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Published: August 12th 2008
It certainly has been a wet one for this part of the country. Driving north through New Brunswick and into Quebec after our stay in Halifax, it was hard to miss the lush green pastures and lawns. Woods and fields were bursting at the seams with new growth and freshly baled hay was rotting everywhere we looked. Everything was waterlogged, including the spirits of the people we ran into who have spent the last couple of weeks vacationing anywhere in Ontario or east. Some areas have had the wettest summer in over one hundred years.
Yesterday, as we traveled through western New Brunswick under partly sunny skies, one store clerk mentioned,"This is the first sunny day we have had in over a month." Another family we chatted with just returned from a few rain-soaked days around the Cabot Trail. We were very happy we decided to stay in Halifax a couple of days rather than attempt a trip around the rest of Nova Scotia. We managed to see some of the sights, catch a couple of movies and get a little much needed work done on the bike (oil and filter change along with a new front tire). With the
Crazy guy with a toque tries to go for a swim
but is stopped by a lifeguard because the conditions are too dangerous!
number of kilometers we have put on the bike this summer, it was due for a little TLC.
We parked the bike at the motel in Halifax and jumped on the bus to get downtown. The Buskers' Festival was taking place at the Harbourfront which was great entertainment. Dozens of acts from all over combined with huge crowds wandering along the boardwalk. It was a great walking area that stretched from the Atlantic Casino at one end to Pier 21 at the other, the location where many immigrants in the past first entered the country. We managed to avoid most of the rain showers while we putted around the city. The neat thing about the downtown area is that there is a maze of pedestrian covered walkways that connect many of the buildings. It is possible to travel a long ways without going outside and getting soaked in the bad weather.
We also got to have a quick look at the Citadel, the main focus of the downtown area. The fort is located on a large green grass-covered hill that provides panoramic views of the harbour and city below. Along with various displays about the history of the
fort itself, there is also a great Maritime War Museum located in the main building of the fort, that has many interesting displays concerning the two world wars and conflicts that have occurred since that time.
Today, we rode from Grand Falls, New Brunswick to Quebec City. In many places along the way, the thick cloud cover brushed against the surface of the highway. It was cool and damp but at least it did not rain. We thought about riding along the east coast of New Brunswick as we headed north to a decision making Y in the road. As we looked north, all we saw was dark sky and storm clouds...to the west were puffy white clouds covering most of the sky. It was a no-brainer! We ended up coming back to Quebec along the same route we traveled last week. Once we were past Riviere du Loup, we moved away from the highway onto the old secondary road (#132) that hugs the St. Lawrence river. It was low enough that it got us out of the fog for the rest of the way.
Traveling along the old road is a lot more scenic than the highway.
We passed through many small towns, each with their huge Catholic church. In many places, the old road winds its way along the shore of the river, which provides great scenery, especially on a bike. Not much has changed in these towns over the years. St. Jean Port Joli, once a major center for wood carving, still has many shops but doesn't seem to be as vibrant as it was when I last visited over twenty years ago.
For the next few days, we are staying at my cousin's condo in Quebec City. He is not here but was nice enough to let us use the place while he is away on, Oh, by the way, it is thundering, lightning and raining outside as I write! You would think with all the saints in Quebec, they could manage to get rid of the bad weather for awhile.
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