Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Friday July 31, 1998 - Quebec

Sainte-Luce - sunny and warm

I woke up very early and was out of bed by 6.30 am, but by the time I'd packed and had breakfast it was almost 8.30. Nothing got dried out since I was in the trees, but it was sunny all day so things dried out by evening.

I went into Quebec City and spent the morning walking around the old town at the base of the cliffs and then driving around the Citadel and the Plains of Abraham. I was expecting the Citadel to be a fortress but instead it is an old quarter of the city. Narrow winding streets with old stone buildings. In the old town below the streets are blocked to cars except for delivery trucks and they are chock-a-block full of tourist shops. In the old town above streets are open to vehicles (but only just barely!) and there are more ordinary shops and office buildings.

I took Yohan for a walk but it wore him out, he could barely make it back to the truck. After that we crossed the river and drove through old Levis, the town immediately across the St Laurence from Quebec City. When I used to live in Ottawa I frequently drove to Nova Scotia and just drove past Levis on the Trans-Canada, never actually going into the town.

Levis across the river
I left Levis and continued on the old highway (#132) through a bunch of small towns right on the river. Many craft places (artisanat), especially around St Jean Port Joli, where everybody seems to be a folk wood carver. I got back on the Trans-Canada and continued on that as far as Riviere-du-Loup. The Trans-Canada turns south here to go to New Brunswick but I got off to drive through the old town and then highway 132 past Rimouski as far as Sainte-Luce.

Along the St Laurence River

Old Quebec City reminds me of France and Levis reminds me of Lunenburg. The small towns I've been passing through are typically Quebecoise: huge churches, outside spiral staircases, curved roofs.

I am staying in a small private campground right next to the highway which is noisy with trucks. The campground owners are very friendly, they told me they have a son in Chilliwack who works at the Abbotsford Airport and is married to a girl from Langley. The husband speaks English and the wife only French. I'm not fluent in French but I'm getting more comfortable with it. I find myself thinking in French which is frustrating because my vocabulary is so limited. I can only think about the things I know the words for.

I walked from the campground through the woods down the hill to the town. It is along the riverside, a long curved bay with a beach and a promenade, a couple of bistros offering beer and fried clams. I bought some clams for my supper.

It gets dark by 9.30 pm now. I stopped writing to wash up and go to bed, only to discover that it was only 9.15. This is like when I started out on this trip, going to bed very early. It's good to get up early though, makes the day seem longer.

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