Day 60 – 7th September (Carleton-sur-Mer to Caraquet)

Although the room at Carleton-sur-Mer was small, it was spotless, really well thought out and very comfortable.

We partook of breakfast in the same pub/restaurant that we visited last night. Relatively good value, enhanced by a waiter who enjoyed trying out his English. So Brexit and the Royal Family (natch) came under discussion….. Good fun.

Stopped at a local supermarket to stock up on essential supplies such as various teas, snacks and tonic water (that last very important) and headed around the inlet towards Caraquet, our next destination on this great journey.

After about 50 km along good old Highway 132, we turned left along the Boulevard Interprovinciale, which took us over this bridge, photographed by Jean:

Totally unsurprisingly, this was the border between the provinces of Québec and New Brunswick.

So we have finally left Québec behind. A province of enormous size, contrasts, irritatingly French, huge taxes, and great beauty. Amazing.

We noticed the change almost immediately. The signs were now in English, with French underneath, whereas in Québec they had virtually always been in French only. Also, the environment got poorer, dirtier and less well maintained, particularly the road surfaces. Very striking.

This didn’t stop it being another lovely drive, with another battle against Google Maps trying to take me on to Highway 11, whereas I obstinately stuck to Highway 134, as it hugged the coast and looked a lot more interesting.

A pleasant stop on the way:

Although the route along 134 was picturesque, it took a lot longer than the Google Maps-offered alternative along Highway 11. We’d also not taken into account that entering New Brunswick means a different time zone, so clocks advance 1 hour. The upshot was that we didn’t get to the motel in Caraquet until around 5 p.m. local time.

Fortunately, we were expected, and we were dealt with by a very efficient receptionist who spoke excellent English, although we seemed to have entered an exclusively French-speaking zone again. We took the option of a queen bed each…..

The room itself is reasonably large, but rather dowdy, with a very noisy aircon unit and, unfortunately, a seriously crap WiFi connection. Caraquet itself on first impressions isn’t particularly pretty, but we thought that about Percé until we knew better….

The view from the grounds is rather nice, though.

We’d been given a list of restaurants by the receptionist, as the motel itself no longer has an onsite restaurant (staff shortages again). Depressingly, these mostly appeared to be burger or pizza joints, and the one supposedly upmarket restaurant was closed. Maybe tomorrow….

Eventually we settled on one called Le Caraquette, a 25 minute, (and unrewarding along a main road) walk away.

Food OK, wine poor, service excellent. Sunset sensational.

Back to the room with a vague idea to visit the tourist office tomorrow morning – it’s just up the road – and hope that we can plan the full day we have here tomorrow.

Hope you will join us to see how that went.

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