Montreal & Southern Quebec

Southern Quebec

I recently visited Canada to attend my nephew’s wedding and was blown away by the magnificence of this vast North American nation. After spending a short time in the culturally rich city of Montreal, I was able to explore the southern region of the province of Quebec and travelled in excess of three thousand kilometres in just over a week. What struck me most during my travels, was how completely different this part of the world is compared to my home in Western Australia. The vast green forests, abundance of water and vibrant French influence on the architecture are strikingly different to what I am used to.

Australia is the driest continent on the planet. In contrast, Canada has more than sixty percent of the World’s lakes. Wherever I went there were rivers, lakes and a plethora of waterfalls to marvel at. Adding to the experience, is the fact that I visited during early fall when the weather is still fine and the landscape is at its most colourful. The following are my first batch of photographs.

Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal

Notre-Dame Basilica is situated in the historic district of old Montreal. It was built between 1824 and 1829 and the architectural design is gothic revival. This Roman Catholic church was by far my top Montreal Attraction. From the outside, Notre-Dame is not that impressive but the interior is truly magnificent.

Notre Dame Basilica, Montreal, Quebec

Mont Tremblant, Quebec

Mont Tremblant is a ski resort nestled within the Laurentian Mountains, northwest of Montreal. I only ever visit ski resorts during the winter skiing months and the experience of being in Mont Tremblant during Fall was a welcome change. The village has wonderful colourful architecture and the surrounding area is extremely picturesque.

Mont Tremblant, Quebec

Country Quebec In Fall

I almost missed the changing colours of Fall in Quebec, but was lucky enough to catch the first glimpses of orange, yellow and red. The following was taken close to Sainte-Anne-des-Monts in the Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine region in the far east of the province.

Country Quebec

Perce Rock, Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec

Percé Rock is an impressive rock monolith in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence on the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec. It is one of the largest natural arches in the world.

Perce Rock, Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec

Mont Tremblant National Park

Mont-Tremblant National Park is located north of the town of Mont-Tremblant. It is vast, covering an area of over one thousand five hundred square kilometres. The Park is renowned for its rolling hills, lakes, rivers and waterfalls. La Chute du Diable waterfall is one of the many natural attractions.

Mont Tremblant National Park, Quebec

Lac Vaillant, Chute-Saint-Philippe, Quebec

Lac Vaillant is one of thousands of lakes in the Laurentides area of Quebec province. I was fortunate to spend almost a week exploring this magical area.

Lac Vaillant, Chute-Saint-Philippe, Quebec

Lac Tremblant, Quebec

Lac Tremblant is a long narrow lake at the foot of Mont Tremblant. This pretty natural reservoir is only steps away from the ski village.

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The Lakes Of Chute-Saint-Philippe, Quebec

The lakes of Chute Saint Philippe are a perfect place to get away for a romantic weekend away from bustling Montreal.

The Lakes Of Chute-Saint-Philippe, Quebec

Fabled Surfing Spots – Bali

Bali Surfing

Bali is viewed by many as the Mecca of surfing. Its reputation has grown since the 1960’s when Australian surfers began to frequent the island. Surfing has now become a major drawcard and attracts people from all over the world. It is not hard to see why this has happened.

Bali’s prominence as a surfers destination is built on the fact that it not only has powerful swells for the advanced technician but it also teems with places with waves suitable for beginners. Reef breaks such as Padang Padang, Uluwatu and Suluban are renowned for large swells that are both consistent and long. These are the principle drawcards to experienced surfers. However, there are also far milder beach breaks such as Kuta, Tuban and Seminyak.

Padang Padang, Bali

Padang Padang is one of Bali’s most acclaimed surfing spots. It is situated towards the north west tip of the Bikut Peninsula close to Uluwato. Just a short distance offshore from the beach, surfers can enjoy a world class reef break. The waves are consistent, powerful and long. For these reasons, it is no surprise that Padang Padang hosts a number of international surfing events each year. The large waves and treacherous reef make this an advanced boarders location and beginners should stay away.

It is not only the surfing that makes this beach such a drawcard. The setting is outstanding and begins with the unique rock hollow entrance. The beach is dotted with naturally colourful boulders and the background is enhanced by a lush green hillock. The only negative is that it gets very busy at weekends.

Padang Padang, Bali

Legian Beach Surfing

Legian Beach lies immediately north of Kuta and is the perfect spot for surfers to hone their skills. It has a sandy beach break with waves averaging in the one to three foot category. Crowds tend to be less than at its sister beach to the south. As a result, there are far more intermediate surfers here. Beginners should be warned that the swell increases in size later in the afternoon and the current can be a bit tricky.

Legian Beach Surfing

Suluban ‘Blue Point’ Surfing

Suluban or Blue Point is a secluded surfing Eden just to the North of Uluwatu. Access to the ocean is down narrow steps into a cave and then out onto the small enchanting beach.

The reef break at Blue Point features powerful waves that are long and dependable. Suluban is not for the faint hearted and should only be tackled by skilled surfers.

Suluban 'Blue Point' Surfing

Kuta Beach Surfing

Kuta was Bali’s first surfing beach and is still the most popular. There are hundreds of board renters and hawkers along the beach. This is also where the highest density of surf schools exist. For novices, this is a great place to start their surfing journey.

Kuta Beach Surfing

Bali Beach dogs

Dogs in Bali tend to be allowed to run free even if they are someone’s pet. It follows on that they are ever present at most of the beaches across the Island. They have become a feature of Bali surfing. They tend to be well behaved and I have not come across one causing a problem with visitors.

Bali Beach Dogs

Padang Padang Surfing Accommodation

Surfers wanting to be right on the doorstep of their favourite reef break can stay in rustic accommodation built into the rocky slopes of Padang Padang.

Padang Padang Surfing Accommodation

Seminyak Beach Surfing

The further north you walk from Kuta the bigger the waves become. Seminyak is the next beach past Legian and offers fairly sizeable swells. The other benefit of Seminyak Beach is that it tends to be less crowded than Legian and Kuta. This is a quality choice for the intermediate surfer.

Seminyak Beach Surfing

Portraits of Bali – Youth Are The Future

“The youth is the hope of our future” Jose Rizal

My interest in the people of Bali continues with a another post featuring portraits. With Bali’s population growing by more than double the global average, there is a large percentage of children in Bali. This is a good enough reason to make youth my chosen subject for this week’s post.

Bali Youth – Gong Musician

A Gamelan is a musical ensemble from Bali that is made up predominantly of percussion instruments. One of the more distinctive instruments in a Gamelan is the Gong. Gongs tend to fall into two categories. The most common are those that are suspended vertically. However, they can also be supported horizontally on a rack or on a musician’s knees. Gongs are hard to miss as they are generally large and look like cast iron pots.

Bali Youth - Gong Musician

Bali Youth – Budding Poultry Farmer

I met this young lad and his father when I stopped off at a pond to take photos of the water lilies. As is common with people from Bali, they were extremely warm and friendly. I was heartened to learn that this young man was hoping to make his living from the land when he grew up. Unlike the majority of today’s youth, he had not been seduced by the lure of the bright lights of the city.

Bali Youth – Budding Poultry Farmer

Bali Youth – A Boy With A future

I chatted to this young lady during a cremation ceremony in Ubud. Her young son was a bright as a button. She is determined to give him every opportunity to do well. I predict that he has a great future ahead of him.

Bali Youth – Young Professor

Bali Youth – Confident Drummer

Could this be the Keith Moon of the future? I was most impressed with the skill of this young drummer. He was a standout in the Gamelan ensemble.

Bali Youth – The Drummer

Bali Youth – The Shy One

This shy boys favourite past-time is playing soccer. I think you can tell where he would rather be.

Bali Youth – The Shy One

Bali Youth – A Pair of Greengrocers

The young greengrocers in this photo did a great job of selling their merchandise to me. I ended up trying and buying a number of their more exotic fruit.

Bali Youth – Budding Greengrocers

Bali Youth – The Sleepy One

At the end of a long day, this little boy decided it was time to have a nap. I can’t blame him as i was also dead on my feet.

 Bali Youth – The Sleepy One