Montreal to Berthierville
Guest posting #2 from Team Twite (as edited and with additions by P and L): Breakfast at Restaurant Plaza McGill proved to be large, requiring a second table to accommodate some of Marius’ and Paul’s plates whilst they ate their way through the first course of a vat of oatmeal each. Unfortunately, the coffee wasn’t great, so we needed to stop elsewhere for a decent espresso before leaving Montreal along the riverside cycle track, where we enjoyed varied views of riverside parks, aquatic leisure facilities, and local industrial sites. Going along Île de Montreal we realized the extent of the Port. A plaque explained that the river had been rehabilitated by dredging a huge amount of sediment contaminated by the petrochemical industry. At Repentigny, we saw the Moulin Grenier which was built orginally in 1820. We stopped at a Harvey’s burger outlet to use the bathroom facilities, but declined to buy any of their famed hamburgers on the basis that they contained too much meat. However, whilst stopped we were pleased to have some Facetime with Maritia, Jade and Rhys, during which we learnt that they were also about to get onto their bicycles to cycle to Jade’s ballet lesson, which brought to mind all of them cycling in tutus. During the conversation, it also seemed to be agreed that Maritia would take Jade paragliding for her 18th birthday, as Jade had been fascinated by the paragliders during a recent daycare field trip to Grouse Mountain above Vancouver. After leaving the suburbs of Montreal, we joined the historic Chemin du Roy, the eighteenth-century French-built highway between Quebec and Montreal named after the French king Roy. We had a fantastic lunch together at a Boulangerie in L’Assomption, after which Team Twite and Team Gul-lie/Les-ly decided to travel separately during the afternoon as the tandem was crying out for a couple of hours of riding at its design speed (fast!). Lois and Paul took their time stopping at Saint Sulpice at a display celebrating its tricentenary in 2006 and seeing ice fishing huts sitting on the river bank ready for next winter. Despite the flat riverside cycling with pleasant views, everybody was glad to arrive at the beautiful Gite d’Oie Blanche in Berthierville, where a soak in an antique cast-iron lion-footed bath awaited. We were greeted warmly by our hosts with glasses of iced tea served in the garden. Later we walked into the town centre by the river. The Festival Tout pour la Musique was in full swing when we left.
This part of Quebec was colonized in the early 1700’s. we have not yet discovered which First Nation was here at that time.