Thursday, June 19, 2014

Labelle to St Jovite en Velo

The cycling trail from Labelle to St. Jovite was more of what we had remembered from ten years ago. It was gently rolling and very flat in many places. It wasn't as easy as yesterday's paved trail, but I would trade crushed stone for pelting rain any day!! Although there was a lot of heavy cloud brooding over the trail, there were also promising patches of brilliant blue sky.

The first few kilometres in the morning were always the worst. Warming up stiff, sore muscles can be a challenge. My husband kept wondering why we were paying for this torture. Somehow he felt that we should have been subjects in a geriatric experiment, where we got paid!! Once up to speed, however, we could peddle along at a steady rate of 10 to 12 kms per hour - you are supposed to slow down on vacation aren't you :) Coasting downhill was the easiest and the rough "washboard" texture of the trail in places wasn't too bone shattering, because we did have the gorgeous scenery to ease the pain!!

For lunch, we stopped at an old watering hole near Mt Tremblant - an out door cafe swarming with "fellow" cyclists. Few were at the tables though, as most were waiting for the rest of their biking club to arrive. These people were tall, thin testaments to the virtues of the sport. Their bikes were delicate works of art and their costumes, brilliant T-shirts over black biking shorts, identified them as members of various elite teams. Compare this gathering to a group of tattooed, motorbikers and you have the yin and yang of life on two wheels. (Ed note: there were several women in these cycling groups who were well into their sixties.)

Lunch was a huge mug of cafe au lait and a sandwich on a baguette - delicious. We lounged for sometime on the patio, as the sun was peeking through the clouds more often and the day was beginning to warm up. Once more on our bikes, we were able to ride very comfortably on the newly paved surface of the trail from the village of Tremblant to St. Jovite. Our inn for the evening, Les Voyageurs, was right on the trail. It was a lovely old house with en suites in every room. All the renovations had been professionally done and the decor was Home and Gardens perfection. However, it was not licensed. We could, though, bring our own wine and beer (which we did) to drink on the patio. The wine we had packed in our suitcase, which was transported to the inn. The beer we picked up daily and packed in my husband's backpack. It made the cycling a little harder, but he claims that the struggle was worth every drop!!

Les Voyageurs

As Les Voyageurs is a B&B, it does not do dinner. We were given vouchers, though, to have a meal at a very popular Italian restaurant in town, about 2kms walk away. Well, yes, you could bike it, but walking for us was safer after dinner with wine and also after a long day of cycling :) Since we had already walked to St Jovite and back after our bike ride, another trip into town was not a problem and dinner was great, if not a little predictable and quite noisy!!

More tomorrow and how we circumvented the mountain :)

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