Thursday, 20 November 2014

Routes tranquilles

My jolly Joly hostess...
..seeing to her horses next morning Thursday 30th Oct.  And she insisted on providing me with a packed lunch!
With the notable exception of the Trans Canada Trail officials, everyone in Quebec has been unfailingly kind and friendly, and that includes people I have met as I have been riding along.  Near Villeroy I got talking to this lovely couple...
The effervescent Lise Brideau invited me to sit and chat on the bench outside their little weekend cabin, which was Tardis-like in that their woodland 'garden' extended back for two kilometres,  not unusual for spacious Canada!   A retired hairdresser from Plessis, and in her sixties like me, since retirement Lise has cycled around 9000 kms (I think I have it right) in various parts of North America.  Her trusty steed was wheeled out for photos with mine, amid much hilarity!
I keep seeing these mystifying signs - is it an official restriction on singing Cole Porter without a municipal permit, a sort of Night and Day Anything Doesn't Go?...
..or is it a warning for door-to-door salesmen, as colporteur in my French dictionary appears to mean someone who flogs religious tracts and the like.
Thankfully the long fast road to my destination of Ste Francaise had a quiet sandy ATV track running parallel all the way..
Cristian Dubois was my busy host at another well-run equestrian centre, the Ecurie des Pins, so yet again no photo opportunities, added to which I crashed out almost immediately on a comfortable bed in the warm guest apartment he let me use.  Many thanks Cristian!
A dawn start on my penultimate day of riding, Friday October 31st although it is already 7.30am ..
I covered around 40 kilometres this day, though riding on the quiet level gravel roads which criss-cross this region meant easy going.
A classic autumn ploughing scene - this could be England..
Bernard Giles, the proprietor of La Ferme du Joual Vair where I was being hosted on my last night on the road, drove out to guide me in over his fields.  The ebullient Bernard, who speaks fluent English, has considerable experience of guiding mounted groups, having done so in the American West before running trail rides at the farm for many years.  So a riding holiday well worth considering for European visitors who would like to experience trail riding near Montreal. I was shown to a bedroom in their clean, warm and comfortable guest house where I had a welcome shower and cup of tea before sauntering over to the main house for a superb meal produced by Bernard's supercook partner Cecile .....

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