Day 16 Tuesday May 14/13 Fredericton, New Brunswick 6122 kms

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May 16th 2013
Published: May 16th 2013
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Today was a real change in road conditions. Leaving Quebec City, we headed west to cross the St. Lawrence river via the Pierre LaPorte bridge (no metal bridge deck thank god) and onto the Trans Canada #20. The highway follows the south side of the St. Lawrence and offers breathtaking views of the north side of Quebec City and further as you travel along. We were blown away by the size of the river at times, its width 3 miles I would think. Across on the north side, we were offered patchwork views of small farmsteads in equally linear narrow plots, much the same as we saw on route 138 a couple of days ago. The Trans Canada heading east ends in Riviere du Loup, and it is here that we turned south onto TC #2 towards New Brunswick and Fredericton.

Just before riding out of Quebec, we exited the highway into a small town we read on a sign post called Saint-Louis-de-Ha!-Ha! after having a good giggle over the name. We discovered by chance a small cafe, the Cantine Choupi, a non-descript looking clapboard structure on the corner of two residential streets. It was the only restaurant we could find there! While I freshened up in the washroom, Ian managed to order French Toast, French Onion Soup and French Roast coffee, thanking them with Au Revoir. Oh dear. In actuality, we had the best homemade cream of broccoli soup and raspberry pie for dessert - that speaks volumes considering I am not a pie person. All this for a whopping $13.22. Great value, great service, great french!

The area boasted many factories du fromage, and dairies producing local butter. The landscape changed dramatically once we got into New Brunswick, gradually switching from rolling riverside green farmland pastures to tree covered hills and valleys. It quite simply looked like a fluffy, unending unlimited shades of green quilt wrapped around the highway. The highway reminded us of the Coquihalla, with very long uphills and very long downhills, and long bends. We played a game of cat and mouse most of the day with semis, who caught us on the downhills, but whom we left behind on the uphills. I imagine it would be a truckers nightmare just like the Coquihalla route.

Even though we were on the Trans Canada, it wasn't overly busy and the road conditions were excellent. The day was overcast and very cold, with temperatures ranging from 6 degrees to 9 degrees depending on what hilltop we were on! I wore two pairs of wool socks, and was still cold even though plugged in. We spent the day chasing blue skies in the distance, and eventually caught the sun at the end of the day where we were able to chase our shadows for half an hour before arriving at the hotel. We made good time, speeding along between 120 and 130 most of the time. It does tend to get tedious at times, because as much as you want to look around and enjoy the scenery, at those speeds concentration is a must (well it is all the time really), so your attention is primarily on riding rather than relaxing and enjoying longer glimpses of your surroundings. Driving into Fredericton was anticlimactic - in fact we didn't see the town at all. The GPS took us directly to the Ramada hotel, and we saw no sign of the city or its inhabitants and are left wondering where the population of 75,000 lives. There was no rush hour, no signage that we recall seeing into the city proper. This will be yet another city that perhaps one day we will come back to, but for this trip, we will be returning through New Brunswick via Saint John and the Bay of Fundy.


17th May 2013

This was the blog that I lost because of the receive/send problem, so I am delighted to have caught up with you. I mixed up my cities yesterday; it is in Monkton that the tide comes rushing into the Bay of Fundy, and the road feels as if it is going down when it is actually going up. Norma and I stayed there, in the gorgeous home of one of her friends. You have a hope of catching these strange experiences on the way back. I love your new map. Love from Mum

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