Day 55: sight seeing and serendipity in Quebec 

A rest day in Quebec, August 17

We had gone to bed late, after return from a nice dinner out, and then a chat with our young host who had made rhubarb crisp.

Noah was 21, and well well beyond his years, as others had commented on warm showers. When he zipped into the driveway on his bike to greet us, his huge smile, and unaccented English was indeed a warm welcome.  Son of American parents, his dad is a marine biologist professor at the local university who did work, incidentally at UW Friday Harbor Lab. The mantle held urchins, sea stars, and pine cones.

After CEGEP, Quebec post highschool/precollege education program, Noah biked from Portland Oregon to El Salvador, short of his goal to return Chile, where his dad had a sabbatical when Noah was a kid. He was 19, solo, and on the road for 5 months. Now a mechanical engineering student now, Noah struck us a rather remarkable young human, with great parents. We felt at home.

So when the construction trucks started promptly at 7am, we were dismayed. We stuck our ear buds in, and went back to sleep.

In the morning we laid out the map of the Maritimes and with good Wi-Fi, attention, and sticky notes, we mapped out a good portion of the next two weeks. It feels good having little gems, like hosts and campground scenery, to look forward to.

Serendipity while traveling is among the top reasons I travel. That “right time right place” and “crossroads ” wonder. It could be a road sign with your middle name, a well timed shelter in a thunder storm, a selfie with similarly dressed strangers that later become hosts. It’s these that make the stories.

When I turned my phone on after crossing into Quebec city, I had two texts. One from Noah confirming our arrival.  The other from my cousin saying he was going to be in town for vacation, having figured out we’d be close from Facebook posts, asking to connect. What fun, especially since Bruce knows this area from having snow mobiled around it for a few years, and treated us to a favorite dinner. Thanks!

We explored this fabulous old French city with them.

The citadel guards impressed Irena, but we hardly impressed them.

And it is a bike trip, after all.


10 miles biking to and from our host to old Quebec on borrowed bikes, (of course they were Peugeots)

310 stairs up to the promenade of the governor, with my cousin Bruce and Sue

4 delicious maple macaroons

Cobblestones, flower boxes, and heaps of tourists

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