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Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (51)
The Confederation Bridge 13 km between Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick was said to be one of the longest bridge in the world; however, nothing was to be seen during the over 10 minutes drive of up and down, and ride was awful with vibration for rough surface. Strong side-wind on the bridge had me feel Canada.
Getting into New Brunswick, I felt the scenery along the highway became rather primitive with a lot of woods. On the way to south along the coast, I asked if there should be any appropriate fishing places. A man suggested that here too the fishing season has ended but at Alma I might be able to go off-shore fishing for sea-fish.
The motel man looked bored with everyday life but told me I can fish Striped Bass at the Salmon river mouth just aside. The mouth was with a small fisher wharf and the water smelled badly with dirty colour. It was early October becoming getting dark early. As casting, night fall down. On the opposite bank and under the lamp of the bridge on the opposite bank, two men appeared with rods and started casting and reeling like me. Sometimes good-size fish jumped a bit on the surface; one man whispered, "There! Just over there!." No matter how tried, however, the fish never bit. I remembered my childhood, when I couldn't get any bites when they were jumping in the evening. So did this time. With mercury lamps the fisher-boats were moored afloat on the dirty smell water, on which I focused my lens. Then, some men doing something got out of the cabin and started their cars away.
The next morning, I asked why the Salmon river smell so badly to a staff lady. "It's because of the sewage system at the upper stream. It used to be a Salmon river but any longer," she readily explained. I lost words being aware of the contrast between the beauty night scene and the awful fact. Passing by the boats I took pictures last night, the tide was completely ebbed from the area and they appeared to be propped by poor pedestals at their bottom. Alma was claimed to be a resort in Fundy National Park that is famous for its beautiful coast; I felt like I saw the backstage of the Canadian image.
My car was somewhat losing power in Nova Scotia's up and down, but recovered before I knew it; probably the muffler got leaked due to the age but sealed naturally by its fragments. Other than that, it was quite in good shape; the strange noise once heard from the engine has completely disappeared. Old things maybe can fix themselves. Having got the noise again by filling up Esso regular gas, I was trying to use Ultramar or Irving (Petro Canada stations were scarce in the East Coast). But, in New Brunswick, only the Irving stations were to be seen and the prices were the highest in Canada so far. That was because that Irving was the company of New Brunswick to mine the oil and that they have occupied the market. I wondered if it should violate an Antimonopoly Law.
Saint John was a scenic old town with history like in Nova Scotia, though, seeing an extravagant paper mill was energetic smoking out, I lost the enthusiasm to search for a good fishing point there. Motels were lined up an outskirts of the town and almost all of them were very old.
Mine was too and it was run by a Korean family. According to the landlord, New Brunswick was the cheapest place in Canada in many points, and the motels owners were next to next changed from Caucasians to Asians because they had not been good at accountings.
I expected tasty Korean dishes but they offered an awful western style dish and that in expensive price. The room was very old and seemed not renovated at all ever since; therefore, I felt like staying at ruins. He and his family was quite different from Mr Bae I met in Manitoba; they looked they cheated on customers only to eke money.
On the other hand, the lady of a laundromat was very very helpful and I also loved the people who were flocking there parking their jalopies on the soil. However, I had to think whatever made them feel fun living there. I made up my mind to go futher until I can fish before the United States. Thus I got to St. George, where was announced as famous as fish ladder falls.
As a matter of fact, however, the river was apparently contaminated with pesticide, and the figures of fish were not seen. It was a typical country town of the East Coast. I visited a fisher wharf, where a few people went to and came from fish-farms to feed and some guys group unloaded green-coloured Urchins. Asking fishing information at the small general shop, I got the right place of a person to whom I should ask; it was the Wolfhead Smokers which produce and sell Smoked Salmons and the owner love fishing.
He was surprisingly helpful putting down precise maps of the points, though he said it might be too late to fish for their move to deeper places. Just as his expectation, no Flat Fish, no Striped Bass or no bites came despite the fact that I tried two days moving about the area by my car. Only I could find was just like the Saint John; beautiful, to such an extent as sorrowful, but contaminated with smelled smoke of a paper mill.
However, Wolfhead's Smoke Salmon was pretty good with white wine. Matthew, the owner entrepreneur, eagerly wanted to hear my opinion for it, saying that Japanese people should be able to tell a taste of fish which they are so familiar with. Although, at heart, I wondered again why they want to make artificial taste using a special way of smoking and even herbs, I didn't point out that because it could be denying him. The smoked farmed-Atlantic-Salmon's taste was opposite to the super natural super tasty smoked White Fish made by Cree in Waskaganish, Québec.


Someone said the life in New Brunswick is just the same as that in Main, the USA. The state of Main is known to be the place of gentle lumberjacks; I met a situation reminded me of them on the way to Fredericton. It seemed an ordinary gas station, but entering the office there was in confusion with a lot of men with coffee cups. I can't forget the cheerful atmosphere and even in the over-crowded room the men took care of me asking what I want. There have been nothing there except woods; I believed them to be lumberjacks.
What I was surprised at Fredericton was that it had no Internet cafes, despite the fact that it is the capital of New Brunswick; having been asked where it is, the visitor information person shyly told me so. It was Sunday and in town gentlemen with ties and suits were entering a church one after another. It was the first time for me to see the dress-upped people to a church.
I thought that New Brunswick was the passage everyone took to the East and South, but I wanted to see the Gulf of St. Lawrence coastal side because there was another home of Acadians. It was mid-autumn now; getting through along red leaves of Miramichi River, a tranquil coast line appeared.
Along it were colourful but poor houses with distant hills over the sea, which maybe lonely but was certainly beautiful. People there are to be able to tell the beauty in tiny things, I thought. I didn't meet any Indians but Asians; at the motel, she gave me the best room and best salad for the least price. When I saw she was getting along well with a middle-aged White woman, I became to feel happy.
About when reaching Québec on a highway, I saw a man like bear reclining against cut-wood on the deck of a truck as if he waited for someone. It was cold enough outside with north wind. What is he doing? But I shouldn't have been able to understand because I was not a man of North. Nevertheless, I thought he is beautiful; the man beaten by Nature is so cool. Looking back how it was, human beings have been always defeated by Nature; and only with which, our happiness exists, I think.


# by tetsu95jp | 2008-02-03 09:13 | 21.New Brunswick
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (50)

# by tetsu95jp | 2008-02-02 09:40 | 20.Till PEI
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (49)
From Caribou, Nova Scotia, to Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island, was 75 minutes ferry ride and for free. On board, a young couple acted as if no one else existed in the whole world. I thought this is the West.
As I expected, Prince Edward Island was landscapes for a girl's heart. Almost the whole soil was converted into farmlands and the well organised green fields on red colour soil with up and down were to be seen endlessly. In a sense, this place is to be called typical of Canada for its artificial paradise. And people here had another peculiarity than in Québec and Newfoundland for its defined circumstance. Fishermen have been making it a rule to keep their boats in their yards beside the homes instead of in harbours. Interestingly enough, majority of the residents were originated from Scotland, Ireland and France; English were rather minority. People there were not so concerned about such facts.
As usual as it is in Canada, people used hitchhikes for their convenience. One man I gave a short ride was a descendant of Irish, but the landlady of hostel by where dropped him off was that of French. Here and there natural woods remained a little; searching for a fishing point, I made my way into such places.
In a morning, I got to a pond named Selkirk, where several men were camping. Soon, two men with camouflage fatigues wearing on approached the bank rowing a small boat. They were hunters and several carcasses of wild duck were laid on the boat. They looked feeling refreshed and said in good humor that it was the opening day of the hunting season today. When I asked if there were deer or that sorts or bears also, they said only small animals like hares.
"If can I fish around here," I asked. Then one of the campers told me a certain pond far from there keep a lot of huge farmed Trout that I can easily catch, with his one of eyes closed like the people did in Nova Scotia. The campers were also waiting for this opening day overnight, and actually were from Nova Scotia. While speaking with me, he also breathed at times like hiccups just the same as I observed in Labrador and Newfoundland. Clothing a eye and breathing with sound in conversations might be a part of their language in the East Coast.


I ate lunch at a historical Acadian Settlement. Although each restaurant showed the signs of Lobster and Oyster, I chose an ordinary restaurant the local people also seemed to come and ordered a common fish dish there. It was a typical Cod's fish and chips and tasted not too bad but not too good. At first, I thought that such is the convenience of canned food that families eat less fresh food than they used to. Consequently, they forget what the real taste is.
But it was figured out I was wrong. I asked to a young waitress seemingly French descendant if they cook in the same way at home; she denied in that they mostly boil or bake Cod and preferred the baking herself. What does this mean? People in Japan go to restaurant to have dishes they can't cook at home; however, people here cook more elaborately for good taste at home than at restaurants. It might mean they are too poor to afford to restaurants, but they certainly regard home-cooking important. Thus, the Fish and Chips has prevailed this much in this country?
This island also must have native people and I managed to find their place at Lennox Island in the northern part of the island. The community was calm; a young man was walking on a street, to whom I asked if there are any restaurants. He told me a place, and then disappeared into a path in a woods. The restaurant was closed for off-season. It's October now; the tourist season seemed too short, though tour facilities and brochures were incredibly enough prepared.
Even though the Deep-sea Fishing season was already finished, at mouthes of rivers small out-board boats were digging Oysters out of bottoms. Having been aware of my taking pictures of him, the professional man rushed to me aggressively with the engine quickly started. I explained I came from Japan to take pictures of Canadian life. He said the Oyster were being seeded and there were only small fish to catch there. After that, visiting a nearby plant to process Oysters and Blue Mussels, they smelled awfully with red soil stuck. Probably because of the soil which contains a lot of iron and minerals.
That night at Charlottetown, I tried a Lobster Dinner with Oyster and Mussel and that was absolutely heaven. The salt boiled Lobster was the best and the raw Oyster was splendid without adding anything like lemon; however, somehow the owner recommended customers to dip the Lobster to a special sauce. I don't know why they want to kill the fresh flavour of the material itself. As for the Oyster, it tasted very special in that it was nurtured by the mineral-rich soil; actually it tasted soil, which surely made my tongue pleased. However, I like rather the clear taste I ate on the Vancouver Island.


I first knew that Charlottetown was the place the Federation system of Canada was born. Having had the proper background of Canada, however, the personnel of the large visitor information centre were far from international; the ladies didn't show interests to listen to me and with twisted faces unwillingly replied to this Oriental's enquiry.
I made a promise to meet another guests of girls for the B&B (hostel) landlord to pick up by an old cathedral after each dinner. In darkness of the city, I confirmed where the church is. A man replied saying it was still opened; it was over 8 pm and church there seemed to be closer to the people. The Korean and Japanese girls never appeared; getting to the B&B by a taxi, the girls were picked up far before the promised time by calling the landlord. This is why I hate young Japanese; they only think of themselves and can't take the others into consideration.
The next morning I got up early to have breakfast and boiled water on the cooking stave; then the old landlord appeared in doubt and took the pot to throw away the water angrily; instead, he used an electric pot which I didn't realise its existence. During this series of action, he uttered no words. I tried to excuse, but he didn't listen to it. After finishing breakfast, I left there hurriedly.
# by tetsu95jp | 2008-02-01 08:20 | 20.Till PEI
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (48)

# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-31 08:30 | 19.Till Nova Scotia
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (47)
Until Halifax along the coast was very scenic. However, like Canso every fisher port was lonely; only crab and that sorts were to be caught. Later I knew until New Brunswick the situation was just the same to be sad. The only fisherman I saw on the way was a guy casting from a small bridge of the highway. He, looked like portuguese, said he was aiming at Mackerel, reeling with clumsy hands.
Halifax looked like a dead town; many young people were blocking up between narrow streets under the shadows of old stone-buildings. There were few Japanese restaurants in town, but I tried one of them because its chef was Japanese. However, it was the worst taste Sushi ever since and that very very expensive; it was so sour that I thought Chinese Sushi were better. I couldn't believe such a fake business as high-end restaurant were going on openly by Japanese! That was because there were few competitor then and there in Halifax, but the fact should also mean that was Canada.
There was a marking of Acadian Reagion at the tip of Dartnouth next to Halifax on the map. Visiting there, I asked information on Acadians at an A&W. A man over the counter said abruptly, "We expelled them out of this area." They didn't know their present community around there at all. Then I finally found a small Acadian community in the east bound. Almost all of the houses proudly hoisted the Acadian flags; if you have french blood no matter how, you have a right to claim you are an Acadian.
Along the road were a lot of signs of 'Antiques for sale," among them was a house surrounded by a massive yellow flowers, where I entered. An old gentleman who smelled soil came to me. He has a different atmosphere from British. Somewhat closing one of eyes, he gave me an explanation of their life. Actually his English was not so great, but he said people there usually speak English or French or German in daily life; it depends on the family. He said the flowers there were multiplied greatly from the ones his daughter planted. When I asked for the name of the place, he courteously put down that Raymond Wolfe, Grand Dessert, N.S.. I became to want to know more about Acadians.
I went down the coast. On a short ferry crossing a river, a local man said this river used to be a Salmon river but any more because of the pollution. Nevertheless it looked clear reflecting the beginnings of yellow and red leaves; autumn has just came. I remembered that Loretta, a B&B lady, said Newfoundland has almost no red leaves in autumn.
The houses along the coast line were simple and old; with them people here and there seemed to be living frugally. At West Berlin, I asked a resident why there are place names related with Germany around there. He opened up hands with his one of eyes closed. The houses were all old but the owners seemed to be changed often.


# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-30 06:59 | 19.Till Nova Scotia
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (46)

# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-29 09:05 | 19.Till Nova Scotia
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (45)
I got on board the final ferry of the season from Argentia, Newfounfland to North Sydney, Nova Scotia. Overnight ferry with awful vibration was no longer new for me, but I felt Atlantic Ocean is huge.
It was about time I purchased several underwear. Searching for an appropriate shop, I drove round Sydney. The town was old, but many streets were somewhat under construction maybe being renovated. Other than that, the streets and houses looked like the same as the West Coast, but coloured people were not to be seen. Finally I bought underwear at a shopping mall. When I said I travelled across Canada from Vancouver, the cute White girl salesclerk replied with smile and said that pronunciation of West Coast is better than that of them. I didn't understand why, because hers sounded very clear to me.
At a subs place, there displayed Newfoundland's flags. To my asking why, the landlady said she was from Newfoundland. Even later, I saw a lot of the flags not only in Nova Scotia but also in New Brunswick. Newfoundland seems to be in a transit point from Europe; however, I don't understand yet why they show the flags of their previous home.
Soon I noticed among the flags in towns was seemingly a tricolour. Some people even put it on their cars in the position of front licence. Speaking this to the landlord of my B&B, he explained they are Acadians; French descendants who were once expelled from Canada by British people. He described them positively; however, when it came to residential areas, he mentioned that it is natural for an ethnic group to reside together avoiding another groups. Seeing on the map of Nova Scotia, there were a lot of markings of Acadian Region distinctively.
I visited the nearest Acadian Region, Isle Madame, and called on the municipal office. Having been asked the Acadian's history there, an English speaking administrative had no data and no such a facility was there. When I referred to Canso, where is just across the sea and used to be an Acadian community before expelled, and asked why the people didn't return there was because of the bad activities of British there, she didn't give me a clear answer.
Bras d'Or Lakes in Cape Briton is a huge tidal water; it reminded me of Lake Hamana in Japan, where used to be my home ground for sea-fishing. However, sadly enough the water here was polluted to be fish enough. I observed no fisher both from off-shore and boats. Near the centre of Bras d'Or Lakes was Eskasoni, which was one of the largest Mi'kmaq reserves in Nova Scotia. I saw a lot of Indian children as well as halves walking on the streets. As I asked a group of them if they have Metis population also, they all, including halves, replied they are Mi'kmaq.
And then, I visited an interpretation centre at Wagmatcook and a young female director received me. I asked her why the children didn't say they are Metis. Surprisingly enough, she didn't know the word of Metis, and she said the people who reside in the community are all Mi'kmaq. When I asked how come Mi'kmaq could survive unlike Beothuk in Newfoundland, she said she hasn't been taught such histories of them from their ancestors. One thing she could spoke out was that education is most important for them and for her high-education she could get that position recently.
She also introduced me that their culture were at a Celtic festivals. To my reply that Celtic should describes Scottish and Irish culture, she explained cultures in Nova Scotia were called as Celt now. However, the art works were very distinctive. Although she mentioned they are very open to such an extent as always unlock every doors, I watched she was locking her office's door inside the facility when I left. I assume she was losing her identity; she was not an Indian but she was not a Canadian, or she might be a Canadian.
Across a bridge, I came a long way to Canso where used to be an Acadian fisher town. There was no Acadian flag among houses. It was a lonely community; the Cod the British had wanted were already caught up by themselves. Entering a restaurant, she gave me a fish and chips of a kind. They were not discriminative like many of Newfoundlanders to me. I wondered if they were the descendants of the British who had burnt away Acadian homes and had expelled them to Europe and the United States.


# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-28 08:01 | 19.Till Nova Scotia
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (44)

# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-27 08:53 | 18.Till Newfoundland
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (43)
Crossing Newfoundland on the Trans-Canada highway, before I knew it the strange engine noise I had got at Alberta disappeared. However, it began again after refueling at an Esso station. Oh, even Esso can't be trusted in a rural area of Canada? Well, you had better know that if you feel something suspicious of the attitude of a gas station in Canada you should pass it.
What I noticed with Newfoundlander was that even them want to tell others when they saw Carib or what not. I can understand that feeling because I had such an experience. When I drove on a narrow road at night, something like horse appeared in the distance of headlights; it was slowly crossing the road, then stepping break I realised it had antler; when I came just aside, it hurriedly disappeared into the bush. I was still wondering if it was a Moose.
Interestingly, some many people resides in Newfoundland were still hoisting Union Jacks; despite the fact that many of them were the descendants of the people in Ireland and Scotland, both of which were conquered by England.
Perhaps I might have looked at Newfoundlanders from a biased viewpoint. Nevertheless, I felt that they were exclusive to me. When I asked for a direction in a parking lots of a church, the woman' s hands were somehow trembling over her face. At the hostel in downtown St. John's, the manager, who smelled whisky from day time, proudly accounted the originality of Newfoundland for not having Chinese people and Asian; in other words, they are proper descendants from Europe; they were singing joyous songs together at night. When I entered a bar in the downtown, the girls over a counter didn't so much look at me, much less order from me. Later someone said I might have been mistaken as Inuit. If so, did that mean they discriminate them? Having said so, I also think that we should take it into consideration that many young people there were hopeless for good job opportunities; the old industries St. John's used to depend on have gone. This was not only the Newfoundland's problem, though.
What was interesting was that, even though the manager described Newfoundland as a good successor of Europe, when I said to the most popular fish and chips restaurant didn't add tastes that in Vancouver area they use salt and pepper, the lady chef said she will from now on! In any case, it may well be described as distinctive next to Québec in Canada.
However, I had another "distinctive" experience. Though many highways were paved in Newfoundland, except the Trans-Canada Highway were full of chuckholes and rough; therefore, I got a flat-tyre. Having heard this, the landlord of the motel in Avalon asked for help for a neighbour; and then, he kindly fixed it! I had only to wait and see. There were no car-repair shop in countryside, and not only this but also everything they have to do by themselves.
I tried to pay to him, but he declined. In the garage, he showed Cod with a lot of salt; he was a fisherman. As I wanted, he brought a completed one from back. "How much?" "$8." I paid to him $10. He thanked me. They said they were the descendants of Irish. People in Newfoundland are hard to talk to, but once getting accustomed to they should be good guys. As a matter of fact, the plant workers I met at the wharf later were very cheerful with me. There I found enormous amount of huge Cod that were manufactured in the same way as the fisherman's and that were supposed to export to Europe. The sea around Southern Avalon seemed sound still.


# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-26 08:10 | 18.Till Newfoundland
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (42)

# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-25 08:17 | 18.Till Newfoundland
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (41)

I'd never heard anything more dreadful; a native tribe of Indian, Beothuk, in Newfoundland was demolished by British people. I came to know visiting Port au Choix National Historic Site. According to a document, as European settlers arrived, especially for the British, they had to move to further interior for resources. Then, the British people started to kill them and finally just before 20 century the final girl of Beothuk was found and killed in St. John's. During that time, the churches cooperated with this activity prohibiting the White to marry Beothuk. They were literally annihilated; this was worse than the Nazism.
Some people says that their steals of the White's properties invited such anger as to kill them up; however, they didn't have the same perception of personal possessions as Western people: they regarded the properties to be shared as the Indian's perception of 'People belong to land.' That problem was the difference of the cultures. Most importantly, despite the fact that there were people against that movement, the churches among of all things helped the desperate activity. What was the God for? - They only needed God to justify themselves!


To my great surprise, the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador) displays at Boyd's Cove Beothuk Interpretation Centre, around where Beothuk used to reside, the history, all the story and details which their ancestors concerned and without any words of reflection. When I asked a staff if I could meet any person who have Beothuk blood, she instantly denied the possibility because any children between White and Beothuk mustn't be registered by any churches. I wonder if a government of this country take it for granted to control every human activity.


# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-24 08:25 | 18.Till Newfoundland
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (40)

# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-23 06:47 | 17.Québec border
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (39)

# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-22 09:27 | 16.Till Labrador
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (38)
Getting on a ferry from Goose Bay and getting off at Cartwright, I felt I saw another end of the world. One night cruse brought us to a winter time, though it was still late September. On the frozen soil, every weathered house were smoking out of chimneys for their stoves. It was a lonely place, absolutely lonely place.
I dropped by St. Lewis. No tourists were there, but only strong wind of Labrador Sea. I felt that aliens or something were living there. But they were humans; when I asked for a soup and sandwich at a cafe of fishermen wharf, ladies offered me hot and tasty ones; when I accosted fishers aside a boat, they posed me saying the crab they caught was partly to be exported to Japan. Japanese business people seemed to come to such a far place from cities.


The Labrador east was in storm. When I was parking on the unpaved road to take pictures from inside of car, a road-maintenance man who finished his work got stopped his car for me. Having heard I was taking pictures, he showed his relief and left. In labrador people had to and have to be human beings before anything. I thought this weather was common here, but arriving at the B&B of L'Anse Amour I knew that it was very rare and the ferry to Newfoundland was being suspended.
The small community of L'Anse Amour has been being run by a big family. Lita, the landlady, offered us lovely traditional Cod Dinners and home-made jams. Her son, a fisherman, radioed from the ocean to her where he was. Once the Cod, she said, plummeted but this year's catch was fairly good. A guest from Ontario mentioned that the wild fish in Nova Scotia was totally destroyed but here it still survived. Worried about the operation of the ferry to Newfoundland, we, the guests and the host, had a lovely talk. When it came for me to refer that Vancouver area's no longer a mosaic but just mixing up, a lady from St. John's said that it was good.
The ferry was stopped for several days. During that time, a young female officer who was only accessible for the customers couldn't control the messy situation with no explanations. As for the other customers, they surprisingly took it easy chatting with each other regardless of seemingly endless delay. That must be out of imagination for Japanese people who are accustomed to well-ordered procedures. In Canada, people keep their own pace with the fewest personnel in any case for good or evil. When I finally got the ticket from her, I said, "This should be 'once in a life' experience for me." She smiled an awkward smile.


# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-21 08:58 | 16.Till Labrador
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (37)

# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-20 09:39 | 16.Till Labrador
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (36)
After a long long dangerous drive, my body was as if still shaking vertically in Happy Valley-Goose Bay where I firstly found the muddy water of Churchil River. "It used to be clear enough to catch Atlantic Salmon, but the construction of Churchil Falls Power Plant in '70s demolished it," said an interpreter of North West River.
He also told me that this region used to suffer from poverty but thanks to volunteers and funds from all over the world they became to have educations here. However, visiting the just next community, Sheshatshiu, an Innu First Nations, I was stunned with the life gap between them. Children didn't have lights in eyes and couldn't communicate in basic level with me; probably it was the poorest First Nations in those I observed.
The North West River people were White or mix-blooded with Innu. I don't know why the world wide help for the poverty concentrated on North West River side. Both of the communities must have suffered from difficulty to live on hunting and fishing for the civilisation of Canada, though. The representative of Labrador Interpretation Centre was proud of being a descendant of Moravian pupils taught by German missionaries. Having been led to such an unreasonable circumstance by foreign countries, how humble they are!
People in Happy Valley-Goose Bay were speaking a little bit different English; they sometimes breathed shortly in a conversation. What's happen? Looking at his or her eyes, they continued the conversations as if nothing had occurred. "People here eat Elk, Moose and Carib meet ordinarily," said the lady of B&B. Just from curiosity, I visited the butcher shop in town. First time, it was closed even around noon, but I wondered if it was really a shop because the building had no windows to see the inside. Second time, I could open the heavy door. Then there was nothing but huge cooler boxes in front of a counter. Soon an old White guy appeared from the back. I asked him for showing me goods. He pointed at cooler boxes; inside were frozen meet as well as smoked fish. That was the butcher of Happy Valley.


# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-19 08:06 | 16.Till Labrador
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (35)

# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-18 07:42 | 16.Till Labrador
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (34)
From Labrador city to Happy Vallay-Goose Bay might be one of the most dangerous highway in Canada. The unpaved road was rough with rocky stones. Other than chuckholes, you have to take care of big fragments of stones scattered on the road by maintenance machines. I met a women's group was stopping for flat-tyre. In front of a driver, merely vast tundra and taiga spreads out endlessly. It was still in the middle of September, but I saw sleet on the way. Here was certainly one of the end of the world.
When I passed a fairly big bridge, I convinced it is a good fishing point for its narrows between big waters. No one was around there, but once in a while cars passes by on the bridge. Although I was said that fishing season has ended, I tried casting just for a moment moving about.
As I was jigging as I was taught by Mr Bae at the best point I guessed, suddenly I felt a resistance for the hook. After a long moment, I strongly raised the rod. Wo, wooow, it was like a rock but moving slowly. The line was intensely escaped. I bared many times and reeled up little by little so that the monster should finally got weak. The rod I purchased in Québec bent to the limit again and again, so I had to hold it by not only my hands but also by full body on one of the piled up rocks.
When he showed its figure under the surface of red-like water, my excitement boiled up! Pike! Pike! It's 1 m class! He seemed to have no energy to resist me. However, when I pulled up the lead to land him, he shook his body violently for a moment and the lead was cat. My hands were trembling, my entire body was trembling with pleasure. It didn't stop at all for a long while. I was satisfied, I was fully satisfied; I didn't need anything any more; it was beyond the ecstasy of sex. In a moment, I started my car.

Churchill Falls was a corporate town for an underground dam. People recommended the tour to the one of the largest underground powerhouse in the world, though I declined saying that I am rather interested in environmental preservations. The motel was under the renovation, but received guests; several carpenters were doing jobs drinking beers and at night they drunk beer again with guests in the living with a Russian stove and TV.
An old carpenter told me I would easily fish any Trout or Landlocked Salmon at a certain point of a river ahead north. According to him, fish here in Labrador are a bit different from that in Québec and tastes better; he preferred the meet of Northern Pike in Labrador saying it's sweet. He said if I would go fishing take care of the Wild Life Conservation Officers who patrol around.
I tried the point he told pushing through tundra and taiga with a great effort as well as other places along the highway, but any bites never came; I was always lonely in the landscape of the end of the world. I took back a long long way to the bridge where I met the Pike.
It was getting dark and I took the same point I fished. I used the biggest lure I had, the name of which I don't know but it shapes bate. The first cast and I felt something hit the lure just before pulling it out of water. Well, it was a fish! He pulled the line and the spool cried to send out it; however, the resistance was not so strong as the Pike's. Soon he showed his figure; it was a Trout! I couldn't tell what kind it is, even after landing and measuring that it was about 60 cm. Later, however, I convinced it was a Lake Trout. Many species are hybridising these days, so it might be mix-blooded though. The excitement was less than the Pike's, though I let the fish go anyway.
The water was Ossokmanuan Reservoir for the Churchil Falls Power Plant; ironically, here too the artificial structure helped offer living places for fish. In a sense, fish here are not natural but in a huge fishing pond made by humans.
Along the highway, I found several crosses which console the souls of the dead in traffic accidents there. People in Churchil Falls know the every name and how they died. Just as well, occasionally Inukshuit which are stone figures made and spread by Inuit appeared on the roadside.
According to a guidebook, they have different forms and purposes: to show directions to travellers, to warn of impending danger, to mark a place of respect, or to act as helpers in the hunting of Caribu.


# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-17 07:16 | 16.Till Labrador
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (33)

# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-16 08:35 | 16.Till Labrador
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (32)
I drove all the way to Labrador City, but it never approached. From some point the highway again changed to unpaved road. There was no living creature to be seen but woods in the field. The wood were changing into tundra again.
The road suddenly changed to be paved and well-organised but with a lot of weeds. Soon a couple of huge silo appeared. Hearing a story to a passer-by, it was an abandoned mining town on the way of its construction. Then, even though it was raining, I decided to sleep that night in my car beside a water system so that I can fish next morning.
It was still drizzling in the morning, but I casted with a huge green minnow just for trying. The moment it dropped, the tip of the rod bent down heavily. Hooking up, I confidently reeled because of the wire lead for Pike or Musky. Wo, woow, he, heavy; besides violent! It's a Pike! I admitted the peculiar pattern of the body before landing. Seeing carefully, it looked like reptiles rather than fish especially when seen from the upper side. It was a marvel that such a primitive fish have been surviving in such an isolated interior.
Getting to Labrador City, people were again speaking English. To my surprise, I was very relieved with this despite the fact that I was not good at English. Another thing I was surprised was people were unbelievably helpful; the lady at the visitor information centre gave me reliable information of the road and also made reservations for future itinerary for me. However, she didn't know anything about fishing. To make matters worse, the fishing season in Labrador has just ended. There were no regulation guide books available though.
The iron ore mine workers were going on strike. When I focused on them, I asked for them to make it serious. However, they smiled at lens calmly. They showed their home provinces' flags with them. Such things are not able to happen in Japan where the labour unions fight for themselves. I heared that another mine company bankrupted recently because of the resistance of the workers. Here, people are working not only for themselves but also for their communities. Thus the power of the people must have changed this country; it is quite different from Japan where not individual people but organisations they belong change.
At the B&B, I met a worker from Newfoundland. According to him, almost all of the people in Labrador came from Newfoundland. As for Newfoundland, many people were from Ireland, Scotland and France. He confessed that many of the first immigrants were criminals and his ancestor too. In the living where I talked with him, a lot of Christian goods were decorated. The proprietor, Lottie, sometimes uttered nostalgic English such as "Oh, Mary."


# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-15 07:46 | 16.Till Labrador
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (31)

# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-14 08:43 | 15.Québec
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (30)
From Chibougamau to Roberval with pastoral landscapes of Québec beside the highway, I got aware of one of the characteristics of Canada. It is that the beauty of the sceneries are produced by cutting the natural trees for grass yards and planted trees and flowers they prefer with colourful buildings. They are maintained by cutting and changing those plants and completely controlled by human beings. In a sense, they can be said "Artificial"; it must have been brought from the way of gardening in Europe with the background of Christianity. As a Japanese who can feel relieve with natural Nature, I was not completely able to be in a body of the beautiful scene of Québec.
A girl of the visitor information centre at Amos said she didn't hear of "Reserve" for First Nations in Québec. Actually, there were no signs of First Nations to be found so far here. So, I confirmed this matter at Musée Amérindien Mashteuiatsh. According to the director, Québec is too conservative to follow the way of the other provinces; so, there were not yet defined areas as reserved as First Nations in this province. However, a brochure says that "The Québec government was the first in Canada to recognise the aboriginal nations, through a resolution of the National Assembly in 1985." Maybe this doesn't mean they defined their area; as a matter of fact, later I came across the conflict about the border between an aboriginal's area and the Québec government's. Nevertheless, it should not be taken lightly that even until 1985 the aboriginal nations were not recognised by the governments.
The director mentioned also that in Québec the tribes are not so much concerned about; she referred to herself as a descendant of the Algonquian Family which includes Abenakis, Algonquins, Attikameks, Crees, Malecites, Micmacs, Montagnais and Naskapis. With the old history of French immigration to Québec, certain aboriginal people seemed to have already assimilated into Québec society; nevertheless, except successes the cultural problem is far from settled.
I was interested in along the St. Lawrence River, because the the pioneers must have ascribed along to Québec city. I wanted to go the right bank of St. Lawrence River as north as possible. The more I went on Route 138, the more the up and down got intense. Somewhat the engine got lost power; huge trucks next to next over-took my car in the heavy rain.


Off course, I wanted to go fishing. Reaching Baie Trinité, I asked for fishing and accommodation information at the visitor information centre. One of men, who were staring at me out of the office window, managed to speak English. "I'll send you to this light house in which you can have a bed and dinner," he pointed at a poster on the wall. "As for fishing, you can ask for information at the ZEC office," I felt somewhat they looked down on me. As a matter of fact, they didn't want to talk with me much; instead, avoided me even without a wiry smile.
Just in front of the visitor centre was a restaurant. In it, several customers looked like Basque. I managed to convey my order in English that something very French for lunch; the waitress with cold atmosphere suggested a Crab Sandwich with soup. I couldn't complain the taste actually, though. My imagine that people in Québec should eat better dishes at restaurants because they are French descendants has gradually collapsed.
Before the ZEC office was a salmon river, which impressed me with loneliness, with signs that prohibit anglers to fish offering fish the way to ascribe a fall. The fishing here looked strictly regulated and controlled. Beside a closed gate on the unpaved road which extended to further interior, the ZEC office showed VISA and other cards marks on a window. In short, we have to pay for fishing in ZEC area on top of the fishing licence of Québec. I thought that next to next they require money and that system seems Canada.
Funny thing is that on one hand they prohibited fishing Salmon outside ZEC on the other hand they permitted fishing Salmon inside ZEC provided that an angler pays a lot of money. They tried to make me pay money inviting into the office, when a bilingual French guy appeared and translated me. I said, "My purpose is to fish without boat. If there is a great possibility to get any fish, I will pay. If not, I won't afford to." At the end, the French guy and I returned the unpaved way.
At Pointe-des-Monts, where the visitor information centre told me, I mistook to call another facility. But, the landlady was surprisingly helpful with good English: when I mentioned I wanted to fish, she immediately all the way dug out live worms for me! As for the light house, the explanation of the visitor information centre was completely wrong in that the price was far higher than they said. I explained to the ladies of the light house that they said $15.30 per night. Then somewhat again another bilingual guy appeared and translated my English to French. After a long consideration, the young lady offered me $100 with dinner. I couldn't understand, so I returned to the previous facility that she offered $55 without dinner.
It was middle of September and the Sea Trout have been disappeared from the coast of St. Lawrence, so I went fishing at a small stream where I got a pencil-size Brook Trout. It was so beautiful and must be tasty in that I learnt this size in streams tastes better than the bigger grown up ones in lakes. However, I released it with satisfaction for I revenged on the Ontario's Brook Trout. There was a remain of Indians who had been expelled to another area by the government who wanted to occupy Salmons in the area. After visiting it, I slept with the wind on St. Lawrence.


# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-13 19:05 | 15.Québec
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (29)

# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-12 08:02 | 15.Québec
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (28)
I turned my route to the east again. The road where I travelled was full of chuckholes with up and down. I took a rest beside the road, when a car approached and opened a window to accost me. The Indian driver with his family said here is Nemiscau where I could refuel and I should go slowly because many people break their cars for the bad condition of the road. He recommended me to visit a new dam nearby, but I replied I hate such things. After a while, I got into another Cree community, Nemiscau.
At the general store, people were gathering each other with their cars. Finding me, they gazed at me curiously. I asked to one of them, "What's the meaning of Nemiscau? I found sometimes Indian words have similar meaning as Japanese. For example, Matagami in Japanese means a two ways' junction of upwards just the same as in Cree." "Nemiscau is 'A lot of fish'." "Then, can I fish near here?" "Sure, you can easily fish from the road. You can get Walleye, Pike and Musky. But what's the meaning of Nemiscau in Japanese?" "Well, it's 'Why not go to bed!'" They laughed a low laugh.
Casting from the road, a car stopped and two Indian girls encouraged me. That's the point of Pike, but a Walleye came only to fail, because the rod I purchased in Manitoba was broken so it had no flexibility. Then, changing the point, I got bigger bite. He was so violent with huge force and showed its body in a moment, but the moment the line was cut! I was so frustrated. Soon, the man who told me came to see me. He said it should have been a Pike, still I doubted if it was a huge Walleye because the body pattern seemed different from Pike's. Later, with experiences, I became to convince that was a Musky. I regretted enough not buying a cheap but proper rod.
There was an empty house by a rocky river where the water was so rich and clear with red tendency. It looked like untouchable and must be good fish there; I decided to stay over-night. I used a small minnow beside the slope fall. There came a lot of bites and sometimes jumped on the surface but never hooked, probably because of the same reason I couldn't catch previously; anyway, the rod was broken. The fish were just over 20 cm with blue colour on the back; having been accustomed to my lure, they followed it until the end but never bit. Maybe some Trout but I can't still define what it was. Then and there I found some remains of another fisher's and thought there might be no place like untouched even in Canada.
I ate the smoked White Fish the Cree gave me for supper. Wooow, what is this!? I couldn't believe it! That's the best taste fish in those ever since I tasted. I needed nothing else like rice, soup, or seasonings; it was completed within itself. How sweet! How natural! I devoured the light salted with flavour fish. I wondered if I can meet this much good dish in future again.


# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-11 08:46 | 15.Québec
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (27)
Arriving at the village of Waskaganish, a young man wearing sunglasses and a cap on accosted me in fluent English. He said he returned home recently from Ontario and told me the accommodation and fishing and what not I needed to stay.
The only hotel in the village was super-expensive with bad service. At the front-desk, two Indian girls with suspicious eyes asked me how I came here, where I stayed last night and where to go from now on with specific itinerary. After that she reported that on the phone to someone, and finally permitted my stay and required $149.53. What rude girls! Why do I have to have a certain schedule and that to report her! I was so irritated that I want to skip this hotel but I didn't want to sleep in my car tonight. They looked even not realising my feeling.
The log-cabin-like hotel was fairly new and just aside of Rivière Rupert with a magnificent view on one side. The rooms were not crowded, though I alloted a room on the other side with a view of a street. There was no parking lots, instead I parked on the naked-soil-street. Around the entrance nuts-like guys were hanging out; one of them but White watched my SUBARU curiously and asked what car this was. When I went out the entrance again, I found several finger-scribbles on dusty windows of my car.
At the fishing point of Rivière Rupert, I could easily catch a Walleye which was smaller than the one I caught in Manitoba but without fat and more beautiful in colour. I noticed Walleye are also in rivers by this. To my surprise, a huge swam of gnats assaulted me next to next finally I had to give up fishing in a short time. My face got swelled unbelievably to such an extent as I couldn't hide the ugly face with sunglasses.
I was waiting for the return of the fishermen boats by the hotel to take pictures, because the guy I first met said they would be back in the evening. Meanwhile, a 4×4 truck stopped by me. They were merely watching at me, and then an Indian man finally said, "What are you doing here?" Hearing my explanation, he said "The fisher wouldn't get back here. If you want, you can turn back the highway (the unpaved road) to some extent to a fishermen community." I had learnt a lesson from a Cree of Saskatchewan that their sense of distance is different from mine, so I said, "I'll go that far as the gas station but no further."
As going down a narrow path through the fisher community, I got an awful feeling seeing poor houses. To the old woman I first saw there I asked for shooting the place; however, she flatly refused with busily working for smoking fish. In front of the next door was a family with a table, and the head happily allowed me to, to my surprise.


They were also smoking fish in a shed. Those were White Fish but other than that they said they use Pike, Sturgeon, Muskellunge, Char, Trout, whatever they catch. They not only go up the river but also go down until the sea, but they said the caught there are just the same as river. The man brought a fish on a dish saying, "This is my supper." It looked as if a Japanese "Himono" (a dried fish with salt). He offered me one but for I was full just after dinner they gave it wrapped for me. Beside the table, several White Fish without scales were sunk in the saltwater before smoking. They looked like Herrings. He said I can drink water of the river in front of me.
The man eating up the fish with fingers said that once another Japanese man came to observe their way of life and he ate anything they live on. And then, he introduced his mother beside to me that she was 99 years old! Soon, the children getting flock to me. As I asked to their father, "Why do you speak English so well?" A girl, who looked like with White blood, said, "I sometimes speak English, sometimes French, and sometimes Cree!" "I can't speak French but Cree. All of the children in Waskaganish are to send to a school in Ontario; so people here are able to speak English," added the father.
In addition to seemingly a wife of the man, a White woman was hesitatingly standing by children. I wondered why; she looked like being helped by the family escaping from somewhere. Night already began to fall, when the wife said the neighbour fisherman was getting back on his boat for me to take pictures. Stepping forward to the tiny wharf with me and children, she quite naturally found that my left hand was a bit swollen bitten by another gnat this time. I was very surprised because it was difficult to tell even by myself. As for her and their family, they never never had any bite by gnats. Beside me, the little girl said I am like a character in a Japanese animated cartoon (I didn't know the name of it). As the girl held the wife's hand as walking back home, she held all of the children with her whole hands ahead of me. True love has little, if anything, to do with money, I thought.


# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-10 07:09 | 15.Québec
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (26)

# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-09 08:05 | 15.Québec
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (25)
Many people testified that Québec was a very beautiful place. However, until Rouyn-Noranda only mountain road went on. What changed from other provinces was that the highway became up and down with windings and that signs of the speed limit couldn't be counted on; if you keep the top speed of the limit, you should have to get off the road. Besides, almost always the car behind me wanted to pass me by exceeding speed. I thought it might come from the Latin blood of French.
Well, Québec was not anything like other provinces. I was surprised knowing that visitors have to pay to get a map at visitor information centres. Also, the design of the roads and parking lots are clearly distinguished from English places; everything looked like snobbish for me.
At Amos, I used a laundromat. Not understanding how to use the machine without no one and without no explanations on the walls, a fatty girl came across the street here. I tried to ask her in English, but from the beginning she shook her head and ignored me. After I managed to get it by taught at another shop, she was observing me from across the street. And then, as noticing that I realised her, she ran on the pavement about 30 m and run back to the original place. When drying my cloths, she approached me again without words without doing anything. I couldn't be fond of this town.
At Matagami, I asked for fishing information everywhere. In fishing gear shops, no clerks knew where to fish. A clerk re-asked to an Indian girl from north, and she replied as 189. The figure shows the KM from Matagami. According to her, there is a lake at the road sign of 189 km and it is very popular for off-shore fishers.
I further collected the information in a motel, which had the worst quality room ever since I had and that with huge number of vacancies. A lady at the bar over the front-desk said around 5 pm a group of men would come to drink and one of them was good at fishing so he might tell me something.
The men were at the dark counter with beers. They smelled beasts wearing rugged clothes on with atmosphere of out-laws which made me hesitate to speak to. One man said in bad English and pointed at a wall, "See, that's I fished." It was a stuffed Brook Trout fairly big. I explained that how my fishing was so far and that I want to fish bigger one. "There are countless lakes around here, so you chose the right place to fish. But getting a result is another problem," said he, but he never referred to the appropriate points to fish and soon left the bar with the other men.
I've already ordered a dish, since they recommended a steak. As I tried taking the picture, the girl of the counter voluntarily held a stand-light for me, which was unexpected for me, because all of the people in town seemed rough and also she was chain-smoking in the dark side.
It was the 189 km sign where surly was a lake. Until then, I passed a few cars all of which seemed over-speeds. At the lake-side was camping lots and two cars parked. Aside a car, a young man was just waking up in open air with a little bit drizzling. The waterfront was rocks, where I tried minnows and spinners and what not. No bites, again. Seeing around, no fishermen and no boats were there. I sighed again and again.
Turning back to the parking lot, the young French guy disappeared already and the other camper who had built a primitive simple tent with disposable seats gave me a "Good morning." He explained in bad English that he took vacation and was returning to Ottawa for work. He worked at a hospital where his colleagues spoke English. He was quite apart from English speaking people in that his behaviour to feed birds was very humorous and reminded me of the French caricature; he was natural.
Looking at the further north on the map, I was disappointed with a lot of dams. The roads there seemed to have made for dams' constructions. However, Waskaganish's water system looked apart from dams. Waskaganish was the most southern First Nations among those in front of James Bay. From the highway again an unpaved road continued to the very end that was the community. The landscape had been already changed to the tundra, and on the way I tried fishing pushed walking forward the marsh to a waterfront only in vain. I felt here was the end of earth.


# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-08 08:04 | 15.Québec
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (24)

# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-07 06:32 | 14.Ontario
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (23)

I again took the route for north since I thought I can take the southern route in the return way to Vancouver. Thus where I arrived was Herst. Surprisingly, even it is in Ontario they spoke French. Yes, it was a French community. However, I managed to communicate because many of them were bilingual. A flatterer at the fishing gear shop mentioned that almost all of the small lakes are untouched and just recently he and a Chinese guy began exploring to fish.
However, I couldn't get anything in such lakes; fish seemed not to be there. A stream, which another French guy told me, was better in that I got several bites. However, that pencil-size Brook Trout managed to escape before caught; I was so frustrated. On the way to further east, I tried another river the flatterer suggested, but no bites again.
Cruising in the twilight of evening, I saw the people flocking together on the field waive hand for me. All the communities along this Highway 11 seemed to be French. When I ordered a red wine to go at the restaurant of a motel in Val Rita, the French speaking waitress wrapped it with a red napkin. While waiting for the dish, French speaking guys behind me made fun of me. I pretended as if not noticed, but those things have never happened in English speaking area.
# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-06 08:23 | 14.Ontario
Over 30,000 km it was Canada everywhere (22)

# by tetsu95jp | 2008-01-05 08:15 | 14.Ontario