Tuesday, 1 August 2006

Fwd: Tabernac! F**king Tyres!

18 July - despite the warning that breakfast would only be available until 1030 I didn't rouse untl 11 - the first decent night's sleep i've had for a god's age, despite being on a very uncomfortable top bunk with a plastic pillow.  Grabbed a stale pastry then went out for an incredibly expensive morning coffee and got some cash out (presumably to buy another incredibly expensive midday coffee).  Didn't get a hell of lot of help from the hostel staff and there were no other travellers around to speak of so got on Celeste and rode downtown to find the Tourist Information centre.  Have to say its quite fun if a bit unfuiiating to ride around a completely foreign city - didn't have a map and didn't really know what I was doing but you're not as helplessly beholden to the motion of the traffic when you're in a car and you're so much faster and mobile than on foot but, going into the unknown on crappy pot holled streets with slightly different traffic rules, balances it out a bit.  Couriering in vancouver would definitely have given me a different kind of confidence with traffic but I still got a few little reminders of Washington DC and Las Vegas driving.  Rode around for most of the day - obviously Celeste's rear tyre which was getting worn decided to finally get a flat but fixed without too much trouble (although I did get a cheap replacement tyre to prevent it from happening again) and got to ride around Old Montreal for a while and had a high cholestoral traditional Quebeccer lunch of smoked smeat sammich and poutine.  Rode around a bit more including a rather intense climb to the peak of Mont Royal - a pretty easy but steady incline up the mountain on a gravel road - beautiful view at the top and got to practice skidding on the loose gravel slopes on the way down.  Went back to the hostel where there was nobody very nice there, at least nobody who was speaking english; one of the other resident's dog tried to assassinate me by pushing a pot off a balcony so I decided to head off to see Roach, a qubeccer friend of Shadow's whom i'd met in vancouver one time where I was credited as the guy who introduced them to the kangaroo burger.   Very interesting night spent on his porch in a rather dodgy area of Francophone Montreal drinking beer and puffing away on the local variety of marijuana. Once I managed to cope with the harsh, sometimes incomprehensile, quebeccer dialect I found that he had a lot of very interesting things to say and I can probably credit that encounter as the most authentic montreal experience i'm likely to have.

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