Did someone say climbing is free?

Well I did. I used to preach that once you own a harness and some shoes, all you need is a partner to go out climbing with. Well I stand corrected. We have paid over $160 between the two of us in memberships and access fees to climb in Quebec. Hopefully this isn’t a trend but it’s almost a quarter of our monthly budget.

Ok so here’s something we didn’t quite remember about Quebec. Drinking in public is extremely tolerated. On countless occasions during our stay here we witnessed people with alcoholic beverages hanging about without getting the look from anyone. On the bike path, on the beach, at the park… pretty much everywhere. In the same way, it seems to be done responsibly. Cops don’t care. At the fireworks I saw people walking right past officers and it’s like they were just walking around with a can of Coke. It’s pretty cool.

What’s not cool is how crazy Quebec drivers are. More so towards pedestrians. Forget right of way for people on foot. It’s actually safer to cross the road AWAY from the intersection and J-walk in the middle of the road where you can see traffic coming. There’s no such thing as J-walking here (except perhaps in Montreal).

Enough ranting, in the end it’s all fun and games and we’re having a blast with this trip.

We drove down to Montreal Thursday night due to bad weather on our second day at “La Montagne du Tranchant”. It’s a little sketchy when you hear thunder while attached to the rock face, especially on the top of a multi-pitch route. Apparently lightnings have a penchant for climbing gear.

MONTREAL IS GREAT, if you have money !!  We managed but it was a lot of window shopping & people watching. Elaine’s lived there for 8 years and she gave me the tour of downtown and of her old favorite spots. We biked for most of it and it was somewhat crazy. Busy with traffic and people but personally I kind of liked it 🙂

We met up with many of Elaine’s friends from Montreal, and I got to know them a little more. A lot of catch up happened between Elaine and her friends I’m sure. I also watched my first fireworks of “L’international des Feux Lotto-Quebec”. It puts to shame any other fireworks you have seen before. It’s also synced with live music streaming on a public FM radio station for further awesomeness. I don’t know how many people came down to watch them but it’s enough that they actually close the Jacques Cartier Bridge for people to go on it to watch them. The flip side of having too much fun in Montreal is that we totally forgot to take pictures. Oops.

We then took the van to the Laurentian Mountains. We settled in Val-David Sunday. First night we arrived there, we were having dinner at the park and we were approached by a cool dude who offered us some oysters! It was my first time trying it and I really liked it. The texture is gooey but man it really tastes like seafood. The guy actually opened them all up for me and even hooked me up with some lemon juice. It was a very good start to our time here.

Free oysters from this cool dude!

Free oysters from this cool dude!

Met up with Jean-Sebastien on Monday and climbed some of the classics here. The rock is very slabby and it’s taking us out of our comfort zone. The grades are also a bit sandbag due to the time reference of the climbing development which dates back 25+ years (could be more). We are supposed to meet again with J-S. tomorrow to try out a different crag. Also got to try some bouldering. It’s not Squamish but it’s still pretty impressive!

bouldering in Val-David

bouldering in Val-David

We biked a fair bit around here. They have a sweet bike path situated on an old railway line. It stretches over 200 km and it’s called “Le P’tit Train du Nord”.

Selfie while riding the "P'tit train du nord" bike path

Selfie while riding the “P’tit train du nord” bike path. Elaine can ride and drink coffee at once! Multitasker eh.

This was posted on facebook already but if you missed it, this is the bridge jump we did at Lac Kenogami a few weeks ago.

Budget wise the last two weeks were tough. Hopefully starting this week we can have a bit more slack. We don’t expect any big bills/expenses this week.

July 31 – August 6: Weekly & Total since we left 6 weeks ago.

Fuel: $69.50 / $1243.37
Food: $118.35 / $430.68
Fun: $45.80 / $489.19

Total for the week without fuel: $164.15
Total with fuel: $233.65

Total spent since the beginning: $2163.24
Total budget: $15158.65 (no change)
Budget left: $12995.41

E & M

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