Monday, August 19, 2013

Day 59 - Trois Pistoles to St. Damase

WOW - La Belle Province!!!!!   What can I say - the province of Quebec has been KIND to us. VERY KIND indeed. We have had THREE glorious days in a row and the days before that were awesome as well.

It was a bit chilly last night and I almost had to zip up my sleeping bag, but did not. However I thought I might have to chip ice off my bike this morning when I got up!!!!   It was 9 degrees and there was a LOT of dew. While we were in a nice camp ground, the washrooms were FAR AWAY. Why is that?????   A lot of campground have ONE washroom or just a couple and then the campers have to trek all over the place. Since a lot of these places are full of RV campers who probably use their own washrooms in their RVs - they should put the washrooms close to the tenting area!!!!!   Anyway - it wasn't that bad and I just rode my bike to the washroom - no big deal!!!!

The sun was coming out as we ate breakfast and there was a noticeable difference between standing in the sun and standing in the shade. Neil and I left camp around 7:30 AM!!!!   We just couldn't wait to tackle the STEEP hill right outside the camp ground. Well it was short, but steep and offered no resistance to us. Oh my - how cocky we have become!!!!

We were back on highway 132 for most of the day. This has become MY FAVOURITE HIGHWAY - the shoulders are very decent, the road is practically flat all the way and the scenery is gorgeous. We are riding along the St. Laurence River and the scenery is just breath taking. I have taken pictures, but NONE of them will do justice to the view. It is spectacular. And the river is so wide at this point, yet we are MILES away from the end of the peninsula. YES - at one point today we crossed over into the Gaspe Peninsula.

I have to say that I am getting very lazy. I just let Neil take charge of that map and I didn't have to correct him at all today. There were a couple of twists and turns that I thought were NOT right, but NO - I was wrong and he was right. He got us through the roads, the bike paths with flying colours.

We did stop at a small bakery for our morning eats. Got a raisin cinnamon bun and a lemonade. It was a very flakey cinnamon bun so didn't last too long before I was hungry again!!!!!   Others stopped as well and had cheese sticks and croissants. All in all - I could love having that bakery close to my house!!!!!

Back on the road - so we do switch from the highway 132 to the local roads that wind through the towns. As a result, we had to climb out of a couple of towns with very steep hills, but nothing too bad. But the view from the local roads was way nicer than sticking to 132. Again, the villages are spread out along a simple street with houses on one or both sides of the road. Sometimes farms are mixed in and as we hit the Gaspe Peninsula - signs of the fishing were evident as well. I could so LIVE here. Some of the houses - so cute, so well maintained (OK - so I would have to hire a gardener or they would kick me out!!!), but it really is a small town way of life!!!!!   I just love the style of some of the houses - the detail on the older ones - just beautiful.

It was now time for lunch and we stopped at a lobster place. I must say that it looked like a tourist trap place - very tacky, but it wasn't that bad when we went inside. We had fish and chips and it was DELICIOUS. The best coleslaw I have ever had with fish and chips. It was to die for!!!!!   Also picked up something for M!!!!   Of course - it was small because I only have my bike bag to carry it in.

Then we were off. There were so many places that one could stop by the side of the road - artisans, little stores, but which ones do you choose?????  And what could we buy?????   So we stopped at none, although I did see one place that had carved herons that were gorgeous and if I were in a car, I would have stopped and looked more.

The temperature was the best. We had a cool breeze coming off the river that was almost a bit on the chilly side. I kept my vest on for most of the day. But the sky was blue - a few clouds here and there, but it was a glorious day and we had a tail wind for the majority of the day. Yep - another day where we saw the lower 30's on the speedometers. Yikes - this is getting cushy!!!!   Not having to work for all that speed.

BUT - at one point - we have to turn south to head towards New Brunswick. As much as I would love to revisit the Gaspe Peninsula completely ( was last there in 1979), it is a LONG way around and so we are heading south to New Brunswick. As soon as we turned off the wonderful 132, we hit a road with horrible shoulders and HILLS. There was a hill the moment we turned off. Then in the 10 K that it took to get to the camp ground, there were supposed to be 3 hills. Each of them were steep, however - there were more like FIVE or SIX STEEP hills  and each one seemed to get progressively steeper. And we had one treacherous downhill that was at least 13 percent grade with not so good road surface. Certainly used the brakes on that descent!!!!   We were warned that one of the hills would go on forever and oh yes - it did not disappoint. There would be a steep part, then while still climbing, the grade smoothed out, then you turned a corner and ooops - here we go again!!!!   And just when you think you are at the top - CRUD - there is another STEEP part - OK - I swore when I saw that last climb of that long hill. 

We arrived at camp around 3 PM. Loads of time to get the tent up in the sun and dry out, then walk MILES to the shower. Again - why are those darn showers so far away??????   I know - because the campers never shower so they don't care!!!!!

Sat around after that and ate - three apples and a piece of chocolate while we waited for dinner. Dinner was pretty much on time tonight (6 PM) which was awesome - thank you cook crew number 1. I am almost finished my book - I can't go to sleep tonight without finishing it - I need to know who the murderer is!!!!!!!

So at the camp ground today - it was Christmas!!!!   Yep - the RVs had their Christmas decorations out - including the big inflatables, Christmas trees and other sundry Christmas stuff. Santa paid a visit to the kids and a lot of festivity!!!!    Yes - the Quebecois know how to party and Christmas in the summer is a big deal at the camp sites!!!!!   We just got lucky it was today!

Now I have raved about Highway 132 and while for the most part it has been awesome, some parts were not. The worst is when you are trying to look at something and you hit a hole or bump in the road. We have been very lucky that we have not had any serious mishaps because of that. But so far so good.

Once that sun goes down - it cools off a LOT in camp. There is a bar and a restaurant in this camp ground and we are in the basement where it is warmer than outside, have excellent WiFi (I hope still) and a table to type on.

It is time to get to bed (8 PM - I know it is pathetic!!!!!) 

Have a good day!!!!!!!!!!!


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