It’s Saturday evening here in a sparely populated stretch of Mont Carmel, Quebec. The past two days were not pretty, with my Covid basically fatiguing me to the point where I just needed to stay in bed mostly.
Quite the logistical quagmire what with having pre-booked my stays until two days from now. It’s meant riding to towns where there’s cab service and hoping for the best. I’ve been staying at AirBnb’s and small motels the past week.
This morning was a good example. I was at the Motel Express in Riviere-Verte, about 10 km north of Riviere-Du-Loup. The motel room was small but clean and next to a Tim’s. That’s where I bought my lunch and a chicken salad for dinner tonight, knowing I’d be back in the boonies far from cuisine.
After waiting a half hour for my food – the place was mobbed, being near a highway – I called the local taxi. For the second time in two days I was told I couldn’t get to where I needed to be from there. So I mounted my bike and rode into Riviere Du Loup, a beautiful small city, population 20,118, on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River. There’s a hospital here, and a really charming downtown section with privately owned shops and restaurants. Would have loved to stay longer.
As I sat on a park bench in that downtown section, a cab pulled up to the stop sign. It was empty and even had a bike rack on back! I jumped up and used my basic French to request a ride. The cabbie spoke pretty good English and we worked out a suitable route and fee.
He dropped me aout 55 km west, at highway 287. I was now about 20km north of my AirBnB. However the terrain was major ups and downs, windy, and I just didn’t have the leg power to make it all the way. I called the BnB owner, and he so nicely offered to come pick me up in Mont Carmel. Interesting guy: retired fire firefighter, truck driver, and working at a power plant.
Tomorrow he’ll drive me back to the main highway area. Then it’s a 60 km trek to my next BnB. Fingers crossed that I maintain my strength from this point on!