St-Denis-sur-Richlieu to Montreal - The Andersons at one - CycleBlaze

July 8, 1989

St-Denis-sur-Richlieu to Montreal

Well, this is another day in which we failed as journalists; and so here I am again filling in from memory four months later.  Fortunately, this was a pretty memorable day, the last full one of the tour, and there is a lot that I remember pretty well.  (One thing that I didn't remember is that this was our 1st anniversary.  You'd think I'd have remembered that, and how we celebrated; but no.)

Breakfast was a thoroughly pleasing experience.  Our hostess spoke virtually no English at all and the amount I have managed to acquire thus far of French only goes a very short distance.  Interpretation was the major issue of the morning.  Before going to bed last night, I had labored for a while over a than you note, in whih I attempted to express what we were doing there and to extend our appreciation for her graciousness in an awkward situation.  I gave it to her at breakfast and it was very well received.  She seemed quite pleased and apparently had no difficulty understanding it.  For the remainder of breakfast we tried to learn about each other using our respective dictionaries.

After breakfast we started off on our last full day's ride, toward Montreal, about 60 miles away.  The first ten or so miles were south along the Richlieu, which we eventually crossed at one of the ferries which connect the shores at various points.  It is a beautiful river valley, very green and peaceful, dotted with villages and lovely churches.  I was really sorry when the time came to leave it and head west from it and toward the city.  When we finally left the river we were only a few miles north of Chambly, the town in which we arrived, soaked and muddy, on our first night out three weeks ago.  There has been a big transformation in the valley in the meantime.  It feels like summer now, with the corn waist high and the weather balmy.

I can't recall much about the rest of the day's ride, other than that we gradually picked up more traffic as we left the countryside and entered into the sprawl of Montreal.  It wasn't too bad though, really.  We managed to find a better route this time than we had on that first day; we were on minor roads nearly all the way into the city.  We didn't bike into Montreal itself - we stayed at a B&B in Longeuil, a major suburb on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence.  We planned to stay in the city so that we would have so far to go in the next city, but we had difficulty finding a reasonable place, since the Jazz Festival was taking place that weekend.  As it happed, we managed to find a better.  As it happened, we were very pleased with what we found.  It was a short walk from the metro stop and after stop, and after cleaning up up we took the train over to the city to spend the afternoon and evening exploring around.  We enjoyed ourselves, leisurely milling around listening to groups and grabbing a bite here and there.  It felt like just the right amount of city.

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Today's ride: 38 miles (61 km)
Total: 1,186 miles (1,909 km)

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