Sunday, March 13, 2016

Le Petit Train de Nord - a cycling trip: Day 2

We all slept pretty well and got up to enjoy another very delicious meal at the B&B. We chatted a bit with the hosts, the husband spoke more English than his wife. Their heating costs alone for this building are pretty high. But they've done a lovely job of maintaining it and improving it for every room to have a bathroom. My bedroom was done in a Chinese theme.
My Chinese themed bedroom
I'm sure a bathroom wasn't the purpose of this room originally
We sat on the wide front veranda with our bags ready for pick-up, trying to digest our food a bit before taking off down the huge hill. A couple of cars were arriving, it was early Saturday morning and others would be staying here tonight who were spending their day cycling. 

We set off. Today we would be following La Riviere Rouge, the Red River. Every once in a while we'd either be alongside it, or crossing it on a bridge very high over the river. The views were spectacular.

Our path was still asphalt. Some of the trail would eventually be stone dust, but it was well packed and you could use a road bike on it if you wanted to. I was riding a hybrid. Nat and Chris were riding mountain bikes and Munch had a road bike but with a wider tire. Munch and I had decent-sized saddle bags. He had all those snacks to carry!

The weather in the fall can drop at night and be cooler when you start out in the mornings, warming up quite a bit during the day. I wanted to have enough layers and a bag to carry the extra layers in as the day got hotter.

Today we would be riding 58 km on the trail. It was a grey day with bits of sunshine here and there. It got very cold shortly after lunch and it really felt like it was going to pour rain, but we were very lucky, it didn't. There may have been a few threatening sprinkles, but no full rainstorm.
La Gare = duck fat!


Covered bridge view from our train bridge
We stopped at Labelle. There was a train station cafe and what looked like a small fair on. The townspeople were gathered. We managed to get a table for 4 on the wooden deck of the restaurant. I ate french fries cooked in duck fat. I cannot remember ever eating french fries that were soooo delicious. With that I had a grilled cheese with bacon, also cooked in duck fat. Now you see why there was no weight loss during this cycling trip!

Our B&B for the night was not on the path. However, the directions for finding it were not very good. We did manage to eventually after some backtracking and I would say that we probably rode an extra 10 km looking for the place.

Once we found it, the location was amazing. It was on the banks of La Riviere Rouge surrounded by tall pine trees. Even though it was September, we put on our bathing suits and waded into the sandy river. We were able to walk almost the full way across it.
Sandy, shallow Red River
Munch's wife was here to greet us. Tonight was their anniversary so it was a treat to have her company for the evening. 

The name of the B&B is A La Croisee des Chemins, website is:
Our straw house
The house was very interesting, made out of straw. There was a glass panel where we could look and see the interior of the wall. Our host was very gracious and kind. Our hostess was not so much. I thought maybe it was just my incorrect observation. However, once we were home and I was looking at reviews on TripAdvisor, I saw that she was routinely criticized for her lack of hospitality.

Dinner was lovely, the wine was flowing, and everyone enjoyed themselves. My room was interesting, the bathroom looked like it was a converted closet. It was a very comfortable room, comfy bed, and I was glad to have a private bathroom even thought it was small. 

Overview              Day 1             Day 3              Day 4

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