The tourist season hasn’t really started here on Les Iles. Went to visit Havre-Aubert hoping that a café recommended to me was open. Alas, it wasn’t. I did come across 5 women baking up a storm in one of the shops nearby. Come back on Sunday, they said, we’ll be open then. I regretfully closed the door on the heavenly smell of cinnamon raisin bread.

Les Madelinots don’t have a culure of going out to quaint bistros and cafes. They certainly exist, but only for the tourist trade. The establishments that are open right now are all situated on Cap-aux-Meules (where the ferry deposits you). Visited Le Central yesterday, a bar in Cap-aux-Meules. It’s pleasant enough, but doesn’t have the cachet demanded by visitors to the Islands. Instead, it has all the familiarity of a local watering hole, rendering it a safe and comfortable place for locals to gather. Last evening, two middle-aged women sat at one end of the bar talking over a couple of beers. At the other end, a group of men did the same. In the middle was a younger woman – who looked a little like Marjo (the quintessential Quebecois rocker chick)—who was speaking with a guy who seemed to be part of the artist/artisant community.

I sat at a table, where I asked to be served the beer that’s brewed here. Alas, Molson has a stranglehold on this establishment and they don’t actually serve the local beer in the local watering hole. I’ll bring a case back with me. Among the other table patrons was a group of three very grano twenty-somethings, a young guy on a computer, and a couple who seem to have been having a semi-fight. Every time the woman got up, her metal chair hit mine with gusto. Normally, a Madelinot (heck, even a Montrealaise) would acknowledge this and apologize. She just kept pulling her chair forcefully into mine. I took it as punishment for being a stranger in a strange land.

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