The less said about the start of the day, the better. We had an electrical issue. It could have been solved in a few minutes but 51/2 hours later, I told the mechanic/con man to come out and leave the vehicle. He had managed to restore some of the functions but could not get the water pump to work. After paying him an extortionate sum we left, very unhappy. It wasn’t till we drove up the road a few meters that we saw the garage we were meant to take it to.
Cecile and Lesley, two who were wandering the city, yesterday were intrigued by the route across Asia we had taken, stopped to chat. Cecile from Paris, was visiting Lesley. They were both entertainers and Cecile was keen to help solve our electrical problem by ringing a number of garages for us. They specifically said not to visit the garage we ended up at. The sat-nav took us right to the wrong garage door!!
A drive around Quebec city, inside the walls, was wonderful. It’s a marvellous city. Apparently the only walled city in North America. So typically French. We drove around the perimeter and across the Plains of Abraham and up onto the plateau at the top where General Wolf defeated General Montcalm in 1759.
James Cook was a naval navigator on that journey up the St Lawrence waterway. It has been said that the success of Wolf’s mission was due to Cook’s skills. You would have to wonder who actually won the war, when the victor is hardly represented today. A credit you might say, to the Brits for allowing the French to maintain the inhabitants lifestyle and traditions.
The Hotel Frontenac, built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1893 and reputedly the most photographed hotel in the world. Understandably and here it is.
McKenzie King, the Canadian Prime Minister, Franklyn Roosevelt and Winston Churchill are reputed to have planned the D-Day invasion from it.
We took the Ferry option to cross back to the southern side of the St Lawrence. It’s only a 10 minute ride and cost $8.50 but saved a lot of traffic congestion and time. Our journey east continues alongside the river on the Gaspe Peninsula
There is something completely different about the lifestyle of the French. I believe they have a far better balance than other western European countries, ours included. There is little evidence of strip malls that blight the countryside. The towns are intimate and community focused. I don’t think there is even a Canadian Tire outlet. Yes, McDonalds, Starbucks and Subway are present. Ooopps, yes, Canadian Tire are represented.
In order to buy some more fuses, insulation tape and shrink sleeves to complete the job the bloke in the garage couldn’t, we called into a Napa store, (like Repco in Australasia, or Halfords in the UK). The service and attitude was abysmal. We walked out.
Driving to the next town we repeated the visit to the same brand. Once the attendant realised we were not French speakers, he was not interested and passed us on to another person, who was also reluctant, but we got what we wanted and left. I suspect this anti foreigner attitude dates back to the 16 and 1700’s and the French domination of North America.
An aside to the electrical problem. He found the fault in the first couple minutes, an unattached earth lead from the previous work. I hadn’t seen it. A male thing huh! We should have packed up then. It took me a couple of hours this evening to trace the endless wires he had put in, and remove them. The pump was soon working again using the original switch!!