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The Sounds of Silence

August 19, 2016 0 Comments

Isn’t the car quiet when you’re blueing.

“Blueing: to blue – verb, ‘argue, disagree, animated chat, or, in context for a male – to lose”.

View from our BnB of the Eastern Passage, Halifax

View from our BnB of the Eastern Passage, Halifax

We left Halifax, Nova Scotia, about August 16. We camped in the bush and it stormed overnight. Next morning I was last out of bed and I DIDN’T ZIP THE WEATHER FLAP DOWN!

We had breakfast in the dull morning, then it really poured down. So we sat it out under the awning, played cards, wrote, waited.

Some time later (and it had been raining very hard) Lynn noticed the wind had ‘blown open’ the weather flap and lots of rain had been getting in to the bed clothes. Lots of rain.

Does my grammar sound subdued?

Well, the language. It was scary to hear such words coming from a petite little, retired lady. Not much I could say here, maybe wimper. Nowhere to hide, no shed to go to.

Nothing, but the dragon in the camp.

A full 24 hours later, after eight hours of driving, not a word. Not the radio, I wasn’t game to reach that far over. Not the mP3 (CD multi player for you oldies), same reason.

A nerve wracking experience.

I don’t think the navigation helped.
After a series of “false calls”, the driver started to follow the road signs and not listen so much to the navigator.

When the navigator tells newly met acquaintances along the road that it is not “her thing”, “she’s no good at it” and “Alan is far better than me”, this leads one to assume they (the driver) has been appointed a discretion in respect to future travel, or the odd mistake is a bit of a joke. No big deal. Something to dust off, just continue.


If you are naïve enough to ignore/miss one instruction, correct or not, then the resulting action of ‘being lost’, or ‘taking the wrong turn’ is your problem. The map is ignored from the passenger seat and you’re on your Scoby Malone.

If you follow the instructions and you’re lost, it’s you again – quite firmly. Firmly enough to know not to breathe for 20 seconds.

I could carry on for a long time, but perhaps I shouldn’t…

Maybe it’s the interpretation of information given to you from the locals. A good example is the black bear and the moose mixed with camping in the bush.

Canadians, like a lot of Australians, look for other campers or a van village to camp at night. We look for no-one, go out of our way to get away from everyone.

The locals, to varying degrees, talk ‘up’ the moose threat, but in 5000km of driving across Canada, including 200km at night, we’ve seen one (big) girl moose. They can be 7ft (2.1m) at the shoulder, so they are big. And with long legs they can soon make their way into your 1200cc, Chevy dinky car. But one in 5000km is a bit rich. Also, unless you really stir them up, or get between mum and her child, (and this includes black bears), things are pretty good out in the wilderness.

The strength in camping alone is that there is no loose food around. Campers leave stuff lying around and black bears are lazy and opportunistic. Also, campsites are regularly attended, so their habit is to attend ! So we are less likely to see a black bear or moose, camping alone.

But that’s only my opinion. So choosing a camp site becomes verrry tricky, trying to balance the risks (wife risks included). Because there is a lot of negotiating to be done, at the risk of argument and a quiet car trip the next day.

Slowly, the tide is turning, but as we head west, we head into brown and grizzly bear forest, where there is NO negotiation.

Moose and black bears are one thing, but a hotel or National Park look good when brown and grizzlies are about. They are apex predators.

My opinion of Quebec residents who refuse to speak to you in English doesn’t sit well with Lynn. Quebec is a bi-lingual province and in my view they gotta speak English. Lynn’s different, she sees it as a good chance to brush up on her French. Through parts of New Brunswick (bi-lingual) and all of Québec, I was under tremendous pressure to ‘back off’ criticism of, these small percentage of precious, Canadian, French only speaking people”.

I’d estimate Quebec accounts for 500km of quiet driving. But I can proudly say that since we have hit Ontario, the next province west, the people we speak to confirm my criticism! Even so far as to say, I quote, “they don’t speak English until you get your wallet out!” To Lynn’s credit, the dialogue in the car has increased since a few of these quotes. And, I don’t dwell, feast or rub it in.

There’s some other conflicts that I can think of, but I think. I’ll leave them to a discussion over the bar.

Sitting here, sunset over a forest, not a bear or moose in sight, drinking rum and pineapple juice, things are pretty good!

We’re about 49 deg north, 85 dg west.

Good night.

Btw – this one is a secret blog, ok!

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