Day 110 Montreal to Louiseville, Quebec: Le Chemin du Roy - The King's Road - Grampies on the Go - CycleBlaze

August 18, 2011

Day 110 Montreal to Louiseville, Quebec: Le Chemin du Roy - The King's Road

Last night's main agenda was a small birthday celebration for one of Josh and Sabrina's friends. We walked about 30 minutes through the downtown streets to reach "Juliette and Chocolate"

People come out on the streets at any and all hours. Many streets are closed to traffic or are too narrow to be of much interest to drivers
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Prices at "Juliette and Chocolate" are quite high, but their plates do look dramatic.

Jenn Quinn (family friend, downstairs neighbour) has brandy for flaming poured on her dessert
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Joshua's choice: Poires Belle Helene
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For us, this was also a night before setting off again indulgence. However, even in the morning, it is easy (too easy!) to have yummy treats.

Even grocery store raisin buns are super.
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Because of all the jollity, we did not actually set off very early. But we eventually did pedal away (with a hug for Amelia). Right at the base of Joshua and Sabrina's street we picked up Route Verte 5. This meant we were never exposed to traffic on our whole traverse of the Island of Montreal.

The Route Verte shepherded us through the tough traffic areas
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Here is a local trailer pulling user
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It's an industrial landscape
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More industry
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There are some historic houses
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But mostly the east island is boring
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We finally leave Montreal - it took us 7 days!
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We decided to follow the Route Verte, whether we understood why it took a particular twist or turn, or not

Route Verte signage starts out with encouraging clarity
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For some reason the Route heads off into the boring towns of Charlemagne, Repentigny, and l'Assomption.
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Booorrring! Plus we got lost when the signs disappeared into some construction.
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We now understand that the Route Verte is providing a bicycle version of the Chemin du Roy road route. The Chemin du Roy is right up our "alley" because we love special trails and routes. We later picked up the official map and explanation. This route was built in 1731 and linked Quebec City and Montreal at a time when only the river existed as a transport link. There are at least 30 towns along the way that the route passes through. In spots, highway 138 is more direct but not as scenic or historic. So in this case the Route Verte planners were not just looking for a safe way but also a historic way. At first we were put off by what looked like unnecessary wandering, but later decided that if we are tourists we should be touring.

We make it back to the river and route 138.
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The river!
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Still on 138 we encountered one of the fairly rare camping spots, Camping Marquis, near Lavaltrie. Beside the camping was a small restaurant, run by a husband and wife team. We had an excellent experience there. Their English and our French were equally weak, so we struggled together on communication. We handled the UQs in French. We decided to call them the "questions normals" or QNs. When asked for a menu, the owners told us what they had - something we now understand to be a "table d'hote" or fixed meal, although they also offered to make us anything else we might dream up. We went with the "table d'hote" and found it to be the best value for the dollar we have found on the trip so far.

The first camping spot (too soon for us) is called Camping Marquis. The adjoining restaurant served us a roast beef dinner with soup, beverage, and dessert for $7.50. It was yummy, plus the service from the husband/wife team was friendly and careful.
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The restaurant
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Real food
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Simple but good dessert
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Back on the road and back by the water we enjoyed the views.

A nice house by the water
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Then Dodie spotted a stuffed dog hitchhiking by the roadside. We braked to a halt and found that she was rather cruelly strapped to a pole.

Dodie found Trudy strapped to a pole
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We liberated this found (or "trouve") dog and named her "Trudy".

Trudy is ready to tour!
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With Trudy on board, we were again ready to go

A house near Lavaltrie
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Lavaltrie has a two spire church!
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Historic bread oven
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A house in Lanoraie
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A street in Lanoraie
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A boat boots it up river
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As we approached the many villages, I tuned up my expectations of what a village should have. First off, the houses need the proper shaped Quebec roof:

The proper roof is curved like this
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And the walls should be made of stone:

A proper wall and roof
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We did find a lot of typical and lovely houses. What we have not found so far is a village with some of the other requirements. Ok, with the main requirement - a bakery preferably using a wood fired oven. In fact, none of the villages seem to have a "historic downtown" where a bakery could be found. Actually, no small village so far has had any for sale services, other than in home hairdressers and the like.

A building converted to condos neat St. Viateur
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The church at St. Viateur
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A Route Verte rest stop in St Viateur
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A house outside Maskinonge
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We had identified a possible camping spot south of Louiseville by the water, but as we entered the town's outskirts we realized that our clock had run out and the sun would soon be down. We checked out the Normandie motel and found the price to be $69 including tax. We were able to get it for $60, which is probably only $30 more than what the camping might have been. They had a large locked garage which allowed us to stash the bikes securely and quickly.

A restaurant pretty much next door also had a "table d'hote". This time, $15 brought soup, then a large plate with chicken brochette, properly cooked cauliflower, turnip, and carrot, a salad, rice, and fries. Also included was coffee and a nice dessert. So our restaurant experience on this road has been very satisfactory.

We had a great time in Montreal, and did seriously consider going home after it. But now that we are back on the road we find the touring magic is also back. We will soon quit, and after writing this I will use the motel wifi to book our train and ferry. For now, though, Le Chemin du Roy is ours!

Oops, it's all over for another day.
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Today's ride: 117 km (73 miles)
Total: 6,448 km (4,004 miles)

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