Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Quebec

After helping Seb and Kim as much as possible, we continued towards Montreal. First stop was Voyageur Park, 95 km, where we were allowed to pay $ 36 for the privilege of camping out, for the first time. This is before paying for the blood transfusions, necessary after being depleted by the mozzies of course. Next stop was Kirkland, where we were, as always, cordially received by Henry, Liesl and Bernard. They allowed us to stay an extra day, giving the legs a rest.
Next day Nelleke and Frits came to see us. It was a heartwarming reunion after all these years. Then we threaded our way across the St. Lawrence, via Nuns' Island and the ice bridge, along the islands and across bits of the Victoria bridge to Chambly. Some of the territory along the river was familiar from the 2003 trip with our sailboat Octopus I from Lake Ontario to North Sydney. Next was a pleasant ride along the Richelieu, first to Sorel and then a long ride to Chantilly.

Along the way we were required to transfer to a small bus to carry us across a river where a bridge was being repaired as it was deemed too dangerous to bike across. Looked pretty tame to us, as we have experienced much worse.






Velma (Richard's mom) friend Cathy and B
Yesterday we stopped in St. Antoine and today we had a short ride into Quebec, where we are staying with Richard's mother, Velma, and her visiting friend Cathy. Here too, we can stay an extra day to rest the legs. Thursday we continue North-East along the south shore of the St. Lawrence.







a few pictures from the charming city of Quebec


Friday, 8 July 2011

Ottawa!!

From Sudbury we biked to French River. Late in the afternoon an elderly (or so we thought) couple moved in next door. He moved around with a walker and we expected a quiet night. No such luck: at around eight pm the bedsprings next door started creaking in that familiar rhythm and at 4 am they went at it again. Age apparently does not stand in the way of lust.

On to Parry Sound the next day (94 km). Arrival there was facilitated by a wonderful highway (nr. 400) and a tailwind. Next day we wanted to continue on the same road but were intimidated by a sign prohibiting cyclists. A passing driver directed us around this obstacle, which was just as well as we would have never found our way around. Apparently the thinking is that narrow 2-lane country roads without shoulders (and many blind lane ways) are safer than 4-lane highways with wide shoulders.  Or is it that if your're run over on a country road nobody notices or cares?

Huntsville (91km with plenty short and steep hills) was next where we stayed with Alison and Don and their two wee ones. Then a short ride to the entrance of the Algonquin park. We had heard rumblings in the sky and just made it to the motel before the skies opened and the deluge began.

Whitney was next, after taking a picture of a moose cow and calf in the park and fixing Brigitte's flat and Allan and Loretta's cottage near Killaloe followed, where we celebrated Canada Day along with the neighbours. We had a long ride (131 km) next day, partly because I made a navigational error and late in the afternoon Nancy guided us into her and Dave's driveway near Galetta. We spent a restful day with them, partly on the Ottawa river, and rode on to Fresh Air Experience in Ottawa after having coffee with Birgit along the way. Fresh Air is going over the bikes, just to make sure they are in optimal condition for the rest of the trip. They will be ready tomorrow. Meanwhile we are helping (we hope) Sebas and Kim who have just moved into their new home in Bourget. We are painting, ripping up carpets, unloading boxes etc. By the middle of next week we are off again. Thusfar we have biked 4200 km including the 800 km training in B.C. St. John's appears another 1800 km away, as the crow flies.