Day 59: J’adore Quebec (Portneuf – Quebec City)

Rain or not, my heart purrs cycling lanes like this
Rain or not, my heart purrs cycling lanes like this

July 7, 2014

Let me recount the many reasons I love cycling in Quebec. Not a single person has honked at me or come much too close for comfort. Signs warning motorists about bicycles on the road and share the road signs abound when dedicated bicycle paths don’t exist. There are many bicycles on the road even in rural areas. Cycling is just a fact of life around here. And then everything is just so deliciously beautiful from the bustling cities with their old sectors to the pastoral farmlands and villages. The québécois probably found a way to discretely put wine in the water and air, which is why I’m so rosy eyed about this province. At the campground the other night the majority of people were sipping wine. How very French. Anyway, I’m so fully intoxicated with the last few days, I was hardly bothered by the endless rain today. I am cycling to Quebec City and will be meeting up with Mike there so what’s a little rain but a loving caress by Mother Nature herself?

I promised no more house pictures but I couldn't help myself. This was on a hill above the river.
I promised no more house pictures but I couldn’t help myself. This was on a hill above the river.

The language issue is working out relatively well. Besides a few people who turn away when I explain that I don’t speak French, I can usually get across what I need or respond to the questions asked. Typically that means they use broken English and I gesture a lot. Sometimes a language barrier is a blessing or much wished for. Take my conversation with the motel owner this morning. Last night I greatly appreciated his fluency in English but this morning I could have done with a little less. While trying to work through a blog post, he asked me about the trip and somehow we got onto my studies. Always a minefield, I got peppered with questions about my position on the right religion, a supreme being, Obama, the environment, Billy Graham, and so on. I’ve learnt to be fairly dodgy in these situations and avoid a heated debate whenever possible. Thankfully more of a monologue on his end, we made enough of a connection that he offered me a wonderful bowl of homemade soup. I’ll listen to anyone’s views for some good food.

A better view of strip farming seen from above.
A better view of strip farming seen from above.

Tomorrow begins another few days of rest in Quebec City before I start the last leg of my journey to the Atlantic Ocean. I’ve taken a rather leisurely pace since Ottawa so not in need of a break but I’m looking forward to spending time with Mike and exploring North America’s oldest walled city. Bring on the cobblestone streets.

Road Report:~80
The road has become increasingly hilly, which isn’t surprising considering that Quebec City is a fortress on a hill overlooking the St Lawrence. There are bound to be a few hills in the area. Nevertheless, most of the way is either quiet country roads or wide paved shoulders.

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