Thursday, 29 August 2013

Week 7 Clarence Creek to Saint-Felicite (830 km)

Bonjour tout le monde, je suis au Quebec! Whilst I've been franglais-ing my way along for the last week or so, I won't put you guys through it. Ok so this week I went around Montreal and through Quebec City, both places I've been to before and didn't really fancy hanging out in again with Dawreen. So I'm gonna skip over them and tell you about my favourite bits. There was a super nice stretch of riding between the two cities along the north side of the Saint Lawrence River, which combined with some hot humid weather meant early starts and afternoon siestas in leafy parks and "Halte Velo" along the roadsides. Usually with a baguette and some stinky cheese. When in Rome... The province as a whole is very bike friendly, with the best road surfaces and shoulders I've seen for this whole trip. I also had some of the strongest tailwinds so far, definitely owed after the horrific prairie crosswinds...30 km/h and barely pedalling... best kind of riding! I took the ferry across the river at Quebec City, still in crazy humid weather. I had just about managed to get my tent up that evening when a huge storm rolled in across the river and battered my tent in all directions until at least 2 am. Whilst I remained waterproof, I was not animal proof. I woke up to hear something snuffling in my food bag under the tent fly. Of all the animals I've encountered in this trip, I hate raccoons the most. They are crafty, not scared of you in the slightest and worst of all have little animal thumbs which gives them the power to get into pretty much anything, no matter how tightly closed you think it is. And they hang out in gangs, like delinquent teenagers on the local rec and wake you up at night with screeching hooting noises, which translate as "HEY YOU GUYS I found a defenceless cyclist and this one has peanut butter, lets make her stay awake till dawn defending it against our relentless attacks". Or something like that. I hate raccoons. Anyways, yelling at them doesn't work and throwing things works for a while until they realise you can't hurt them. The only thing I've found that really gets rid of them is to stay absolutely still, let them get really close, then let them have it with the deet. I have an industrial sized aerosol can of OFF just for this purpose. Muhaha who's laughing now stripy face. Anyways, the snuffling. Bloody raccoons again I thought, right I've got the can in my tent, just have to quietly open the zip then the first one to show its face gets it: when engaging raccoons in battle, you have to strike hard and fast and show no mercy. Hold on, there's just one? Thats weird, maybe it lost its gang in the storm. It's kinda small too..... wait that's not a raccoon it's a baby skunk!! Soooo cute!! Aww you lost your mamma in the storm?? Poor little guy. Wait, skunk. Skunk. SKUNK IN TENT!! GETRIDOFITBEFOREITGOESOFF. Ahhh the great outdoors, gotta love it. 

EDIT: don't worry animal lovers, deet in the face has no lasting effects, I've sprayed it at myself enough times

Clarence Creek to Saint Jerome - 119 km
Saint Jerome to Louiseville - 122 km
Louiseville to Deschambault-Grondine - 96 km
Deschambault-Grondine to Montmagny - 138 km
Montmagny to Saint-Andre - 106 km
Saint-Andre to Saint-Fabien - 102 km
Saint-Fabien to Saint-Felicite - 147 km

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