Sunday, 18 August 2013

From the east coast to the west and Canada (and almost to jail!)

Dear members of the VanBaelenGuillot family, friends and followers! Welcome back!

Last time we talked we picked up our car in New York and we were ready to attack the American continent! After picking up our car we went south to Baltimore to visit two Catalan friends who had just had their first baby! Sandra and Ignacio welcomed their baby Ignacio a few days before our arrival and were enjoying their first days as parents!

Driving to Baltimore was pretty easy and did not cause any problem - even without a GPS!-Mireia is a very good copilote ;) -We arrived late in the afternoon so we searched a place to sleep: This would be our first camping experience in the USA! Our stop in a State Park turned out to be excellent: Beautiful camping spots, great accommodations, reasonable prices and great wild life! Only downside were the large amount of mosquito and the sweetness of our skins!

Baltimore itself does have some less pleasant areas, but we mainly enjoyed the comfort and pleasure of our friends' home and our visit of Baltimore was limited to the center and the harbor. We were very lucky to park our car safely in a parking, as we wouldn't feel comfortable to leave it on the Baltimorean streets.

After Baltimore we went to Boston, which is north of New York and around 700 km away so we had to make a pit stop in the middle. We made a quick stop in Philadelphia to see some of the main items. To be honest, it looked like a very nice place with a very good vibe, but we had to keep on moving to go to Boston were Marta and Iñigo were waiting for us (a very long wait of 2 days - sorry for that!!). Boston is a vibrant city with a huge amount of history, many universities, affordable prices and a good atmosphere! It somehow felt a bit European and is very easy to explore due to the Freedom trail. This is a physical red trail running through the city which passes all main sights. It allowed us to visit the city in a couple of hours with the bikes of Chos&Iñigo).

As we had some time, we could have a look at the electrical issues we had. After measuring everything and having a call with Peter, it appeared that the secondary batteries were simply to empty to charge and that's why we didn't have any power. So the solution was to connect the secondary batteries straight to the main batteries!!

In addition Marta, who works for a Mountainbike firm in Boston (Montague), was able to help us get a sponsorship deal! We got two super cool mountainbikes which are foldable to take along on our trip. In return we regularly write for Montague's blog! A great win-win situation we think!

Having spend several days in Boston we really had a great time, we met a lot of people, had much fun and saw the city from different angles (kayak, walking, biking...) Still the time had come to continue, so we left west to the Canadian boarder to visit the Niagara Waterfalls. The waterfalls lay on the American and Canadian boarders and can be seen from both sides.

The falls are extraordinary and cannot be captured by pictures. They are so enormous (every second 2,5 million liters falls over the main waterfall, which equals the water within an Olympic swimming pool) and you would imagine that all this natural power would make much noise. Still the contrary is true: it's surprisingly silent and you don't need to shout to talk to each other.

After having enjoyed the views from the American side we felt like crossing the bridge and entering Canada. Being by bike we had to pass the bridge together with the cars, which was no problem as the entire bridge was filled with cars who were standing in line at offices. Alex, spontaneous as he is, didn't seem to remember that you have to stop at a boarder and passed to boarder control at full speed with the bike. This was something that Mr Rambo at the boarder could not appreciate and after some serious shouting and threatening (we could have been arrested, we could have gone to jail and we could have had to pay a fine of 1000 dollar) we were allowed to enter in Canada to enjoy the beauty of the waterfalls from there.

Thanks for reading so much, now the fun part: the pictures! It is necessary to say that Mireia is learning to use the camera and she is doing great pictures!!

Keep reading the blog :-)

Van Baelen Guillot!

Waking up with this view - who would not be jealous?

Having a look at the Baltimore harbor when visiting Sandra, Ignacio and Ignacio (the baby)

A lot of love in Philly

Mireia and Marta laughing about a fart joke

L 2 R: Inigo, Marta, Mireia, Ryan and Katrina

Extreme sport fan Inigo doesn't mind to do a back flip on the bridge!

Kayaking on the famous Charles river

Waaaawza - what a big Aubergine

American style - Big iced coffee slurpee from Dunkin' Donuts - lekker lekker!! Me gustaa!!

One of the visits along the Boston freedom trail (Whaaaaw, what a beautiful picture! by Mireia)

There are not only Irish in Boston, the Catalans are also here (ref: the Catalans symbol is a  donkey)

Scenic block along the Boston Freedom trail

Boston is very bike friendly

Arriving on Spectacle Island - 4 miles from Boston

Sponsorship mountain bikes from Montague!

Evening cooking nearby the Niagara Falls

Alex ready to tackle the waterfalls: Check

Mireia ready to tackle the waterfalls: Check

No caption required

Again no caption required

The waterfalls illuminated at night

Sometimes Mireia is a true artist

A beautiful day ends with complementary Canadian fireworks


  1. Gracias Mireia y Alex.
    Me habeis alegrado el dia.
    Seguid esceibiendo, que no os queda nada ;b

  2. simon viaene & Jessie Errico18 August 2013 at 12:54

    Hi Alex and Mireia!
    keep writing those stories, very nice to read and also nice pics. You're living the dream so take it easy and enjoy along the way. Hope the car is in perfect shape again. In the future, be allert for big yelow lines that cross the road, could be another border. ;o)

    1. Hi Simon&Jessie!!
      Thanks for reading us! :-) We keep in touch!
      Take care! groetjes!


  3. Wow, sounds fab! Some things sound like Van Baelen classics (fart jokes - happens to us all the time & almost getting arested when crossing the US-Canada border to see Niagara falls - we had the same 6y ago :) ). Groetjes! Annelies&Bjorn

    1. hahahaha you made our day!! :-)
      take care!

  4. Chicos!! It looks like you're having great fun!

    I loved reading your stories!

    Pasadlo muy muy bien y seguid informando!!!



    1. Sara!
      Hope you can start your adventure soon and we can also read yours!
      Keep in touch!
      Muchos besos!

  5. wowwww que guay!!! alex y mireia us hpo esteu pasant bombaa no???? coninueu escrivintt

  6. Hello both of you. Nice pictures.I'll keep interested in your story. Hear you soon!Kisses, Kristine- mama

    1. Hi Kristine-mama
      Thanks for the comment! Glad you enjoy the post! Keep on following your son&girlfriend :-)

  7. I will continue reading to learn how this exciting adventure continues. Who knows if any other companies engage and sponsor your long trip. Hurrah Catalan and Flemish in the world.

    1. Hurraaa!!!!!!!!
      We keep in touch! thanks for following us!
      Mantenim el contacte!! (espero que li ensenyis a l'avia de tan en quan :-)

  8. Mireia quin viatge mes maco!!!! disfruta-ho molt

    Marta Mir

  9. Uooooo disfruteu!!!
    Gabi G

  10. mireee!!! canadaa??? que va pasar??

  11. Hello over there,
    On the 'Last location' we can see that you're in Springfield. Are you visiting friends at '742 Evergreen Terrace'. if so please say hello to Homer&Marge ;-)