Not even sure why tried in the first place. I’ve ALWAYS driven through Montreal on my way from Ottawa to Moncton, and it has never really been a problem – aside from a bit of slow traffic. But one of my colleagues suggested an alternative route, going north of Montreal and through Laval, via highway 50. I jumped at the opportunity to try something new, and Junkii, bless him, was game to try as well.
My colleague had told me that highway 50 was mostly all newly redone – which I took to mean that it had been expanded into a 4-lane highway.
When we left the 417 to head through a construction-afflicted Hawkesbury Ontario en route to the 50, we were shocked to find a lousy (if well-paved) two-lane highway at the other end. It turned what should have been a 5-hour trip from Ottawa to Montmagny (where we were to stay that first night) into a 7-hour slog (although, in fairness, that was partly due to the fact that we chose a really slow restaurant for dinner).
So much for saving time by avoiding traffic!!
What’s worse is that we didn’t even learn our lesson on the way back! Admittedly, we didn’t come back through Canada – choosing to drive through the US and make an overnight stay in North Conway New Hampshire part of our long weekend. But once we left NH, it would have been smartest to stick to the nearest interstate and head right up into Quebec as quickly as possible.
Instead, we stayed on two-lane roads throughout Vermont AND New York until we finally reached Cornwall.
The bad rain and the heavy truck traffic along those country roads meant it was an incredibly slow journey…so when the border guards called us out to make us stop and prove our purchases with receipts, we were far from impressed. Not only were we well within our purchase limit, but never have we given them any indication in the past that we’ve lied about our declarations. (ahem)
We figure they were just bored and needed to meet their quota. Either that or they just didn’t like the two gay guys passing though and decided to make an example of us. I like to think the best of people and trust it’s the former rather than the latter, but so long, Cornwall. We won’t be crossing your pathetic excuse for a bridge (just what are you using the tolls for, anyway? It’s clearly not the surface of the bridge) anytime soon.
Instead, we’ll stick to Montreal. Traffic might be bad, but at least the route is direct. Lesson learned.