Day 5: Montmagny, QC- Kamouraska, QC (96km)


OK, take me seriously when I say this was the best stretch so far. 90km felt like 45km. The salty smell in the air was getting stronger and the sun was not too hot. Going on my second day without a shower, I felt cleaner and more refreshed than the day before.

Sneaking into that campground in Montmagny the night before was a super idea. The ground was soft and the whiskey put me into a deep sleep on the silky smooth and soft grass. It felt like I was staying at the “Hilton” of free camping. Not many bugs to worry about and I didn’t get rained on. I didn’t get to use my corn though, I had to lug the two pieces around with me for the whole day! boo…

Leaving on a positive note like this definitely helped me plow through the hills quite effortlessly.

I loaded up my trailer, brushed my teeth, and strolled on out, making a left onto the 132 which is now the old highway. Might I add, this stretch of road had almost no potholes, and although there wasn’t much of a siding, the lack of traffic made it more than safe. It was a beautiful road and the weather was superb once again.

It felt like from this point on drivers were much more cautious of cyclists and went into the opposite lane to pass if they were able too.

I did not make breakfast that morning, but instead cycled until I found a tiny cafe to eat. My phone had not been on for awhile and I figured this would be a good chance to charge it. There was an Antique store nearby. Lot’s of cool things I wanted to buy. Then I remembered I was cycling and hardly had room for a single beer in my trailer. Nevermind.

My GoPro was completely dead by the time I got to Kamouraska and there was no place to charge it. It just occurred to me on this day that you can only charge it if it’s plugged into a computer. At least this is the case with mine. After today I had could not use my GoPro for awhile.

60-70km down the road I stopped at the famous- La Pocatiere.

A county which hosts “one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world!” (www.myexplore.ca/en/where)  Unfourtunatley, I was there in the middle of the day and could not afford to stay here the night. Too bad.

I took the oppurtunity to relax here for awhile, check out the rocky beach below, and take in the amazing mountains (or hills) across the fast moving river.

It was apparent that this was a special place. An older woman named Julie approached me out of nowhere and started up a conversation. She had seen I was taking photos with my tripod, and was wondering where I had come from and where I was going.

She was a nice lady, who seemed to have a keen interest in what I was doing. Also surprised I was alone.

She had suggested I change my route to go up the mountains south of me, so I could get a view of the river basin below. I smiled and told her that it would be awesome to  bike up there but just not after 70km of riding! It would also pack on another 20km to go there, and then end in Kamouraska.

She wanted to me to see these mountains so badly, that she offered to take me up there in her car. Of course, I couldn’t pass this up!

Because she did not have a pick up truck, I had to leave the bulk of my gear behind including my bike. A risky choice just for a few photos.  I locked my bike and asked another lady to keep an eye on my trailer for 40 minutes or so. She gladly agreed to. Considering there were a bunch of older folks and no punks around, I felt ok leaving the trailer in her hands.

We headed for this specific mountain, part of it a ski hill, and with a name I cannot remember or find on the internet. It was about 10 minutes away from Julies hometown- St. Pacome. I felt honored that she took the time to show me this little jem of a village.

We went through the town and made it to the lookout. It was interesting to see the route at which I just travelled and where I was going for the rest of the day from someplace other than a digital map.

She said she feels obligated to tell people about this little lookout, as she is from this village, and it is not advertised in any brochures. I was the first random person she’d ever driven up there though. So maybe I’m not as crazy as I thought.

She drove me back about 40 minutes later after taking some photos. She passed me some cherries, and cheese before she left. I couldn’t believe the generosity towards me- a complete stranger.

Back on the road again I had many intense thoughts and feelings about the people I had met so far on the trip. The thoughts were obviously ignited from my recent encounter with Julie.  I could not imagine myself travelling this way or any way actually, in complete isolation of humans.

What would be the point really? Yes, I left by myself, but it is the fact I know there will be people along the road who are willing to share something. Whether it be a simple conversation, a story, a warning, a salutation, a bag of cherries, a meal and even a couch to sleep on. There are people waiting out there for you, who are just as curious about you as you are about them.  I don’t mean ‘you’ personally either.

It felt like a made it to Kamouraska pretty darn quick after I left left Julie in La Pocatiere. Scenery was looking pretty fantastic. I came around a corner of a farm and there it was … Kamouraska. It was on this rock which looked like it was put there randomly. Kind of funny I thought.  I had no idea what this town was going to be like, but since I was so far from any large city, I figured it would be pretty darn easy to find a place to sleep.

The first thing that caught my eye as soon as I got into the village was this bird below. I don’t know what kind it is, but it sure is different looking. Maybe someone knows what species it is?

I think it got hit by a car too. I got super close to it and it didn’t even move. But i saw dried up blood near the leg. He would move every once and awhile. I felt like doing something -like putting it out of it’s misery. The poor guy put me in a pretty gloomy mood and I knew it wasn’t feelin’ so hot either. I thought that would be the best thing to do “morally”. But I didn’t and cycled away pretending I saw nothing. I just couldn’t bring myself to doing it. Plus, he could have been attacked from a natural predator. Perfectly normal I guess.

Earlier in the summer, one of our customers mentioned he and his family had a cottage right in this very town. He told me months ago that I would have no problem finding and staying at their cottage. Well I definitely got my hopes up. He never messaged me for 2 weeks prior to my arrival here. But just so happened to “see my message” later that night. Says he was renting it out or something like that.

Anyway, I figured I’d try my luck at the local bar in hopes of snagging at least a lawn to sleep on legally. The bar, which was packed with staring old folks in nice sweaters, had unusually expensive beer and food. I knew I wouldn’t be hanging around much longer after this 9$ beer. This put me in an even worse mood. I know I wasn’t dressed up for the place, but I sat outside in the corner, and this was apparently the only place to grab a beer in town- hence the prices… so loosen up a bit!

It’s possible though that my mood at the time created a bit of a negative vibration in the place. Or I just wasn’t wanted there.

As the sun started sinking quickly I needed to make a decision. Do I stay in this town and search all over or do I leave the town (toward my next destination), In hope of finding somewhere to stay. I only had an 1.5-2 hours of light left. I decided to make some distance and stop at the next place I saw suitable.

All of the coast line for the next 3-4 km was either inhabited, too rocky, marshy, or inaccessible. The road veered away from the coast and I was getting worried as I became densly sandwiched between farms. (I like sleeping on beaches and in forests, not  a muddy farm-field with no element protection). The temperature became perfect and the view was just getting nicer. I could have biked for another 35km very easily.

Luckily though I came across some sort of building with a Jesus statue inside I think. It centered a graveyard with the tombstones and all. Almost biking by without even acknowledging it, I pulled off and made this my home for the night.

I walked in with my gear and situated myself under the best trees. Two that provided protection from the wind, provided some shielding if it rained, minimal roots on the ground, and enough cover from the semi-busy road.

I set up my stuff and got my stove cooking. Buttered pasta with herbs..mmm. I was not going to start a fire in the graveyard to cook my corn and risk blowing my cover! Those two pieces of corn will be sitting in my trailer again on route to Cabano, QC. I wanted to eat those so badly.

I walked around the graveyard trying to read the tombstone messages but no luck. I sat down at one of the picnic tables to eat and I was a bit shocked to find a pair of ripped female leopard panties. You all may laugh at me now, but when you’ve been alone for awhile on the road in a place you know nothing about-specifically the crime rate, you tend to think on the less optimistic side.

Sleeping in a graveyard is creepy enough but the fact I may now be sleeping in a potential crime scene, gave this night a comedic feel.

But I made it through the night with out any thoughts of the rapist. I was plenty occupied with my only visitors- the F*****G mosquitoes. Excuse my language. I drove myself insane slapping these buggers flying around my ears all night. The buzzing sound when their flying is outrageously annoying and frustrating- and when the sound stops you know they’ve landed on something, possibly your ear, eyelid, cheek or the outside of your sleeping bag. Either way you are still wide awake-adrenaline pumping- as you whisk them away hour after hour.

2 comments
  1. ben said:

    Excellent story so far, Mac. I’m really enjoying this. That bird is a morning dove, btw.

    • Mack Hops said:

      Thanks Ben, glad you posted. I can sleep now :P

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