Sunday, September 7, 2014

September 5, 2014. Sainte-Flavie to Causapscal, Quebec. 60 Miles

Why is it that we start every bike ride with a flat tire?  Diana found her tire flat right out of the trailer.

After the tire was fixed a nice man from Ontario (who speaks English) took our photo. (Left to right: Otis, Tom, me, Bill, Dianne, Fred, Doris, Stan, Diana, Barbara). We were on the road by 9 AM, as planned. There was a lot of traffic, including the parts of a wind turbine, passing us throughout the day. The larger loads had a pilot car with flashing lights and honking horns, sometimes even a police escort! So I just got off the road when they passed--not all of our group did that and I was worried for them. We had a long steep climb in the morning, probably the biggest climb of this trip. When we got to the top I looked back and saw that it had been an 8% grade!

Bill and Doris were stopped along the roadside with snacks, water, and support just outside the little town of Saint-Moise. There was a large church and a hockey rink, which is what we saw in every little town along the route.

We had lunch in a park in Sayabec, which was lovely. One of the best aspects of these "friends" tours is the picnic lunches and the camaraderie that accompanies them! Center photo below shows Otis, Tom, Barbara, Bill and Fred; the rest of us were at another picnic table.

After lunch the traffic got even worse, but we rode alongside Lac Metapedia, which was a beautiful route. On our right was fertile farmland and on our left the lake, for most of the rest of the day.

We arrived at Causapscal in the late afternoon. Bill was parked in town, loading bikes into the trailer to avoid riding the short steep hill up to Coulee Douce, our destination for the night. I chose to ride the hill, and didn't make it--I had to get off the bike when I could not make the sharp turn in the steep uphill. Not enough momentum!  The woman who checked us in at the Inn did not speak any English, but we managed to communicate enough to get the 10 of us registered. I'm very glad I brushed up on my high school French before coming here; it's not perfect, but I get by.

We had 2 little "chalets". Here is Doris on the front porch of the one we shared with Doris and Fred and Dianne and Diana. There were 2 bedrooms in each chalet, a pullout couch, a bathroom, and a kitchenette.

We had dinner at the main house of the Inn. The menu was French only and it was fun translating. Diana speaks some French too, and again we got by. The only word we both did not know was the one for shrimp! I had to tell the waitress that Barbara was gluten intolerant-- I told her "elle ne mange pas du pain" (she does not eat bread). It worked.

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