Today we got off to a later start than expected, and then changed time zones to boot. We had a long drive, but we also did some fun things.
The day started with breakfast at Mike’s in Riviere du Loup. The coffee was good, the service was efficient, and the food was excellent. Fivetified (because it was better than fortified) for the day, we started with a walk out onto the pier to look at the St Lawrence. It was breezy and chilly, but a beautiful day. The boats in the marina were all aground, sunk in the mudflat left when the tide went out. We could see it coming in and notice the difference even between our walk out to the end of the pier and then back again.
David wanted to check out Botanix, a garden centre in town, so we did that. He succumbed to some cacti and lithops (stone plants). I congratulated him on holding out until day 6, because on our western vacation he had bought his first plant on day 3. If that’s not progress, I don’t know what is.
On the way out of RIviere du Loup we stopped at two other garden centres. At the first one David found another succulent, and I found a pair of handknit socks. Then we headed out in earnest for Moncton.
Before we reached the Quebec-New Brunswick border, we saw a sign for a fromagerie. We’d seen several fromagerie signs on our trip, but this place was right on the frontage road to the Trans-Canada, so we took the exit and pulled up in front of Fromagerie le Detour. Aptly named.
Well, you know me. I like cheese. David likes cheese. We like to try new things, so we bought a couple of the local cheeses, including one called “Grey Owl”, which looked like it was coated in ashes. I’ve heard of this before with some soft cheeses. We also bought some real, unrefrigerated squeaky cheese curds, the like of which you cannot get in Ontario any more.
Julie, who coped very well with my long-unused high-school French, was so nice that Dr Fox wanted his picture taken with her. He’d never been in a fromagerie before, either.
We had some of the cheese curds when we stopped at the New Brunswick border, along with grapes and croissants. They were so yummy it was hard to save any for later!
Just after we got into New Brunswick, we saw signs for the New Brunswick Botanical Gardens. We stopped in and spent perhaps an hour there. The gardens are small, and there was not a lot in bloom, but it was well laid-out, easy to navigate, and interesting. They have an artist in residence, who may or may not be responsible for the vegetative sculptures – definitely not topiary – we saw at the entrance.
That’s Dr Fox riding the giant vegetation-feathered mallard.
Our last stop was at Hartland, where the world’s longest covered bridge – 1282 feet – is still in use. We drove through it to get to Hartland, and the Fire and Ice pub, where we had a couple of good burgers and left refreshed and refueled.
We made it to the hotel just after 9 p.m. Tomorrow, Magnetic Hill and Hopewell!