Tag Archives: travel

Day 15 – Moncton, NB to Borden, PEI. 115 km. Total to date: 1267 km.

This morning started as a rainy then a misty day. Packing in the mist and rain was interesting to say the least, then departing in it was tough. After saying goodbye to Mark and Austin we hit the road. After a short jaunt through Moncton we caught our route north toward Shediac. The route was fairly flat compared to recent days and we made good time to Shediac for a buffet lunch! Pasta and pizza buffet was awesome and 2 hungry cyclists sure did some damage there 🙂
Oh and Shediac is hoome to the world’s largest lobster! See the pics:
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Back on the road we had a long and rather uninteresting stretch of highway toward PEI. We did get few good views but overall I felt like I just focused on the pavement the whole day.
My knee started as sore and got worse and worse all day. Hills were hard but I was able to use my other leg. All was ok until we hit some rough roads and I took some really rough bumps. That just set up my knee for some grinding pain that would last the rest of the day.
After what felt like forever we started seeing the crazy long bridge to PEI. After a ling approach we got to the route to the bridge. Now it is important to note that you cannot walk or bike across the 13km bridge. You have to exit and catch the shuttle across. When we arrived someone had already paged the shuttle and it took no time for them to arrive to transport us across the bridge. Here is a pic:
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Oh and remember my wonky seat that I had yet to replace? Well luckily Mark lent me one before leaving Moncton. Damn good thing cause look what happened 10 km from PEI..
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Broken rail!!!

So with my knee in a bad state I am stuck making the decision to listen to my body. My knee is really aching and pushing it hard is going to result in a bad situation. It is looking inevitable that we are going to have to postpone the rest of the trip for the time being. Tomorrow is another day and we are heading to Charlottetown. With my knee as it has been today and the last several days we are taking a few days to evaluate the situation.

For now I need some sleep to process my thought and elevate my leg. Will be back with another blog 🙂

So excited to be in PEI!

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Day 13 – Sussex area to Moncton. 82 km. Total to date 1152 km.

Just a short blog for today as I am tired sore and lacking brain power to write too much.

For the most part today was a relatively easy day. We decided to take a later start as we knew it was to be a short day of 80km compared to bigger days lately. Julie and I have both been wanting to sleep in and today we got to for a bit. We then had breakfast and departed at our leisure.

Here is a view of the green pastures we were following for the first part of our day:
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Today we certainly saw less hills than we have recently. Even for a bit we had something of a tailwind for a bit, that is until we got close to Moncton and had to battle with a strong crosswind that wanted to feed us into traffic.

Tonight we are staying with Mark and Cat in Moncton who are great hosts! They even prepared us supper, vegi burgers (awesome thanks guys!!) And Mark even mowed the lawns sk we would have a nice space to camp 🙂

Tomorrow we are taking the day off to get a few things done and hopefully relax a bit. I still need to replace my broken seat from day 8. The duct tape has held up but my seat has no cushion anymore.

Sorry there are not much photos today, we passed lots of wooded.areas today so not much opportunity for good shots. More pics soon I promise!

We are replanning a few aspects of the trip due to time constraints, and also monitoring both our physical conditions closely. My knee is being a jerk so will have to see how that plays out over the next few days..

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Day 12 – Fredericton to Sussex area. 120 km total to date 1070 km

Last night we camped out in Mike and Ashley’s yard in Fredericton (thanks again!) And got off to bed early. I fell asleep rather well but it didnt really last long. There was a lot of noise in the neighborhood and I think my mind stayed awake all night.

In the morning we packed up and finally had a few minutes to catch up with our host and hostess as we were packing up the bikes. It was nice to see them again and I just wish we had more time to hswng out and chat. Alas we had a long day ahead and had to hit the road.

The first part of the day was really smooth as we were following the river for the final time. The road as really flat, very quiet and smooth. We made really good time through some really interesting terrain. At one point I had not noticed but Julie shouted up to me to look at the eagle! Well there it was perched high on a tree in the middle of a swamp. I still cant get over how huge eagles are. I got a pic but heavily zoomed in and could not really capture him as I wanted. Here is what I got…
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And here is a peak at that swampy area, very fascinating:
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Unfortunately just after that area our day would start going downhill. Figuratively of course cause from that point we were back in rolling hills. Rolling might be generous… hilly as hell is a bit closer. It just seemed to get worse and worse as we continued. On route 10 we encountered hills that just kept going and going up, and not down. We got a few downs but in all some major climbs.

So I already mentioned the eagle but we saw some other really cool wildlife, which eluded photos of course. At one point I turned the corner and about 100 meters ahead a bear was crossing the road. My guess is it was about a year old give or take. We stopped to let it cross and make sure there were no other bears waiting to cross 🙂
A bit further ahead we saw a fox cross who then stopped just off the side of the road so we got another look!
And roadkill. Man so much roadkill. Stangely enough 80% of it was porcupines. I was really surprised to see so many, not something you see so much in Quebec.

So today was a long day again, 2nd day of 120km. Today we hit a milestone too! We broke our first 1000km!! Hard to believe we hit that already, but we have been rolling for almost 2 weeks.

Tomorrow we have a short day to Moncton then a day off Friday. Apparently it is supposed to rain a bit the next few days. We have been fortunate so far weatherwise so I really can’t complain.

Another awesome thing in the area is the cool antique stores. We dont stop to go in cause I would want everything. Makes me wish we had a van 🙂 we did stop to use a washroom at a resto / bakey / antique store. I couldn’t get over place, such cool antiques and a 57 chevy, parked right there in the store. I should have grabbed a photo!
Here is a different antique shop, we pass tons of them!
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For now I need some sleep and hope that my muscles repair quickly for one final day before a break. My poor knee is really creaky today 😦

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Day 10 – Hartland to Woodstock. 44km. Total to date 830 km.

As promissed in yesterday’s blog here are a couple pics of the world’s longest covered bridge!
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Today is one of those days that proves no matter how much or well you plan, the day has a different plan for you. After planning and replanning the route today we left feeling confident of having a good route to Fredericton. As it would have it Google maps sent us on a comolete dead end. Picture following a regional road waaay uphill for almost 20 km, just to have the road unceremoniously END. But not just end… it turned into an ATV path. Well not one to back down from a chalenge I recheck my map and determine that path has to end up at another road. We follow this path, strewn with shell casings, and with what looks like old garbage dumps in the woods for a kilometer. We are just about to where it should come ot on the next regional road and BAM. Flooded. No way around. We ended up hwving to turn around and go back to within 3 km of our starting point. 25 km later and it’s almost noon. At that point I made the executive decision to just bike about 20km to get to Woodstock. Here is a pic from the peak of our pointless climb:
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So on tired legs and bad mood we struggled through hilly and windy terrain to get to Woodstock. To make matters worse in this are no one seems to tie up their dogs, not all anyway… so we pass this place and I see one big F’n dog (tied thankfully) that went ape and ran to the end of his chain freaking out at me. What I didnt see is this little bastard of a dog with him not tied. Well if he didnt take after me, and this little bugger was fast! To make matters worse he was keeping right up with me and taking snaps at my legs. I was yelling at him and keept pushing left to not get bit, putting me right into the lane. I was so busy fending off attack that I had no idea that a suv was coming up behind me. The drivers honked and finally the dog backed off of me and I got out of the lane. At least the driver saw what was going on and I avoided getting bit or hit.

Here is a view from the bridge to Woodstock:
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After a bit more weird terrain we finally made it to Woodstock and went out for a good lunch and beers (happy birthday to me!!). Aftet that we retired to a bed and breakfast (camp sites still not open) and went for a bit of a nap. The B&B is a nicely restored home and the owner is quite nice. He is very protective of the place and it iinda gives a bit of unwelcome feeling. A note in the room mentions a $25 fine if you bring in and eat outside food like pizza, etc?? I get it but strikes me as weird still. In any case all I need right now is some rest and yope like heck my muscles are ready for tomorrow. I am running on exhausted and nursing a sore knee. Still 3 days from a full day off gotta be tough and hope for the best!!

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Here is a shot of me in my awesome Pink Floyd jersey Julie bought me. Been saving it for a special occasion 🙂

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Day 9 – Drummond to Hartland. 104 km. Total to date 786 km.

Today again was a later departure time. With the change in time zones disagreeing with our natural sleep cycle that we worked so hard to establish before leaving, we cant seem to get up in time for early departure.

Last night I was suffering from some major muscle spasms in my legs I didnt get much sleep. Starting a long day already tired is a recipe for disaster. Add to that some insane hills, headwind, and terrible road conditions. I know people say Quebec roads are bad but if ever you cycle the 105 in NB you may draw the same conclusion of roads here.

All this to say that today was a rough day on the roads, again every kilometer was hard earned. 104 kilometers was quite a challenge in these conditions.

As a result of this I didnt get many photos though we did see some daffodils growing, a true sign of spring!
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Much of the day was spent in forested hills and following the St John river. Below is a pic of a hydro dam I got on a little break:
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One highlight was meeting a friend Charlie on the road. We have been chatting on Facebook for several weeks, and unfortunately missed him in Grand Falls, but he caught up with us on our way to Hartland today. Charlie is also a crazy cyclist and doing a trip soon from Moncton to Halifax. His trip is a fundraiser and you can get all the details or.make a donation here:

http://iwktelethon.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1046145&lis=1&kntae1046145=A36160E74D7740DC9EB61ED5AD1EB2C1&supId=379316594&team=0&nmv=true

Tonight we relax in Hartland at a cute hotel waaay up on a hill. Seems appropriate after our day. Here we have a nice view of the world’s longest covered bridge. Here is a distant view:
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Julie took more shots with her camera so will have to wait to share.
Tomorrow we hit the road again for another 104 km to Fredericton. Hopefully the terrain is less hilly and being away from the river we will have favourable winds. I guess we will find out tomorrow!
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Here is a rough pic above of our morning view, the vast potato fields in Drummond.

Until tomorrow thanks for reading and all comments! I am off to bed to hopefully repair my muscles for tomorrow 🙂

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Day 8 – Dégelis, QC to Drummond, NB. 90 km. Total to date 682 km.

Well I must appologize this is going to be short. I just wrote a ling blog and something screwed up and my phone ate everything, no waved draft so starting over…

Today we got off to a late start. Partly due to the change in time and the frosty morning we had several delays. When we got up the inside of our tent tarp was covered in ice as was our bikes. Tsking time to let everything thaw and dry off the tent meant we left after 930.

Taking only a very short time we got to the QC & NB border. I was a bit disappointed with the NB sign, as the Quebec side had a grandiose diaplay and New Brunswick lookal like a cheap billboard.

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Nevertheless we were both excited to croas our first provincial border and time zone!

Cycling went smoothly today especially once we got off the trans Canada highway and on to the 144. This gave us some great views and some reprieve from vehicles whipping past and loud transports.
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Once again we were in rolling hills albeit less than the day before, so we made great time. Here is a panorama to give you an idea of our views today:

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Once we arrived in Grand Falls we contacted our host for the night (thanks for the contact Danielle, you mom is a great host and really sweet) who
came to guide us back to her place. The bit hills here are much faster by
car but she made strategic stops to make sure we didnt get lost.

After a shower and some food we even got a tour of Grand Falls where I got a couple pics of the falls:

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What I really found interestint is this area has kilometers and kilometers of potato fields for McCain foods. I have likely had fries that came from here without knowing! Behind ou hosts house these span out for as far as the eye can see. I didnt get a shot but will tomorrow. Here is a sunset shot from the same spot though:
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So tomorrow will bring us another 100km to Hatland, which is halfway to Fredericton from here. Hopefully we can find a good place to stay!

Thanks again for reading our blog! I really do appreciate all the comments even if I havent had time to reply to all of them.

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Day 7 – Riviere du Loup to Dégelis. 105 km . Total to date 592 km.

Today started early with the sun peeking through a crack in the curtains well before 5 am. We are noticing already a big difference in the daylight hours compared to Montreal. Soon enough we will be going through our first time zone change!

The eary start came after a restless night of sleep again. I ended up tossing and turning quite a bit and had “busy dreams” where it felt like I had to keep doing things or fixing things or the such. Not sure if that makes sense but if you get the same you know exactly what I mean.

The day started off with a considerable climb out of Riviere du Loup just to get to the start of the Route Verte 8 bike path. It was a real workout with fully loaded bikes and by the time we made it over the hills I was overheating despite the 2º morning.

So we forged ahead on the route verte 8, which turned iut to bbe a packed crush stone path. These are notoriously dificult for touring bikes because of the extra weight and skinny tires. Couple that with spring conditions on the path, so it was really soft and loose stones, and it was very slow going. We were rolling at about 9-10kmph. Not good. The redeming factor was the natural scenery. It was beautiful!
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It wasnt ling before we made a final decision to get off ths path and on to the highway. A big part of that decision? Snow. On the path!
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So we eventually found a driveway that led to the highway vut of course at the end was a locked fence. There was a tiny.way around it but meant fighting the bikes through a bush and over a rock. As you can imagine I was thoroughly pleased. To top it off I must have grabbed my seat wrong and managed to pull the top off the rails. At least we always carry duct tape and it proved worth it once again.
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So finally on the highway and I neglected to mention but this whole area is rolling hills. We had some major work over the whole day with some real climbs. In all we climbed 890 meters and descended 806 meters. There were some crazy fast downhils too and I hit over 50kmph more than once. The biggest stress overall was a few construction sites and constant transports passing by. The drivers in the trucks were great though leaving us lots of room. We were treated to some magnificent mountain views today.
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Oh and I couldn’t help grab a pic of this sign for obvious reasons:
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The biggest nuisance of the day was construction. For the most part it meant being rsally careful and riding slowly. We ended up going into Dégelis for supies hoping to get back on to the trail and stealth camp. Of course there was a series of detours that vrought us to a sand covered path that we had to walk, then sent us kn a 5km detour on a loose gravel path that we could barely bike. I kept feeling like it was a bad joke. We bitched and cursed the road and eventually it fed us right back beside the highway we got off. At this point hungry and tired, we were looking for a good spot to set up for ths night. I told Julie that I was daydreaming all day about a spot near a quiet lake with access to a washroom and picknik table. I wws giving up hope when I spotted a bunch of tables. Well lo and behold we were pulling up on a rest stop with washrooms, tables, and a spot where we could stealthily set up a tent. Even better? Right next to a beautiful lake where as I write I can hear frogs chirping. The universe gave me the spot I was hoping for! Here are some oics of our little camp site:
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It was funny because I felt like the evening had passed fast then I realized we are only a few kilometers from New Brunswick. My phone must have decided to switch time zones so we are now officially on Atlantic time, 1 hour ahead of EST. Tomorrow morning we will hit the NB border and start our 2nd province.

One kore pic of a hitchhiker I picked up along the way (a little ladybug in my back):
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Thanks again for reading and to those who like the posts and comment. It is nice to hear from friends and to know people are enjoying reading about our adventure!

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Day 6 – Day off in Riviere du Loup

Today was a well deserved and hard earned day off in Riviere du Loup. Our timing couldn’t have been better either as it was an absolutely freezing cold and rainy day here. The temperature didnt climb much higher than low single digits all day.

We took advantage of the mini laundromat right here in the hotel to properly wash some clothing, especially some cycling gear that needed a good cleaning. Now we will leave with all fresh gear!

The hotel also has a hot tub so we spent some time in there loosening up sore muscles and relaxing a bit. If ever you are in Riviere du Loup nand need a hotel, Hotel Universelle is very nice and there are good online deals to be had. The restaurants are really good here too. There are also some very convenuently located stores around for food, SAQ, restos, etc.

We also spent a bit of time reworking some of the plans for the next couple of weeks cutting down a couple really long days into smaller segments so we have time to enjoy ourselves and travel at a reasonable pace.

Friday we head back on the road for our final full day, ending in Dégelis for the night. We will likely stealth camp as campsites are not open and we cant spend on hotels and the such so often. All we need is a quiet place to tuck into for the night, preferably with access to a washroom and we are all set.

Saturday we cross out of Quebec into New Brunswick, which I am very excited for!

Sorry no photos this time, a day spent in the hotel does nit afford many photo-ops. Tomorrow we are back in the road and should have a more interesting blog 🙂

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Day 5 – Saint Jean Port Joli to Riviere du Loup. 92 km. Total to date 487 km.

Today was a bit later of a start due partly to the fact that we had a bed to sprawl in, and I think we were both sore and not convinced we had to bike again.

Things got off to a fairly smooth start, the wind wasnt cripling, and despite being overcast it was relatively warm. Of course because we are cycling and clearly the weather hates us, this wouldnt last. 30 km later we would stop for breakfast at Tim Hoton (yum!) Near la Pocathiere. Once we hit the road again the wind realized we were traveling and had over 60km left, and were headed for a day of rest.

So again we were hit with crushing winds. I thought that the land was open a few days ago but man oh man I had no idea. Below is a pic of the open fields we encountered south of the st Lawrence.

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As far as you can see are open fields then mountains. The.wind.tearing from the Northwest is not only fast and furious but frigid. Funnling through the mountains, over the water and unstopped over the fields, crushing us like tiny little bugs. We litetally crawled at 10kmph for over 5 hours to finally get to destination. We met an older cyclist (65 + who bikes 80km per day – awesome!!) when we were on a little break who told us that the winds are strong from the nirtheast until the end of June, then they get 3-4 weeks of 25º weather. Then it gets cold and windy again in August. Cyclists, use this as a cautionary tale and DO NOT underestimate the difficulty of this day.
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The route did have some treats for us though. We didnt get oics but every little village had 2 distinct features. At the start and end of every village there was a cross with various inscriptions. Some real history of the early French Catholic settlements. Villages were not complete without a massive and ornate church. These were unbelievably huge, and always the center of town. There.were other great historical pieces, old farm equipment, and windmills:

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And Julie and I were both amused by a farm of miniature horses. We took a break and giggled like schoolgirls. They were so tiny looking more like big dogs.

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Here is a view as we were approaching Riviere du Loup. Ee were both fed up then we stopped here, then discovered a gorgeous and quiet cottage that cut us past a series of up and down roads. Here is a little panorama with a little Julie.

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So we are safe and sound for another day and tomorrow is a day off to rest the tired legs before one final day cycling Quebec then we hit New Brunswick.

Last but not least is the live of my life putting on a brave face near the end of an awful day. Thanks for your perseverance and patience today. There had darn well be better days 🙂

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♡♡♡

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Day 4 – Levis to Saint Jean Port Joli. 84 km. Total to date 395 km.

Today started with an early morning after very little sleep. As I mentioned last night the campgroud was right next to the highway 20. The whole night all I heard was loud traffic, it just never let up. Waking around 5am in disbelief we slowly got started on our day. It was chily but as the sun was raising it warmed a bit for our departure. Here is a pic of the “campground” maybe its just me but trailers dont seem like roughing it. Especially with hig screen tvs and satelite hookups..

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It would prove once again to be a slow moving and headwind day. That cold wind ripping from the northeast, just at the right angle off of the st Lawrence, grinding us to a crawl. We had a tough time getting the speedometer over 15kmph. Ideally we need to be around 20kmph to get the longer days in that we have planned.

On the plus side we did get some beautiful views of the St Lawrence from the south side. The mountain ranges to the north are absolutely stunning. I am attaching a pic from a lookout on the way. More after:
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We crawled along a steady incline and wind pretty much all day. With sore legs and sore butt there was no hope for momentum. Eventually we got to our destination in Saint Jean Port Joli, which is a really cute port town, very artsy, and it seems like half the businesses are wood carvers, sculptors, and other folk art. Even the food is art like, we had by far the best meal so far from a bakery/pizzeria called Porto Bellisimo. Fresh spinach pasta delicious sauces, and artisan pizza. Worth every penny!

Oh and here is a peek of the view behind the hotel. Once again with no camping available we have to stay in a hotel. We will likely stealth camp for a couple days soon cutting some costs. Also we have a few places to stay in NB so that will help balance our budget.
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And at sunset:
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So we are off for some rest before attempting a 100km day to Riviere du Loup. Tomorrow is day 5 on the road so we are starting to think about a day off to rest sore muscles and look at the plan moving forward. We willl likely make a few changes to distances and approximate days of arrival. All of the days seem long but it really depends in if we get some wind cooperation and of course the weather.

Oh and almost at our destination I got distracted. It is.probably the love for al things vintage, and the picker jn me but this place stoped me in my tracks..

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Here is the scene outside of our rooom this evening. Life on the road is much different and it makes you realize some things you take for granted… like laundry 🙂

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Last but not least here is a pic of the crazy travellers:

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