July 14: Neuville to Cap-Saint-Ignace (~110km)

Bikely map

As Gavin had to leave early, and there was a gate that was kept closed between the hours of 11pm and 7am, he parked his car just ouside the gate. There not really being any parking spots outside, he parked on the grass. So at I-really-wanted-to-keep-sleeping a.m., I was called from my sleep to help with a push, as the grass had gotten rainy, dewey, and otherwise wet and slippery. Eventually failing in this, I went back to bed while Gavin dropped in on the owner to get an address/directions/etc. to pass along to the CAA for a tow.

Instead, the owner offered to pull him out himself, and the logistics of the tow led to a small argument that I could hear somewhat as I dowed back off to sleep. Needless to say, everything got sorted out, but I was a little concerned that heading into the campground building to e.g. order some breakfast would stir up some sort of residual awkwardness.

Of course, I headed in for breakfast anyway, but having gotten up, goten camp broken, etc. at about 10am, it turns out that I missed the window in which breakfast was served, and wasn’t really in a mood to wait until lunchtime, especially since I was near Quebec City, so I likely wouldn’t have to ride very far to find me a meal.

Naturally, assumptions like that invariably turn out to be wrong, and I didn’t really find somewhere to stop for a meal until I was in Quebec City, as it would appear that restaurants on a road running along a river, right near the oldest city in the country, well they tend to be fancy (and correspondingly expensive). It also didn’t help that I followed the Chemin du Roy when it branched off the highway onto some really scenic rural-type roads (I say rural-type because they ran pretty much to within 2-3km of the city itself; my poor Torontonian brain still has difficulty with the idea that you can get from the city to the countryside without having to endure some 20-50km of suburban riding). Of course, I completely failed to take any pictures of this area (though this failure still astonishes me; it was really quite pretty). Perhaps it was that I was distracted by the collection of relatively short, but very steep climbs (and by this, I mean easily over 10% grade).

After about 35km of riding (and light snacking), I pulled into Quebec City just in time for lunch, and dropped into a cafe for a croque (because one of the finer pleasures of cycle touring through Quebec is eating all manner of tasty, calorie-rich foods that might otherwise give you, or your cardiac rhythm, pause — I also made a habit for the rest of the province and a few days after, of adding a handful of cheese curds to my dinner each night) and some dessert (though I forget exactly what I had).

Descending through the old city towards the waterfront after lunch went almost disappointingly quickly, and I spent a good amount of time trying to find the ferry dock to get across the river and continue my ride. After a few times riding back and forth while I sorted out what words meant “ferry”, “cruise ship”, “party boat”, etc., I found the terminal and crossed over to the other side.

For the first few km on the south shore, the environment was relatively suburban, but La Route Verte held to a dedicated trail through parkland for this stretch, and things became rural quickly enough. When I had a chance, I snapped a shot back over the river of the city:

Continuing along, I stopped in a few small towns to replenish my food supplies, took a picture of the mountains peeking through the mist across the river:

as well as picture of some of the pastureland on the other side of the road:

While I was thrilled to have a leg where I was basically riding down a floodplain with moderate to strong tailwinds, the scenery did its bit to remind me that the East Coast, while not as mountainous as the West Coast, is still mountainous.

Shortly before pulling into a picnic area attached to a bird sanctuary to settle down for the night, I also tried to grab a couple of shots of the scenery as the sun was setting; I think the darkness stopped the camera from quite picking up on some of the colours but here they are anyway:

As a bonus, the picnic area also had a washroom building, so I didn’t have to wander down to the river to shave or wash my hands and face.

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