We had the chance to see some dear faces at our huge welcome party on August 14, for which we were still a little jet-lagged and reverse culture-shocked. It was great to see you all! Thanks for showing us you care. Sniff.
During our stay, we soaked up as much Montreal as we could handle. We drank maple syrup from the can. We ate poutine by the bucket. We drank local micro-brewed beer by the pint. We put on our spandex and rode our fancy bikes on Mont-Royal. We stayed up way too late on several nights visiting with old friends. We didn’t get to see nearly enough of anyone, but we knew it would be a mad race from the moment we arrived till the moment we left. We packed in as much as possible, and possibly more than was reasonable. We’re officially pooped, and looking forward to getting our usual eight or nine hours of nightly rest to which we’ve become accustomed living on our bikes.
We visited our charity Cyclo Nord-Sud’s headquarters on Saint-Urbain and saw the new calendar, which features several of Lucie’s photos from our trip. We said hello to some of our sponsors and picked up much-needed spare parts to help us complete the last leg of the journey to Argentina. Thanks to Dumoulin Bicyclettes, Pignons sur Roues, Big Agnes, Mountain Equipment Co-op and Vélo Espresso for the gear!
Lucie’s sister’s wedding was magical, and it seems crazy now that we even considered missing it when we were weighing our options back in Bogota in June. The outdoor ceremony, which took place north of Montreal in the Laurentian mountains, was blessed by perfect weather. The wedding party stayed three days at a huge chalet, where we enjoyed the lake, the hot tub, the barbecue and each other. Lucie comes from a close-knit family of five children, and it was great to have the chance to catch up after almost a year. Marie-Claude, the bride, is eight months pregnant, and her youngest sister has a one-month old baby. We were privileged to stay with the bride and groom to-be for the two weeks leading up to the big day. Félicitations, Marie-Claude and David!
Some asked us if our pit-stop in Montreal would make it harder to get back on the bikes and continue with our quest. The short answer is no. I think we’ll fit into our cycling routine like a comfy old pair of jeans. We’re looking forward to days on the road and nights in the tent. If anything, our little visit to Canada will help us keep our momentum as we pedal ever southward.
Though not rested per se, we’re recharged, refurbished and ready to ride up boulder-strewn roads in the shade of glaciers above the clouds. The next step is the Peruvian Andes, which promises to be one of the most rugged and adventurous chapters of the voyage yet. We can’t wait!