Saint Jean Port Joli to Rivière du Loup
Cycling though the Province of Quebec has been a revelation, not only because of the Route Verte bike path system, the very pretty towns, charming gites, amazing boulangeries and friendly people, but also in bringing home to us the long history of French settlement in Canada. All of the towns we have passed though were founded between the early to late 17th century, 100-150 years before the defeat of the French on the Plains of Abraham. The official website for the town of Saint-Jean-Port-Jolie recounts the famine of the spring of 1759, when the inhabitants were prevented from planting their crops by the invasion of British troops. As with neighbouring villages, the town was burned and its buildings and boats destroyed by the troops, as they made their way from Kamouraska to Quebec (City). Quebec’s motto, Je me souviens, takes on new meaning for us.
We stayed on the #132 most of the day, leaving it for a long detour around road works at one point and also to follow La Route des Doux Pays, a Route Verte 1 path along the shore of the St. Lawrence. We came up from the path at Kamouraska, where the St. Lawrence begins to look and smell more like the sea. We ate lunch in the Bistro Côté Est (grilled cheese with old cheddar and a side of apple jelly). It rained quite heavily while we were having lunch, but otherwise it was a mostly dry, partly sunny day. We watched the sun set over the St. Lawrence from our hotel room. We will be sad to leave this mighty river tomorrow when we turn south.
We are on the traditional territory of the Wolastoqiyik (Malecite) people.