Our last days in the Maggies sure were fun. The sun came out and warmed it up to the lower 70s and the wind stayed southerly. All in all we kited 15 of 18 days. After the wind died on Saturday, we took our bikes over to the west side of Cap aux Meules and rode on a bike trail from La Cote to the lighthouse north. Then continued on through some fields at the edge of the cliffs to some back roads and quad trails back to the car. Along the way we biked through fields of ripening wild cranberries.
We made sure to avoid the boulangerie and it’s awesome pastries, but our last dinner was at the nearby small resto run by two local ladies. And Butch had the grand size poutine with chicken…YIKES.
Leon, the cottage owner, stopped by to say goodbye. What a great guy, and we actually had a pretty coherent conversation in French-ish! We did bring our vegetable that we couldn’t use up to feed the “wapiti”–a herd of elk kept on the island.
More small world episodes: We did run into two guys we met in Costa Rica a few years back–Dave Walter and Steve, the house painter from Montreal. They both talked a lot about sailing up here and we did expect to run into them. It really is such a small world in the windsurfing and kiting community. In Padre we ran into Oliver, whom we first met in La Ventana as a kite instructor for Captain Kirk. We ran into him up here in a cafe. Liam and his wife came to the kiting site on Friday in their Westie and Butch recognized them from La Ventana as well. A friendly young couple who travel everywhere- last year when we saw them in LaVentana they had driven down the Baja from the Yukon. We spent some time talking to a nice older couple, Claude and Normande, who asked us a lot about Padre…they’re from Quebec and thought the Maggies were a bit too cold.
The jury is out on whether we will return. Every place we go has its advantages and disadvantages. The Magdalen Islands certainly have the wind and beautiful access from every wind direction. We rigged and de-rigged on grass. There area portable toilets in many common areas and trash barrels everywhere (is that why the island is so clean?). The island is very pristine and beautiful, no billboards, no fast food, no big trees, very green meadows, colorful houses, incredibly neat and clean.
The water was comfortable but the air temps were chillier than expected- especially on successive 55 degree cloudy, windy days. We should have brought more warm clothes and only one pair of shorts! The cottage rental was reasonable to share with our friends, but food, gas and merchandise are highly taxed. The fish is fresh and delicious, the folks are all friendly, the area is completely safe-we never locked to doors and left the bikes out behind the house. The bikes lanes on the roads are spacious and free of debris and our cross bikes were perfect for riding on the quad trails.
It’s hard to leave the great weather and mountain biking at home at the end of August, beginning of September, so maybe next year Hood River may be our option. There should be some good sailing conditions at that time of year and there is mountain biking and family nearby as well.
The ferry ride back to Prince Edward Island was a bit rough–winds 25 gusting to 40 and the drive off PEI as well as in New Brunswick was tricky due to the wind. Some folks looked a bit green around the gills, but we were treated to a local band–fiddle, keyboard, guitar and spoons! So fun. We took the southerly route from Souris (ferry landing in PEI) to the bridge. PEI has a lot of the same dark red soil that Les Iles have but many more big trees- deciduous as well as evergreen.
Today we’re home and it is forecast for 80 degrees! Lots of unpacking and repacking to do before we leave on Sunday for the winter.