Trip days: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8-9 | 10-12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20
Somehow I was so comfortable in my tent this morning that I slept until 11:00am! What the hey!? Oh well. It was kind of a crummy day out anyways, oh yeah and it was saturday too, so what better reason to sleep in?
It was lightly drizzling when I rolled out of the tent at 11:00am. It was kind of nice actually, it made it feel more like home. I packed up and was checked out of the camp site by 11:45 and I followed highway 105, which runs parallel to trans-canada highway 2, up to the bridge that crossed the body of water between 2 and 105. On trans-canada highway 2 I made exceptionally good and hit the Quebec border in a jiff. As soon as the Bonjour! Quebec sign appeared the road went to hell in a handbasket. Nicely cracked, bumpy, and a generally irregular surface. It wasn't super harsh bumpy, just minorly uncomfortable. The rain continued and got a bit worse near Riviere-du-Loup.
Trans-canada highway 2 turned into trans-canada highway 20 at Riviere-du-Loup, and I followed it down to St. Pacome where I stopped to warm up a little and get a bite to eat. I thought it might be time for a hot meal as I didn't have one yesterday. Quebec is funny in the fact that unlike most of the rest of canada that has all it's signs in english and french, Quebec in its attempt to gain soviergnty has made everything, signs, instructions, menus in restaurants, in french only. The bikers I met on the ferry to PEI yesterday said that also all the schools are taught in french only. What a crazy place. Also, Quebec seems to have an overabundance of strip joints. I a 250 mile section of the province I saw four strip joints. They were all conveniently located next to or near gas stations. It makes perfect sense to me, fill up the tank, buy a map, get something to drink, and check out some strippers! What a combo. And, to top it all off I saw a semi-truck, heading the other direction on trans-canada highway 2, that had words the full width of bug guard on its hood that read "I gotta get me some of that". I'm not quite sure what the meaning was, but I can certainly take a wild guess. I guess the government didn't make it a requirement to write all sexual innuendos in french as well.
At the restaurant in St. Pacome the waitress didn't really speak any english and I, not knowing any french at all, fumbled my way through ordering a Hambourgouis Caruso with a side of Fries au Poutine and an pot of chamomile tasine. Now I know I ordered a hamburger of some sort, and frys with gravy (an atlantic provinces favorite), and chamomile tea, but I was suprised when my burger showed up under a pile of spaghetti sauce and my fries with gravy were topped with a large quantity of mozzarella chunks. Weird. The mozzarella was actually good with the fries and gravy, but the burger was a little funky with the sauce on top.
Back on trans-canada highway 20 ouest I zipped past Quebec City, which I didn't stop in at because it was still raining pretty good, and before I knew it I was entering Montreal. Instead of just taking the bypass around the eastern side of montreal and continuing on 20 I took the exit to centre-ville or downtown as us yanks call it. Unfortunately it started raining really hard so I didn't explore too much, but the city looked really cool. Off to the west loomed the olympic tower which was quite a structure to behold. I guess I knew that Montreal had an olympic games at some point, I just can't remember when.
I went through a few tunnels heading south towards downtown and as the rain got worse I decided to get back on 20 whenever I saw a sign for it. I did see some of downtown a few blocks over and I have to admit that the city has a really cool european flavor to it. Heading back onto highway 20 I got a glimpse of the residential area east of downtown and it looked extremely cool. The whole area was 3 or 4 story tall brick buildings with european sorts of facades, there was lots of green oak trees and such interspersed between the buildings, and very european looking churches loomed every few blocks. I really wish I had more time on this trip and knew someone in Montreal so I could kick back and explore the city.
Again on highway 20 oeust I bee-lined it to the Ontario border and english speaking people! Just across the border I found Glengarry Park that was on the shores of the body of water seperating eastern Ontario and New York. I setup camp, took a much needed shower, and am now lying here listening to periodic thunder booming up from somewhere in New York. It's still raining some, as it has been all day, and tomorrow I'm hoping to find a motorcycle shop open that will mount me a new rear tire. Not likely on a monday, but maybe things are different in canada...
Total Mileage for Day: 617
©2003 John Meloy <email@example.com>