Day 17: Chambly to Montreal - Grampies' Grand Adventure Summer 2015 - CycleBlaze

July 19, 2015

Day 17: Chambly to Montreal

We woke up to booming thunder and rain, and the Weather Channel put up a 100% chance of that continuing for the morning. Since there would be no fun for the kids in travelling through a storm, we made a preliminary call to headquarters to arrange a rescue mission. But halfway through breakfast the sun started to peek out, so we phoned again and called off the troops. Our breakfast table was shared by two delightful men who were organisers of an antique car exposition going on adjacent to the fort. One said "Elles sont des jolies jeunes filles", and to Amelia "Comment tu t'appelle?" (What nice kids. What's your name?") Amelia just looked at him, so presently he said "Oh, elle ne parle pas Francais". With this, Amelia snapped: "Oui, je parle Francais, et mon nom est Peter!" Her pronunciation of Peter was properly French, as Peetur, though she did not think to say "Pierre". But why "Peter", well "Peter Parker", of course, the secret identity she shares with Spiderman! And obviously, that French immersion daycare is starting to pay off!

The breakfast at A La Claire Fontaine was really nice, with fruit cups and fruit covered waffles. It's not a breakfast like you would see in Germany, or France for that matter, where they have never heard of waffles. We are not complaining, of course, since the waffles were great. I just thought of Germany because one of the men asked for bread, and though they did come up with some, it was commercial sliced stuff. For crusty, seeded breakfast buns you just have to be in Germany or east of there.

Waffles and fruit at the B&B
Heart 1 Comment 0
A La Claire Fontaine B&B. The stone structure is 100 years old. An addition at the back was built by the proprietor, and amazingly he found the exact same matching stone.
Heart 0 Comment 0

"Downtown" Chambly was quiet this Sunday morning. None of the restaurants with outdoor terraces open before 11, and the rain had in any event chased away most boaters and even cyclists. So for a brief period we were left with the peaceful church bells (not that anyone much was actually attending the church). Before long we left the shore of the Chambly Basin and crossed a couple of busy streets. Busy or not, as we know, there is provision for bikes all the way in to Montreal.

In Chambly, only one watrer sport enthusiast was out. This is some kind of powered board that we noticed as the man blasted up into the air and balanced for a bit before crashing back into the water.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Quiet bike path in Chambly
Heart 0 Comment 0

We had arranged to meet Josh and Sabrina (and Joseph) in a park in Longueuil to hand over the kids and continue without them over the scary bridge. A few kms from the park however, Evee decided that she had had it. she began to cry for her Momma.We of course explained that we were heading to meet Momma, and that it would not be long. We pulled the kids out, watered them, offered snacks, and so on, but Evee saw through this - none of it was Momma!

This does not mean that there really is no substitute, at least in the short run. We know, because the park we had randomly chosen turned out to be almost a "destination" site. First off, there was a lake full of Cheerios loving carp, plus one large Koi. Then there was all manner of slides and playground equipment, and large areas of in ground and overhead water sprays. So we were actually playing reasonably happily when Momma actually did show up, Poppa too. And it was fact a big reunion. Three days (almost) is a long time to be away! (Plus, they brought a picnic).

Dodie and I continued on our own into Longueuil, craftily running the GPS to avoid any further screwups. We cast knowing eyes on spots were the signage was missing or deficient, and sailed on through. Now a little more aware of where my trailer extended to in terms of width, I faced off against cyclists descending the bridge at speed, with some confidence, and even wound my way through most of the barricades without stopping.

By now the temperature had reached 35, with strong sun and humidity. So we were quite beat by the time we reached Joshua's place, having logged a stellar 34 km. Oh,oh, we have only one more day to pick up our socks before setting out on 5000 European km!

Amelia and Evee see squirrels every day, since they are all over the Montreal area, but the photographer still thinks they are special!
Heart 0 Comment 0
Canada geese are special for Amelia and Evee
Heart 0 Comment 0
The Cheerios eating fish
Heart 0 Comment 0
Water park, helps when you miss your Momma
Heart 0 Comment 0
Lots of play equipment
Heart 0 Comment 0
Even more equipment
Heart 0 Comment 0
Climbing in fashion statement outside underwear
Heart 0 Comment 0
Momma, you came!
Heart 0 Comment 0
Feeding the fish.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Here is the "secret" way to Montreal, unless you can find the bike ferry. Only the GPS can reliably find this spot!
Heart 0 Comment 0

Post Mortems

We will no doubt make a page of statistics and summaries for this trip, but right now we have two short post mortems to report.


When asked if she had a good time, she replied "No". But in the detailed questionnaire she admitted that the bathtub, the fort (especially cooking there), the bike, and so forth were fine. I think though, for this time - at age 2 1/2 - we did run her 1/2 day too long away from Momma and Poppa.


I think the best times for me were two one on one experiences, one with Amelia and one with Evee. Amelia and I went to the pool at Auberge Harris, and it turned out to be too deep for her, except at the exit steps. So she jumped in and I caught her, then transported her to the steps. She would then climb out and race to the jump in point, while I swam back there. Then another gleeful jump, and repeat. Just as with Avi and Violet, I had to give up - but this was 50 jumps later. So a beautiful blond jumped into my arms 50 times. That could be a good definition of fun!

In the other experience, Evee let me colour in her exercise book. She carefully pulled out a felt marker and handed it to me, so I could make a line or two. Often she gave me an example of what a good line might be. Then she retrieved the marker, each time saying "Thank you", replaced it in the envelope, and selected a new one. Repeat - 50 times. Private art lessons with another blonde. Fun!

One other random comment for now - Fort Chambly. You might think that a representation of how things were in a place 300 years ago would engender thoughts of "Ooo, how crude, or inconvenient, or dirty." (This is Canada, mind, not Versailles). But the Fort brought back to mind for me miscellaneous things like sturdy wooden tables, maple wood smoke, solid stone buildings, brick oven bread, pea soup, wild rivers. These are all part of my image of Canada, from childhood. There is also the bang up job that Parks Canada did with the displays, and with the little services and treats for the kids. This is what I like to see "my government" doing, like before they got preoccupied with developing oil sands, or sending fighter planes to Syria, or cutting the CBC.


Dodie says the best part was having kids to hug. But she was also really gratified to see that the toys and treasures that she put into their bags worked out and were appreciated. These bags are really important for kid touring. They create a sort of baseline play activity or play area (any piece of table or floor) that offers both familiar and exciting new activities. New hotel room? Get out the play bags. Rest stop by a picnic table? Get out the play bag.


Well folks, that's about it for the Grand Adventure, except for Statistics to come later. But fear not, now is the time to switch over to Grampies Ride Again!. On Tuesday (that is, in one day) we will roll west on the Island of Montreal, heading for Trudeau Airport. Then it's a night flight to Brussels, and we will start cycling to Venice, and then back across France. It will surely start with Belgian Chocolate or Belgian Fries. Don't miss it! (so click HERE).

Today's ride: 34 km (21 miles)
Total: 263 km (163 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 1
Comment on this entry Comment 0