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It's been another one of those winters. It took ages to arrive, while we were all keyed up awaiting the worst, and when it did finally arrive it was the coldest winter that I have ever recorded. There was a great deal of talk among a group of us, all about holidays and as a result, in a fit of a midwinter depression, I took the plunge and arranged for myself an early-spring trip abroad.

No matter that I had plenty of work to do, and that the garden was at a crucial moment. I had made up my mind and I was going, and there would be only one place that I was likely to be going as well. I still had plenty of work to do for my project in Canada and in any case, I wanted to see some real sea ice. Ice floes, pack ice, field ice and maybe the odd iceberg or two - you never know.

I set out on the 24th of April and returned on the 31st of May. But why there will eventually be only 29 days-worth of travel recorded is that for a good week or so I was reposing in the bosom of my niece and her family in New Brunswick and that can hardly be described as a voyage. Family matters are hardly very interesting or exciting to the casual observer.

In another major departure from tradition, I've been merging accounts from other journeys together with the accounts from this journey. The reason for this is that one of the aims of this trip was to drive the full length, as far as it is possible to do so, along the Chemin du Roy, the earliest public highway in the Province of Québec, linking the city of Québec with Montreal, and also to drive along the full length of Highway 138 (with a few diversions), which in my humble - "huh?" ...ed - opinion is the most beautiful road in the whole wide world.

I've travelled along the odd lengths of these roads on several occasions in the past, in 2001, in 2010 and in 2011 and I probably will do so in the future, and so I thought that it might be a good idea to merge all of the pages together to give you some kind of continuous route

I've always said that the best time to travel anywhere for sightseeing purposes is in late winter or early spring. That's particularly true in temperate climates because the deciduous trees do not have their leaves and therefore you can see so much more. In Europe right now, the season is already late and the vegetation has already grown back. I've never been to Canada this early in the year and so I was intrigued to see what was happening over there.

Was I going to be lucky, or was I going to be disappointed? I was about to find out.

It was after this that I joined up with my trip from 2013. From here onwards, you need to follow

until those of us following the 2013 journey leave at Quebec, those on the 2011 journey turn off to cross the St Lawrence to the southern shore, and the rest of us from 2012 carry on along the northern shore towards our journey's end.

And if you become confused? Not a problem, because so am I.

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