Friday, June 8, 2012

Canada 2012 –Day 4

In every life a little rain shall fall. Today it was our turn. It started around midnight, and Annie woke up and sat bold upright. Rain! Her old nemesis. It seems that she spent many a camping night in a cheap REI tent (anything under $500 is sure to leak), soaking wet and chilled to the bone, so the mere sound of rain brings all sorts of frightful memories. I tried to reassure her: Nothing is going to happen. We are protected by the best K-Mart has to offer (in an expansive moment I bought the $34 tent, rather than the $24 tent), and I am here to comfort you. I thought my soothing words had helped (I immediately fell back asleep), but it was a sunken-eye (but dry) Annie who the shining rays of the sun woke up.

We had a lazy start to give the outside of the tent time to dry, drink coffee, take a shower, cook breakfast, and finally get on the road. We pedaled back to Sherbrooke and from there on we followed the shore of the Saint Francis River (named after Saint Francis Xavier, the founder of the Jesuites). Like many other of our rides it was a combination of fabulous river and forest views, and a tour worthy of Best Homes and Gardens. I don’t know how Canadians do it! A month ago they were under heavy snow, and today their gardens are beautifully manicured, cut with nail clippers, and every flower on its place.

This time I tried to follow the schedule we established in the Camino de Santiago, so we stopped for our elevenses (but there was no wine, so we contented ourselves with a cup of coffee and some yummy bread). Lunch was slightly delayed because we stopped under a friendly roof for half an hour, to let a squall of rain go by. Eventually we did get lunch, at a Rotisserie, where I finally had a beer, and we both had very generous serving of chicken. Eating out is, in my humble opinion, more expensive here than back home, but the serving portions are enormous. Annie had a chicken salad that, after she and I ate our fill, will be most of dinner tonight.

We got back on the trail, to complete today’s 50 kilometer ride. (By the way, I think I need to revise yesterday’s trek to 55 kilometers, and the distance between Montreal and Magog to 150 kilometers, based on a sign I saw near Sherbrooke). Everything went well, and we were but 1 km from the campground, when we had to take a detour to go to the Maxi supermarket (today’s dish is a stir-fry, with all the left over veggies from Annie’s monster salad, and a thin stake we bought at the supermarket). No sooner had we reached the Maxi parking lot when it started raining dogs and cats. We did our shopping and waited and waited, and in a lull we made a mad dash for the camping ground. It was only one kilometer away, but on top of a steep hill, and we had to be on foot pushing our heavy bikes when . . . kazoom . . . another thunder shower sweeps through and dumps buckets of rain on us. Well, we made it to the camp, and in another lull we set up the tent, but Annie was on the brink on bolting on me, headed back for the shining sun of the Central Valley!  

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