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This way out of Québec is eastwards on what used to be the old Highway 138, passing through the suburb of Beauport.

It's obviously the street that was the inspiration for Frank Zappa's 200 Motels because there are probably about that many down here. I told you a while ago that I would point out to you where all of the budget motels are, and this, dear reader, is it.

It's definitely the place to stay if you have one eye on your wallet when you are visiting Québec. I've stayed here a couple of times, in a couple of different motels. As you know, I have to be careful about the money that I spend and I can say without fear of contradiction that when I consider what I have paid for my accommodation, I've been quite satisfied that I have had good value.

Another good reason for staying in Beauport is that there's something of a municipal bus service here. I'll talk about this a little later because I did check it out in 2012. Why this is important is because, if you have been a keen reader of these notes up to date, you'll realise that finidng a parking space in the city centre is nigh-on impossible. And when you do find a parking space, it costs an arm and a leg.

If you are going into the walled city for any purpose at all, taking your car is not a practical proposition.

I said that it's the way out of Quebec if you are travelling eastwards, and so of course it's the way in if you are travelling westwards. Simply leave the main highway at the Chutes de Montmorency and turn right at the bottom of the ramp, and there you are.

I came back here in November 2010 after my mega-drive around the Trans-Labrador Highway . The plan was to spend a day or so here for a look around and so I resolved to stay here the night in one of the motels along here and hit the town next morning.

However, the best-made plans of mice and men etc - you can see the weather that we were having back then. For the last couple of weeks I'd had some really gorgeous weather but as I'd driven back from down the St Lawrence, things had gradually deteriorated into a driving rainstorm and as I climbed up over Cap Tourmente I found myself in the middle of a snowstorm.

motel aigle or beauport quebec canada november novembre 2010

I duly found a motel and installed myself here, quite comfortably and with no complaints. But as the night wore on, the weather broke completely and there was a howling gale and rain the like of which I hadn't seen for ages and ages.

The next morning, I could hardly see a thing in front of me and the idea of going for a walk around the walled city was something that I needed to think about very seriously.

In the end, I abandoned the plan, had a quick shufty around and then headed off to Montreal. There's always another time.

beauport motel quebec beaupre coast st lawrence north shore canada avril april 2012 copyright free photo royalty free photo

That "another time" was in late April 2012 when I was passing through on my way along the North Shore of the St Lawrence.

I arrived here late one Saturday afternoon and you can see the difference in the weather that we were having then. Someone in a Service Station told me that the weather would hold up for a couple of days (and they were right too) and so it was a case of "Now Or Never"

The Beauport Motel received my custom and being on the economy package, what counts for me is the rapport between quality and price. Iin that respect I was certainly not disappointed.

Phil, the owner was extremely friendly, and it was he who filled me in about the bus service. Earlier that afternoon I'd been driving around the old city for the best part of an hour and a half looking for a parking place without very much success. I mentioned it to Phil and told him that I had every intention of seeing the city one way or another, and his response was
"why not leave your car here and take the bus to town tomorrow?"

There's a bus stop right across the road from the motel and the Route 53 (every 90 minutes on a Sunday morning unfortunately) passes right by on its way to the terminus in the centre of Beauport. From there, there's an express service right across the old city.

Never having been on a bus in North America, so that factor alone was quite an attraction. Furthermore, I was told that theThe cost of a ticket was a mere $3:00 and gave me 90 minutes of travel, including the right to change buses during that period. One place in the city where I had enquired about leaving the Dodge wanted $10:00 per hour, so being in and out and gone for a whole day for just $6:00 - bus affair had enormous possibilities.

07:45 or 09:15 were the options on a Sunday morning and so there I was, at 07:30 on a Sunday morning across the road from the motel at the bus stop.

bus route 53 beauport terminus quebec canada avril april 2012

Even more surprising than me being out of bed at that time on a Sunday was that the bus turned up at something resembling the appointed hour. I'm from the UK. I'm certinly not used to that.

The driver was very helpful, which made a pleasant change, and explained everything to me. When we arrived at the terminus, he pointed me in the direction of the stop for the 800 Express bus, and I was in business

To read more about my mega-ramble around the old city of Quebec, you need to turn to this page . But as an added incitement to use the buses, I couldn't remember whereabouts the Motel was and so I asked the driver to faites signe when he sees it. And sure enough, he dropped me off right outside.

It's not only motels that there are down along this road. Parked up right opposite the Motel was one of those dog and pup trailer set-ups - the type that I had photographed in Newfoundland in 2010 and if there had been any light I would have photographed this one too.

I didn't miss this object next morning though.

grader beauport quebec canada avril april 2012

Parked up along here at the side of the road in 2012 was a grader - the type that we had seen to profusion in our mammoth 2010 drive around the Trans-Labrador Highway. I had to stop and take a photo of that. .

It's for sale too and so I could have my own grader if I really wanted one. How about that? After all the fun that I had with encountering these out in Labrador I could have hours of endless fun back in France with this one. However it doesn't have any griffers on it and so it wouldn't be much good. If I'm going to have my own grader, it must have griffers on it

beauport motel quebec canada

I'll just say that when I returned to pick up the Dodge I was thoroughly whacked. I was in no fit state to move on and find a place to doss down at that time of night and so I booked myself in for another night.

That was definitely a good plan as it gave me an opportunity to stretch out and relax in a piping hot shower. I'm not as young as I used to be and I need more time to recover these days from physical exertions.

Keen followers of this rubbish will recall that back in 2002 I made a fatal mistake of booking myself into a motel in Cheyenne, Wyoming, in the dead of night and being kept awake by the constant movement of freight trains right outside my window.

train le massif du charlevoix quebec beaupre coast st lawrence north shore canada avril april 2012 copyright free photo royalty free photo

There's a railway line across the road from the Beauport Motel and while I did see one of those road-rail hybrid trucks driving along it back in 2010, the amount of rust on the track convinced me that I wasn't going to have any such issues here.

Accordingly, you could have knocked me down with a feather when I was jolted out of my reverie at some ungodly hour the next morning by this kind of thing going clattering past on the other side of the road.

train le massif du charlevoix quebec beaupre coast st lawrence north shore canada avril april 2012 copyright free photo royalty free photo

Yes, indeed, a train. And not just any old train either but a passenger train on its way to the Charlevoix, and isn't that something unusual to write home about?

I've done quite some research into this railway line because I first stumbled upon it back on my travels in 2010 when I was attracted by a sign announcing
"rehabilitacions les chemins de fer de l'interet locale du Québec"
"Bring back into service the branch lines of Québec", at the time when I was writing an article about the disappeared chemins de fer de l'interet locale, the narrow gauge railway system, otherwise known as the Tacot, or "rattletrap", in the Département of the Allier just up the road from where I live in France .

However, you'll have to wait for the appropriate moment for me to fill you in about this line.

And what else does Beauport have to offer the casual tourist such as Yours Truly?

Most importantly, there's a Salvation Army Charity Shop at the city end. I've bought quite a few good books in there but definitely the highlight has to be a small second-hand electric kettle. Here's me with a thermos flask and I'm noticing that coffee facilities are now much less common in motels than they used to be. My own jar of coffee and a kettle is a Godsend at times like this.

So having dealt with all of the preamble and set the scene, we need to rush for the bus..

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page last modified 18:20 - 29th December 2012
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