Day 73. Thursday, 11th July. From Deschaillons-sur-Saint-Laurent to Quebec City

Awake early after a restless night. Dennis was pondering over our electrics problem and trying to work out what the problem was. Last night when we had set up camp, and thought all was well, we discovered it was not. I was cooking dinner and tried to get some water but the tap was dry. The pump wasn’t working. Then we realised the fridge was not going either, nor the fan or the internal light. Rude words were uttered. We thought everything was fixed, but now we have a worse problem.

Dennis tried but couldn’t fix things. It wasn’t what he thought it was. Another visit to an auto-electrician Is required. We had planned to go in to the centre of Quebec City and sightsee.

We decided to try and find an auto-electrician en route into the city, in one of the small villages on the way. We also needed to find a bank to have some cash to pay with, as funds were running low. We quickly found a bank, but it didn’t like my card. I haven’t had any problems anywhere in Canada using my card until now. But this is Quebec and, as Dennis said yesterday, it may as well be a different country. It feels just like being in France. The Bank Manager was charming and apologised but for some reason this bank does not accept Lloyds Bank cards. He directed me to another bank and here there was no problem at all.

We reached the city without finding anyone to resolve our electrical problem. The city is in the middle of a 2 week music festival. Very busy, and colourfully decorated with banners etc,, but parking within the old city walls was an absolute nightmare. We decided to find the tourist office to ask where we could park, to see if they could recommend an auto-electrician (not a question they would normally be asked!) and could they recommend campsites beyond Quebec City.

Navigating the city was not easy. We found ourselves in an area beside the Citadel where there  was a huge stage, in fact there were multiple stages around the city. Of course, there were roads blocked off and we could not go back the way we had come. An official directed us, through  scenes of preparation for the next event, to a car park. It was completely full, however. We passed a number of underground car parks, but they all have height restrictions, so we cant use them. 

Eventually we managed to find the tourist office and I went to ask the necessary questions. It was busy and they had a queuing system in place where you have to take a ticket and wait your turn – this must be another French idea as we have not come across this anywhere else, in a tourist office. When my turn came, it was a gentleman information officer and I thought this was a good sign, as he would know what an auto-electrician was. Big mistake. He didn’t have a clue. After ringing one company, who were an emergency domestic electrical company, I tried to explain to him in minute detail exactly what we needed and why. He then rang the equivalent of the Canadian AA and asked their advice. They said they would come out and see us and if they could not fix the problem, tow us to a garage. I explained again, we were not broken down. Finally, I managed to persuade him to Google ‘auto-electricians’ and he found someone near the centre of the city. 

This had taken well over half an hour and I thought Dennis would probably have been moved on by the police or parking wardens. He was still parked in the same place chatting away to a couple with local knowledge. They had telephoned a garage with a good auto-electrician they knew and made us an appointment for 3 pm. So my efforts were all in vain. We thought we would find this garage and then have lunch. The garage was in a leafy street so we pulled up under the trees and had lunch in the Land Rover.

The rest of the day, until 7.30pm, was spent in the garage while the auto-electrician tried to find the fault. I have to say electronics are a mystery to me and why it took so long and why things which were previously working, then failed to work, I cannot comprehend. However, we finished up with 2 switches not working, numerous blown fuses, wires everywhere and not much progress. I suspect this guy doesn’t really know what he’s doing! As it was so late the auto-electrician said we could camp in his parking place behind the garage, which we did. He needed to order 2 new switches which he could get by the morning. If we stayed overnight, in the morning he could finish the job. I do hope so.

The weather forecast had been for rain and it was a very overcast day with the odd small shower. However, once we had pitched the Caranex tent and settled down for the night, things went further downhill. Steady rain started. 

From what we have seen of the city it looks beautiful. I hope we will get the Landie sorted quickly in the morning and can go and have a proper look. 

2 Comments:

  1. The pic above (on the right) of the building with the lovely red roof and stone was one block east of Rue du Tresor (aka Aritist Alley where local artists would creat and sell all kinds of paintings, water colours, sketches, India ink drawings, etc. And if my memory serves me correctly there was a building 1 block SW also…that served as a home for “wayward girls’. Out tour guide at that time called it “a school for bad girls”. It was a privately run, religion bases facility to house cheap labour under the pretense of saving their souls.

    There is soooooo much to see in Quebec City you could easily be there a week and not touch to the surface of it all. And the history goes well back to the early 1600’s with buildings still in existence now, just not for their original purposes maybe 😉
    The old cobbled streets going from the lower city to the upper were all designed in a shallow diagonal lines up and down the hills, so horses were able to pull carts without having to struggle.

    The Citadel (aka La Citadelle) in Quebec city was where Britain, Canada, and the US began the plans for ‘Operation Overlord’ or D-day in 1943. yup, so much history and it’s such a beautiful area.

    Loving the write ups kids….doing a brilliant job, despite the electrical issues.

    • Hi Bill,

      Jen here for a change. Yes, you are right there is heaps to see in Quebec City and we barely scratched the surface.
      We were talking about it this morning and said we would like to come back another time and see more. We find visiting cities with a vehicle is not the ideal way of doing things. Maybe on a future trip to Canada we can fly in, get a centrally located hotel and stay for a few days. Having to worry about parking is such a hassle.

      Regarding the place of the meeting to D-Day, Lonely Planet has this being at the Hotel Frontenac. Having checked, Google says meetings took place at both the Chateau and the Citadel, so we were both right!

      The electrical issues are hopefully resolved now. Dennis spent all of last evening undoing the mess the supposed auto-electrician had made. What a pain.

      Regards to Susan too.
      Jen

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