shot, because this is the actual view, complete with cables (different time of day, obviously):

view from motel with cablesAnd at eight in the morning I recorded on my phone 8 vehicles passing within 50 seconds.

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60km on a tandem

Yesterday was a good day, probably the best day of our stay/working visit here. The Ile d’Orleans has basically one road – it goes all the way around the edge of the island (see map above) – so we set out on the tandem, initially just for a ride and to visit the cidrerie about […]

Yoga is good for the environment

Looking after yourself One of the things we didn’t find time for back in our old lives was a daily yoga practice. We kept saying to ourselves, and each other, that we’d like to do it, but it always got crowded out by other things. We managed to practise yoga by going to classes 2 […]

Muse of the Day — Everyday Strange

Riding a bicycle is the summit of human endeavour – an almost neutral environmental effect coupled with the ability to travel substantial distances without disturbing anybody. The bike is the perfect marriage of technology and human energy. Jeremy Corbyn via Muse of the Day — Everyday Strange

Two wheels good?

Sign of the times? I hope not

One of the things that makes a place environmentally friendly, in my book, and probably for most people, is that it encourages people getting around by non fuel-guzzling means.

Walking, cycling, public transport, stand-up paddleboard …

So one of the attractions of coming to do workaway at this motel on the Ile d’Orleans was that it has a sideline in renting out bikes, e-bikes and speed-restricted electric mopeds. That’s great, but we have discovered that the general attitude on the island to cycling is less positive. I have never been in a place before that found it necessary to point out to motorists, using a big yellow sign, that cyclists might also use the road space:

bike signs
Watch out – bikes use this road!

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Workaway on the Ile d’Orleans

The holiday is over… Now the work begins. But we are doing Workaway, for the first time ever. If you haven’t heard of it, this is a great concept which teams up people wanting to work up to 25 hours a week in exchange for accommodation and, usually, food, with organisations and people looking for […]