Rimouski is a beautiful town at the beginning of the Gaspe Peninsula. We had several errands to run, including picking up our new bike shorts from the Rimouski station A post office. This was the first time we tried to use “Poste Restante” (General delivery) to receive a package, and it worked remarkably well. We also stocked up on some groceries and camping supplies, since Rimouski is our last large town until St. John’s, which is several weeks away.
The ride from the campsite to downtown was quite nice once we discovered the shoreline trail. There are beautiful bike and walking paths around Rimouski. One of the paths goes along the shoreline of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It became very clear by the smell and the lack of water that this area was tidal. With every deep breath I was reminded of my childhood and the smell of the sea.
I do wonder if I am beginning to feel the first pangs of homesickness. It is not unexpected as we have been travelling through a province where we don’t speak the language well and the culture is different than what we are accustomed to. I am looking forward to Newfoundland and being able to communicate with people more easily again. Physically however, I’m feeling quite well. Given we’ve been riding for 7 days I’m very happy how well my body is adjusting!
Communication continues to be our biggest challenge. Although we are comfortable enough with French for activities of daily living, it’s a challenge to learn anything about the person we’re talking to. I had a brief chat with some Boy Scouts from Quebec City who were interested in our bikes. It appears that Quetzel (s.p.?) is a synonym for recumbent in at least some parts of Quebec. We’ve seen a couple of them on the road – a long wheelbase recumbent similar to a Longbike. The most common question we get is “do you have a motor on that?”, to which our usual response is “seulment mes jambes” (only my legs). Fortunately the bike questions are fairly consistent, so we have a chance to think about our answers in advance of the next questioner.