It may only be the beginning of October, but it looks as if a buzz is already building up for one future excitement - the pumpkins could be a clue...
I was happy to get back on the Trans Canada Trail which recommences from Edmundston..
Rain was forecast for the evening, so I was lucky to bump into (not literally!) local cyclist Gil Lisotte just outside St Jacques, who invited me home for tea and cake with his wife....
...and gave me some sound advice on places to stay overnight. Which is how I came to be staying warm and dry in this bijou hotel on a prime waterfront location in the Jardins de La Republique Provincial Park.
Just as well, as it started raining almost as soon as I had settled in, and carried on all night and into Sunday.
Sadly my camera temporarily gave up the ghost in the damp after this photo was taken the following morning, and as I have not yet worked out how to download photos from my mobile phone, images of my momentous entry into Quebec will have to wait until another day.
Paulo had sorted out some contacts for the horses and me to stay with, and in my sodden state I was glad to be able to dry out at the cosy home of Serge Grondin at Degelis. Serge and girlfriend Lise made me most welcome, and I joined the family for a very French introduction to Quebec in the evening - a delicious meat fondue with a bottle of wine.
Serge and Lise form bookends in the photo, with Lise's father, daughter Alexandra and boyfriend in between.
Entering Quebec is like entering France, as everyone speaks French, and many people have limited if any English. Unfortunately as a result I am impelled to inflict my dreadful schoolgirl French on the poor Quebecois, but they are very understanding and are even sometimes nobly prepared to lie through their teeth and compliment me on my 'good French'!. If only.
About to cross the Temiscouata barrage on the morning of Monday 6th October.
This holds back the waters of Lake Temiscouata. and we spent a fabulous day following a glorious section of Trans Canada Trail along the lakeside to beyond the town of Temiscouata.
A beautiful autumn morning..
.....with mist rising off the lake..
The trail is well kept with picnic spots and even toilets, though they are sometimes boarded up.
I had a slight panic when we were faced with this blocked off section of the trail near Notre Dame du Lac where major drainage works were in progress -
As the only alternative route was the Trans Canada Highway it was a worrying moment, but luckily the nice young foreman took pity on me and let me lead the horses through one by one along the narrow side path - "just this once" though it is most unlikely I will be riding this way again!
A lovely spot to brew up a cuppa..
Another stunning lake view..
As dusk was falling, I found a safe grassy camp spot by a river just beyond Temiscouata town.
I had places to stay arranged for the next couple of days, Del's lameness issues seem to have been solved by Paul's trimming and shoeing, and things seemed to be looking up...