Saturday, July 23, 2011

Almost done with Quebec

Hello amigos, I am in Carleton. in about 60km, I will leave Quebec and start heading toward my goal : Newfoundland. Gaspésie has been a true révelation for me and I sure don't regret to have gone out of my way. I left Quebec on july 17, and for the next 2 days I had a trully wonderful time, making excellent progress in awesome conditions, sun, flat roads and tailwind. I had lots of intense moments, like when I reach the top of a little hill in the town of Kamouraska, and had a peek on the Saint Lawrence, I remember feeling so overwhelmed with emotion and I felt so happy I almost had tears running down my cheeks. Also, this town is a big climbing destination and seeing these cliffs on the seaside made me want to run to them and climb them. Instead, I stopped in an organic farm to resupply and I talk to a little boy who was in vacation there. Boy he was talkative for his age! He told me he would not help with the farm since he was on vacation, and vacation are made to rest, not to work! I showed him a map of Canada and gave him a little geography lesson. Some would say that I am ready to be father. Nay, gotta enjoy more freedom! After a few days of crazy average speed, the landscape changed and hindered my progress. First the foot hils of the Chic Chocs appeared, but the road stayed mostly flat, very close to the water. Then the hills became cliffs and for another 80km, the road was tucked between them and the water. Some signs were warning of the possibility of a wave snatching cars off the highway during storms. Then in Manche D'epée (Love this name!) there was no other possibility but to go up. And boy they don't like corners in Quebec, they go straight no matter what. The roads in Gaspésie have the craziest grade I've ever seen. Up to 12%. the hills are never long, butr they are so steep I had trouble going up with the gears I have. Sometimes I had to zig zag to be able to keep going. And then on the other side I could reach scary speeds. It went on for 100km, up, down, flat, and you start over. Hard on the legs, but I was holding up alright. I met other travellers who had to push their bike up these hills, must have taken so long! Every night I was able to find super nice campsites, and throughout Gaspésie I really enjoyed how friendly and hospitable people were. Gaspé was surprisingly small, Percé still has its big rock with the hole in it. After Percé, the roads became flats again and I finished the tour de Gaspésie pretty fast. Yesterday evening, I stopped at 8pm, the weather was very good, the light in the sunset was amazing and I only decided to pull over when it became too dark to see. Oh and also there is no bugs out here, which make things all the more enjoyable. The rest in French!
Take care all of you!

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