Well people – Îles de la Madeleine is so incredible. An archipelago in the gulf of the Saint Lawrence that is a five hour ferry ride from PEI but is in fact a part of Quebec. We are two days into an eight night stay. Our campsite is flanked by water, the sun rises on one side of the camper and sets on the other. The beach is the softest red sand that rises in jagged edges up to long soft deep green grass. The first two nights were like being in a blender with strong winds shaking and gusting the camper. Chris said it was like sleeping on a boat. Sleeping? I did almost no sleeping – just weird in and out dreaming that we were going to be blown off the cliff and out to sea.
The electrical issues of the camper continue and kept us busy the first day with no solution. So we have decided to – fuck it – as the fancy people say and carry on with our plans. We don’t need the electricity – we can plug the phones into the truck or at the camping office and it’s warm so we don’t need the bed heaters. Of course the one RV fix it shop is on vacation this week.
The air here is heavier, sort of like the Carribean. It’s warm and humid but not hot and humid. And it’s windy – kite surfing is huge here along with sea kayaking and SUP. This was a big draw for Chris and probably why he discovered it.
The Îles are well known in Quebec but I had never heard of them. The culture is distinct, as the Madelinots were isolated, but it retains Acadian flavours and has a vibrant fishing and farming community. There are tons of artisanal producers. Cheese, smoked fish and meat, cultured mussels, fish houses and farmers markets. It’s soft here. The light is diffused and the air is full and heavy but the colours are vibrant – houses scattered like bright confetti over the viridescent grass fields. The deep red of the earth and the varying blues, greys and greens of the water.
But I digress – Chris came here with an other plan – yes yes to spend time kite surfing but also to get ME kitesurfing. I agreed, of course, because he asked (like a million years ago) and I sort of thought we would never actually make it on this trip. So here I am today staring down the barrel of three hours of kite surfing instruction. And I am CRANKY. I hate the wind – it makes me feel crazy. I also really hate being wet and cold which from the looks of it at the beach outside the camper is an absolute certainty. Chris is tiptoeing around my rising tension. We get there and walk down the beach to meet the instructor. There are all manor of camping vehicles on either side of the tiny sandy, pebbly beach road. All the people instantly annoy me with their perky “sportiness!” Wet suits, gear, probably gorp and homeschooled children (yes I know we will homeschool Anderson this year but you get the point). People are pumping up kites, launching themselves into the water and flying by at alarming speeds all while the wind is MAKING ME CRAZY. I say to Chris – I don’t want to do this I know I won’t like it. He gives me the gentle nudge and I suck it up because he is usually right – about sports. Stay tuned for the full kiteboarding lesson.