63.9km, St Roch sur Richelieu – Louiseville

Up early the next day, through more fields of corn!Between a late start and headwinds most of the day, we didn’t get as far as we’d have liked. We decided it would be a good idea to reorganise our panniers and write down what was in each one, to save us from rooting around each time we wanted something, so that took quite a while and we didn’t hit the road until about 10am. The bikes handle much better though, no more wobbling at slow speeds, so it was definitely worth the effort to rebalance them and it’s also saved much hassle when looking for our kit!

We are learning about cycle touring, slowly, but we’re learning. Much of the scenery today was uneventful. None of the beautiful little towns we saw yesterday, although plenty of corn fields to look at, farm shops for yummy local corn, apples, peaches and other goodies and the roads remained in fairly good shape. We were glad for the good roads and fairly flat landscape as fatigue from yesterday and the winds made the going tough.

After taking a ferry from Sorel to the other side of the St. Lawrence, we continued along the 138. There was always a good shoulder on the road, even if the cars sometimes came a bit close, but really no camping sites until the latter half of the day. We’d picked up a free camping guide though at a tourist office in Sorel so we knew we’d have a place to stay in Louiseville, a busy little town not far from Trois Rivieres.

Once there we stopped and got some groceries for supper, and Andrew talked to a local guy about poutine — fries with gravy and cheese curds, a real Quebec treat. He was amazed we liked it and, in a very thick Quebec accent we’re hearing a lot of, said tourists often found it strange. He also asked if Andrew was from France (!) because of his accent.

Tonight we’re camping just outside the town, by a river. A bit chilly but not too bad. In a few more days, we’ll probably have cause to drag out a few more layers at night, although the days are still a very pleasant 20 degrees or so and it’s been sunny so far.

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