Setting out from Padoue village we made for the smaller coastal route along the St Lawrence on the 132 west (route of the navigators).
Canada has 2 official languages and most everything has both French and English, except interestingly in Quebec where labeling and signage is almost exclusively in French only. An example would be that in the 84 countries we have been to the signage for KFC or Kentucky Fried Chicken is the same everywhere, but here in Quebec it is PFK (Poulet Frit Kentuky).
We made a pit stop in the village of Kamouraska to check out the views. The tide is way out from the shore even this far up the river.
For lunch we stopped at one of the frequent chip shacks for some traditional poutine. It started to pour about 80 km from the city, but this lasted only about 20 min. We had stopped just before this to put on our rain jackets and so we did not do too badly.
Arriving to the city there was a 10 km long stop and go for a construction zone. This is when you have to be on the highway, but we managed to get off as soon as possible and go around after half an hour (and we were still 3 km from the actual issue). This took us to the Pont Quebec, which brought us directly to our hotel.
We arrived just after 3 pm and got sorted and then hopped the city bus #25 that goes directly into the old city. We spent the afternoon and evening walking the old town and enjoying some good food and wine. We know now why it is packed here as the international comedy festival is on. This is a beautiful old city with a very European feel. The Chateau Frontenac is a landmark on the waterfront. It is situated near the Citidel and the plains of Abraham. We hopped the bus back after dinner and had a great night sleep.
The hotel has a free shuttle to the city in the morning and we got on at 11. This dropped us right at the heart of the old town near the Chateau and we again spent the day enjoying the old town. Today though we spent time in the “lower town” and on the Rue de Petit Champlain. Then we walked up the stairs to the Plain of Abraham.
We did go on the free tour of the “parliament house”, which was pretty interesting.
Quebec heritage is French, English, Scottish and Irish and these crests reflect that.
They get to pick what genre their official portrait is done in and I guess this is “Inspector Cluseau” style?
We tour the Cathedral and then went for an early dinner for the very Quebecois Cipaille (meat pie). Then it was an early night for us and we were back on the shuttle at 6.
Today the weather is supposed to turn to rain by 2 pm and we decided to find a place not too far away. The ride is again on the secondary roads, but on the north side of the St. Lawrence on the 138 West. We headed out about 10 and got off the highway and onto the route de Roy.
Just before Trois-Riveres we turned off towards Shawinigan (Never thought I would evey be in SHAWINIGAN!) for lunch. The rain did start just after 2 when we stopped for a menu de jour (hearty pea soup, a huge entree, coffee, and dessert for 11$) and we were so full we needed a nap. Luckilu the Gite we booked was just another 25 km and we could check in at 3. Anyone who has ridden in Canada can appreciate the dreaded metal wobbly bridges!
The Gite was in the village of Grande-Piles. It really started to rain in earnest about 30 minutes later. Luckily we were too full to need to go out for dinner and we tucked into our room.
Today we have a biggish day 475 km to Rideau lake.
This means first we have to get past the Montreal traffic. Initially we stuck to the back roads thru the small villages until we made it south west to the 40.
We did have a bit of traffic jam to get past Montreal, but not as bad as we expected. You then hit the transCanada and continue onto Ottawa.
A reminder we are back in the first world!
From the border you get off onto the 7 south west to Smith Falls and then onto Lombardy. Sara’s brothers cottage is here on the big Rideau lake.
We had a few days here of R&R to visit with the family, play cards, and water ski.
First time up!
Ross showing off his moves
Now for the pro
A side trip to Adam’s lake house!
Today we are going just 194 km to Rice Lake and the Elmhirst resort.
We have been invited here by our friends Peter and Anne Elmhirst. We met them first at the sign for the National Park in Ushuaia in 2014 and then in St. Emillion France in 2015.
The voltage meter of the 650 has been reading 13.6-13.7 for the last few months, but today it was 13.2-13.4. This started about half way to Rice lake and just after it had started torrentially raining. When stopped it was 13.9 ( must be the regulator and not the stator). Stressful hour, but we managed to arrive to our destination. (My stator had died in 2015 on the way to see Anne and Peter in 2015 BTW).
We were warmly welcomed to their home and treated royally. We had some nice meals, great conversation, and exceptional wine!
For a treat today Peter took us on an hours flight over the region on one of his sea planes! Dan even got to fly the plane for much of it.
We then decided on a road trip to the Norman Hardie Winery for very good pizza and excellent CabSav.