Bike Odyssey
North America 2004

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Journal for 29-July-2004 : Lac Rapide

Slept terribly last night. The ventilation in this room was terrible most of the time, and our room stuffy and hot. It had an air conditioner that generated more noise and heat than cool fresh air. Why not just open a window? Welded shut double glazing. I guess Canadian buildings are not designed with summer in mind. The resulting early start turned out to be good thing.

First 50ks of road absolutely terrible. A narrow (very) busy highway, with ice cracks. I made 4 terrible mistakes, and we had three near misses in the first hour, which is three more than we've had since leaving Whistler. These are New Zealand statistics, though in fairness to the Quebecer's one of those was mostly my fault. When I wasn't making blunders there were lots of “offs” and lots of generally dangerous driving, Once in the Park, the road widened up enormously, and thing became a lot safer and required a lot less concentration. Awfully rough to start with though, but after that the shoulder smoothed out. In fact, the riding was quite nice today, apart from the first 100km.

The local black flies made a feast of my legs at the entrance station to the La Varenerye Wildlife Reserve entrance station. My legs had spots and blood trails all over them.

The main park activities promoted at the entrance station are hunting and fishing. And there seems to be an extraordinary number of log trucks traveling in and out of this nature reserve too, though we saw no evidence of tree harvesting once inside park.

Another very popular activity here is Cannoeing. The park is a series of artificial interconnecting shallow lakes, and there are hundreds of kms of inviting canoe routes.

We stopped for lunch at Outauais camping area by the boat ramp. We were asked for directions to the toilets in French. I was quite impressed with myself that I understood this question (though the relevant body language is universal!), but in hindsight I realise I only recognised the one word, and common to French and English. But even though I understood the question, I still could do little more than shrug my shoulders and look dopey.

Felt comatosed at our afternoon apple break at Camatose campground. Lots of canoe tourists had paddled up at set up camp. Some had attractive nets full of poisson (fish).

Lac Rapide Campground delightfully placed among the trees next to a lake, pretty much like this entire route! Very expensive, especially as there was no drinking water and we had to buy some bottled stuff for tomorrow. I was able to work out from the schedule of fees that we'd managed to pay for two nights (the minimum stay), explaining the expense.

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