Berthierville to Trois Rivières
The dejeuner at L’Oie Blanche was not petit! The first course was cheese with fruit, banana muffins and toast with homemade preserves; the second was rich yogurt with fresh berries; the third, quiche, and the last, a very rich chocolate fruit bread with cream and jam (see gallery picture), all accompanied by good, strong coffee. It was wonderful and we staggered out onto our bikes and on to our first stop, thankfully close by! The Temple des Cuthbert was built in 1786 and is the oldest Protestant church in Quebec. We sat on a bench in the gardens here and video-chatted with Chris and Shinyoung. We continued on the Route Verte 5, through Saint-Barthélemy, stopping at the Magasin Géneral Le Brun, an historic site dating back to 1803, and now a museum, gift shop and place for a second cup of coffee. From the road we could easily see the narrow fields and strips of land which resulted from the seigneurial system of tenure introduced into New France in 1627 and which continued until 1845. The next stop, Maskinongé, founded in 1700, was devastated by a tornado in 1991, but the church has been repaired and dominates the town. There is a “to scale” reconstruction of the fourth previous church, destroyed in 1915. In Louiseville, we were only able to see the outside of the Église Saint-Antoine-de-Padoue, dating only from 1917. We had lunch at a chip shop in Yamachiche, where we also had a video chat with Paul’s sister, Elizabeth, as well as Catherine and Nathaniel. After lunch, we sped on with a good tailwind, which, when we came along side the St. Lawrence, we realised was a strong on-shore breeze which had brought out many kite surfers at Pointe du Lac. We checked in to the lovely Gite Loiselle in old Trois Rivières, near the old Ursuline Convent, and L’eglise Saint James, which was built originally in 1754.
When Champlain arrived in the 17th c, this area was being used by the Algonquin and Abenaki First Nations. The closest First Nations community, which is Abenaki, is across the St. Lawrence River at Wôlinak.