Monday, 23 June 2014

We reach the French Shore

Monday June 15th. Woke from a deep sleep to a rainy day, so I was glad it was not too far to Stephenville and I could delay my start. A drizzly afternoon ride through forest and across barrens, sometimes accompanied by a small coterie of mosquitoes.
 They may not often see a horse in the small community of Black Duck, but you can be sure that they had never seen anything like this fashion show before...
Me modelling my retro fisherman's rain gear and 'Chinese' hat  and Lady sporting gothic fly mask with matching bovver boots.
Horse owner and Stephenville vet Jessica Boyd had offered accommodation, and came with her truck and trailer to pick us up from the rail bed and take us to her home in Port aux Port.  Lady had cosy quarters in the garden with some of Jessica's horses on the other side of the fence for company - her appaloosa mare and Newfoundland pony mare with foal..
 Jessica treated me to an Atlantic salmon dinner at a local restaurant - an excellent choice as I love salmon!
 Breakfast with Jess the following morning at her marvellous local coffee shop - another really good choice!
My personal groom prepares my steed for me back at the rail bed on Tuesday...
 Approaching the trestle bridge at Stephenville Crossing.  This once used to have a lift section at the centre to let boats pass, but this was washed away in winter storms.  The bridge is now closed and we had to use the road bridge alongside.
Riding along a pretty alder bush lined section on the other side, I noticed an ATV had pulled in ahead.  It was Ralph Falls who had offered to accommodate Lady in St Georges further along the coast. He had come to meet me, together with friends Jessie and Claude Brewer.  Ralph opted to walk with me the rest of the way, and took me by a beautiful scenic route along the shoreline..
Lady had an enormous grassy field with sea view and access to a barn awaiting her in St Georges..
 ...while Jessie was adamant that I stay with her and Claude in their lovely house looking over their field to the bay.

 Jessie and her Newfoundland pony....
After supper and drinks with friends (including Ralph and wife, and great character June who used to live in Singapore so we had plenty to talk about) Jessie took me for a stunning sunset drive along the beach in their four seater ATV -
Almost in the driving seat.. I am usually dodging these on the rail bed - note the dog in the back.
 The end of a perfect day...

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