|Journal for 12-August-2004 : Plattsburg|
Finally ready to go. All that was missing was about 6hrs sleep.
JF lead us along the shores of the St Lawrence River past a bewildering selection of luxury homes eventually coming out next to the old canal which allowed boats (certainly not ships) past the Montreal Rapids. Great spot to stop for a photo, and one last look at a local public park.
Crossed the St Lawrence river on a narrow sidewalk cramped between thundering trucks on the narrow highway carriage and a flimsy rusting handrail. Parts of the surface seemed to be crumbling and some non trivial bits had collapsed into the river. That could be why there was a no bikes sign or pedestrians sign. It didn't seem to bother our guide though, who seemed quite bemused when I got off and walked a climbing section (it looked steeper than it was) where my vertigo (and lack of bike handling skills) got the better of me.
Road on the other side of the bridge pretty Quebec. Lots of traffic, cracks, poorly maintained and apart from the scenery, rather unpleasant. As soon as we passed the major highway crossing the road greatly improved. I asked why. “Oh, that awful bit was through the Indian Reserve.”
Lots of very nice cycling through southern Quebec farmland. We greatly impressed a local racing cyclist with our 27000km to date. He sprinted off ahead of us with just three pedal strokes.
Finally got rid of JF (he was expecting that!) at the US border, but it took nearly an hour to claim back a hideous thing called GST from a very reluctant customs agency/duty free shop. The problem all came about when we foolishly did not give a fake license plate number. It seems the Canadian government requires all non-Canadians to have a car registered in the USA, or failing that, a United States social security number.
Rain damped an otherwise super enjoyable days riding, but it was warm and humid, so not really any less enjoyable to ride through.
At one point I was trundling along thinking it was just us two again, and there was no pressing need to keep the power to keep our guide in sight. At that point Linda told me in no uncertain terms “there is no need to go slow on my account”!
<< Prev - Next >>