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Leaving the St Lawrence

August 17th, 2013 | Posted by Dino in Canada | Uncategorized

Day 57: Rimouski to Causapscal (123km)

I am glad that I had a rest day yesterday even though I spent most of the day wallowing in self pity. I looked out the window yesterday morning to see a monochrome world of hammering rain and battering (easterly) wind.

I only have 3 rest days between Montreal and Halifax on account of having booked my flight for the wrong day (oops). It seemed too early to take a day off. My legs felt fine. Outside: grey, cold rain and a gusting headwind. Inside: a Bed. White, fresh linen in a room all to myself. Grey rain versus bed. Bed won.

My rest days are usually awful. I am far happier on a bike. The day in Rimouski was a classic “rest day” filled with anxiety, fretting and homesickness. Why am I here? Why can’t I go home already?

On the advice of my mother I went out for dinner. The pizza, beer and chocolate cake cheered me up no end. Dining by oneself in a nice restaurant can sometimes feel odd. I am past caring. They had wifi at the restaurant so I entertained myself by googling extreme sports you’ve never heard of, and looking up info on how to train for an ironman distance triathlon. I ordered the pizza size the waitress told me was for “deux personnes” but I insisted and even managed to fit some chocolate cake in afterwards. A suitable diet for someone Googling triathlons, I’m sure.

Pizza and beer antidote to pathetic moping

Pizza and beer antidote to pathetic moping

This morning I was glad to leave Rimouski. The bike path along the river was beautiful as it hugged the side of the St Lawrence. I passed a number of poissonneries and the smell of the sea drifted off the waves. A huddle of gulls lay on the rusty rock their beaks nestled away from the wind, hiding under their own features. A line of coloured lounge chairs lined the bank, overlooking the grey sand. I saw an interpretation board which suggested curlew inhabit these shores but alas I did not see one. Shortly after cycling past a beautiful lighthouse I was met by a friendly cyclist, Andre. He provided good company and a running commentary for 10km.

Pointe-au-pere lighthouse

Pointe-au-pere lighthouse

A lemon-painted wooden house stood looking over the flueve. Is that land on the other side of the river or just an indigo smudge of cloud? Following the St Lawrence has provided some of the most beautiful cycling in Canada. I hope to return here again soon.

After 30km I said goodbye to the St Lawrence as I turned a sharp right inland towards Nouveau Brunswick. Straight away the road began to climb up, up and up. The landscape changed colour as I climbed into the forested interior. The wind pushed from behind me so I was spinning along fast. By lunch I had done nearly 80km. I was so sunny, the wind was behind me so I kept going past my intended campground.

I polished off the day with a beer and devoured a pack of crisps while watching a movie (a movie!!) inside my tent. Sunset came early so I was asleep by 9pm. So rock n roll.

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