The Naive Tourist (page 2) - CycleBlaze

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The Naive Tourist (page 2)

John SaxbyTo Scott Anderson

Thanks, Scott.  I was tickled to see sheep grazing on the flood plain further downstream from Köln, but never expected such a crowd/flock/torrent just a couple of kms from the city centre.

No worries about the Gaspé--it'll be there, I'm sure, whenever you choose to visit.  My planning continues for a tour along the Acadian coast to & around Cape Breton. A few things could postpone it, but so far, it looks promising.

Cheers,  John

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2 weeks ago
Jacquie GaudetTo John Saxby

Well, John, I'm glad you're going!  An Acadian tour is high on my list, being of Acadian descent myself and never having been there.  Not this year, though, since we are hoping to move...

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2 weeks ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Steve Miller/Grampies

Hi Steve

I haven't cycle toured much in BC, other than the Gulf Islands and a bit of the southern part of Vancouver Island.  However, driving in BC and bored silly the unchanging view of highway with trees on both sides, I try to think how much someone from somewhere else might be thinking "look at all the trees!"

As for the paper napkin(s) included in a bag of fast food, as I recall from my trip to India and Nepal in 1986-87, not many trees there get made into disposable paper products like toilet paper, tissues, and napkins.  If you bought a drink from a sidewalk vendor, it was served in a proper cup (often with saucer) that you were expected to return.  You could not walk away with it.  On train platforms or on trains, the cups were disposable unfired clay ones that you simply tossed on the ground when you were done.  You could buy yogurt in the same sort of clay container, while cut-up fruit came in a banana-leaf bowl.

It's sad that other places are adopting our wasteful ways, rather than the other way round.  However, during my two months in France last year, I don't recall seeing anybody walking around with a takeout coffee cup!

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2 weeks ago
John SaxbyTo Jacquie Gaudet

Thanks, Jacquie--I had wondered if you were acadienne. 

Will keep you posted (I hope), with a journal.  The plan is to take the train to Bathurst (see below), cycle to Louisbourg--I've never visited, and my education is sorely lacking--via the Gulf coast and Highlands NP, and then return to Truro via Nova Scotia's NE coast.

We've made a long overdue breakthrough in getting to Atlantic Canada.  It's probably about 80 years late, but hey, can't rush these things:  I can cycle 10 minutes to Ottawa's LRT, put my bike on the train, and get off at the VIA station in the east/central part of town; then, I can take a train to Montréal, and put my bike in the baggage car, of all places (there's now one such train a day in each direction, sacre bleu!); in Montréal, the bike & I then take the 7 PM overnighter towards Halifax, getting off at Bathurst about 09h30 the next day.  Total journey from my door, about 26 hrs.

For the return journey (Truro-Montréal-Ottawa), I assemble in reverse order, again a journey of approx 26 hrs.  Imagine that!--it's almost European.

Cheers,  John

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2 weeks ago
Jacquie GaudetTo John Saxby

The train from Vancouver to Toronto (would that be halfway?) takes more than 4 days, assuming it runs on time.  That's a big assumption; I've seen stories about multiple days' delay on this route.  Overnight to Jasper (19 hours) was enough for me.

Someday I'd like to ride across Canada but skipping the prairies and Ontario to ride in Québec, the Maritimes, and NL is more likely.  I'd fly since that would be a lot less expensive than taking the train.  I need to sleep horizontally and that greatly increases the cost for the train.

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2 weeks ago
John SaxbyTo Jacquie Gaudet

When I completed my ride in the Rockies & Cascadia in 2016, I took the Amtrak from Everett, WA, to Chicago and then to Utica, NY.  The western leg (to Chicago) took about 26 hours on the clock, if memory serves, from 3 PM to about 5 PM. The train arrived 3 minutes early. From Chicago to Utica was about 17 hrs, 9 PM to 2 PM, and the train was 2 hrs late.

I took Amtrak partly because I ended my tour on Whidbey Island, partly because Amtrak was about 40% cheaper (about USD $225 if memory serves again -- subsidies!) and a day quicker.  Turned out that the railbed was better, too, esp betw Everett and Chicago. I had only 2 overnights, and the reclining seats in coach class were OK.

Utica is about 3 1/2 hrs due S of Ottawa, and my wife, bless her, drove down to collect me.  We often drive to Utica to catch the train to visit friends in NYC, so we know the drill.

PS:  your instincts about riding in QC and Atlantic Canada are spot-on.  I'm partial to rural eastern Ontario, but you can have much the same experience (the hills, trees, rocks and water of the Canadian Shield) in W Qué, and the food is better ;-)

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2 weeks ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo John Pescatore

I think it's safe to say that most tourists are naive, or at least curious, and open to new experiences. Otherwise, why spend transport money to reach a distant place? But those that head for a distant but known beach (for example), to experience the known sun and known sand that is to be found there should probably be called travellers, rather than tourists.

In short, if you are not naive, or at least curious and open, you are not really a tourist. On the other hand there is a question of degree. Last night, having gone out of my way to buy locally produced, quadruple priced, "Buffala" mozzerella cheese, plus a live basil plant, I produced my closest approximation to a "Marguerita" pizza, Naples style. At the same time I put a laptop on the table and subjected my family to a Neapolitan pizzaiolo discussing how to do it right. The discussion turned to what a scene it would be if I ever actually made it to Naples - the pizza photos, the trying to find the best one in Naples, the discussion of cheese types and sources, etc. etc. ! Now that isn't just tourist, it's nuts!

Or, if you think not, watch this: 

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2 weeks ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Steve Miller/Grampies

I watched the video and found it very interesting.  He unfortunately didn't demonstrate the cause of my pizza problem of overly elastic dough.  But then, my oven certainly doesn't go as high as he specifies.  I bake pizza at 450°F and he's using about 450°C (840°F)!

I enjoy your investigations, Steve, and look forward to you and Dodie visiting Naples and reporting back!

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2 weeks ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Jacquie Gaudet

Yes, at 450°F I have to bake for 12 minutes, while it's supposed to be 2 minutes, or something. 

By the way, your fluid use of the ° symbol tells me you have some secret mastery of symbols.  I bet if I checked in French Fling, there would also be lots of € being spent. This is always a bug for me, writing the blog with a Windows 10 laptop.

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1 week ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Steve Miller/Grampies

Interesting that we've both hit on exactly the same time and temperature for baking a pizza!

On a Mac, letters with accents are accessed by pressing and holding the appropriate key.  Others, like € and °, I have to look up if I haven't used them lately.  It's a bit easier on my iPad since currency symbols are on the numbers keyboard but I have to look up how to get the degree symbol (and it's different than on a Mac).

I used to use all sorts of symbols and updating writing course notes when I was working.  A Windows machine with Microsoft Word was the provided tool.  It can be done, it's just different.

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1 week ago