What a hilarious province Quebec is!
As always, when I finish a province, I like to look back and draw harsh conclusions about this province, based on about a week’s worth of experiences. I also like to think about what I’ve learned (or relearned) about travelling in general.
First, some thoughts on Quebec:
This is, hands down, the best province to cycle in that I’ve been to. There are wide shoulders, divided bike lanes, bike paths, and other wonderful things.
Because of these awesome bike paths, there are a lot of cyclists, both touring and speed. They are mostly quite pleasant. Some are not.
There are awesome rest stops in Quebec. They are frequent and offer water. And they have flush toilets. For real, that’s awesome.
I lived in the eastern townships for 4 years, so I’m familiar with the smell of manure. There is, however, a new and different smelling manure that I’ve discovered. It smells way worse and it’s everywhere. I hate it.
The number of churches in this provinces is staggering. Even in small towns, there’s a giant church. Most are older than Canada.
Quebec, let’s be cool and start flying some Canadian flags, shall we? I get that the Quebec flag is pretty awesome, what with the fleur-de-lis and the blue and everything, but could we at least fly a Canada flag next to these Quebec flags? I feel like the Canada flag is underrepresented, more so than in every other province.
There are a lot of three wheeled motorcycles in Quebec. Mostly the ones with two wheels in the front and one in the back. You know, the ones that are difficult to knock over and require far less skill to ride than a motorcycle, or bicycle, for that matter. They’re mostly driven by retirees, and other people you would not expect. And they’re everywhere.
You know how when someone has a cockney English accent, they’re super difficult to understand and you want to rip your ears out sometimes? Quebec French has the same thing. Especially in the outskirts of Montreal. I only pick up about every third word, and sometimes even that’s a stretch.
There are a lot of wineries, maple syrup producers, fromageries, and microbreweries here. This is a province with a solid base of priorities.
Quebec has a rich history. More so than the western provinces. It’s pretty cool to ride through a 350 year old town.
There’s a lot more smoking here than in previous provinces. This is not something I’m particularly fond of.
And now, some things I’ve learned (or relearned) about travelling in general:
Do a systems check every morning. Maybe throw one in there at noon too.
There’s nothing more mentally exhausting than a headwind. Or maybe a sidewind. No, definitely a headwind.
Ability to follow simple turn-by-turn directions should not be on the special skills section of my résumé.
It’s impossible to see everything.
Every time I pass into a new province. I can’t help but think, “another one bites the dust”.
My tent is awesome and it keeps me dry.