Parc National de la Pointe-Taillon to Dolbeau-Mistassini - Exploring the Route Verte in Quebec, Canada by Recumbent Tandem - CycleBlaze

August 14, 2010

Parc National de la Pointe-Taillon to Dolbeau-Mistassini

Had an enjoyable 16 km ride out of the Park following the lake. Beautiful birch forests.

Birch forests provide coolness and welcome shade in the heat.
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Riding the trail through the park.
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Took the private cyclist's ferry from Point Chevrette to Peribonka across Riviere Peribonka.

Le Peribonka shuttle boat for cyclists.
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Met 2 young cyclists from Sagenuay who were also riding around the lake.

These lads are avid cyclists, camping and riding around the lake. One of them had just gotten back from a 3 month European cycling holiday through Spain. He loved hills and his Trek 520 touring bike. This was one of many wonderful French/English conversations we have had with local people.
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At this point, we head inland along hwy. 169 (good paved cycle lane) and appreciate that the traffic is lighter here. After about 6 km we missed the arrow directing us to take a quieter side road - having missed the turn, a local cyclist noticed us and raced back to help us on our way. He spoke no English but was most helpful. This region of Quebec is almost exclusively French speaking. We had been warned that we would have trouble, but we find that the friendly hospitality of the locals overcomes this language barrier.

A yard full of cycling inspired creations propelled by the wind.
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After Sainte-Jeanne-d-Arc the route leaves the road and a separate paved cycling trail takes us to Dolbeau-Mistassini.

The Velo Haltes are useful for so many things, including stretching sore bodies.
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Entering Dolbeau is quite thrilling as it is famed for its spectacular rapids "Chutes" which are along the trail. The municipal camp ground located here at the rapids was our destination, but a local group of 200 cyclists who were doing an annual 3 day, supported tour around the lake had filled the campground. We were directed on to Camping St-Louis - a blast from the past.
Like other private campgrounds in Quebec, it is mostly occupied by trailers that are set up for the season. Semi olympic sized pool, petanque lanes, volleyball, horseshoes, restaurant, country music blaring on the loudspeakers were a few of the features of the park. Being a Saturday night made it ever more special as they were having a country and western dance later that evening. We felt a bit of culture shock having come from the peace and quiet of the national park and cycling through the countryside. The tenting seemed poor value, set at the back of the park with little attempt to make it inviting. We felt the onset of another electrical storm and decided to rent a chalet instead at the campground for $40. This gave us all the comforts of home with some quirkiness thrown in.

A proud resident of le Bleuet region. Note the pie with 3 blueberries - legend has it that the blueberries are so big and amazing that only 3 berries are needed to make a pie!
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The sign says it all!
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Today's ride: 66 km (41 miles)
Total: 1,302 km (809 miles)

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