Posted by: Silver | May 18, 2012

Drummondville to Joliette

Drummondville to Sorel-Tracy:
Distance: 76 km
Ascent: 240 m
Cycling time: 4 hours, 50 minutes

Sorel-Tracy to Joliette:
Distance: 42 km
Ascent: 170 m
Cycling time: 4 hours, 40 minutes

Well now, here’s a problem I never thought I would have: my host in Sorel-Tracy was worried that my French was too good! Apparently, the emails I sent her were so perfectly spelled and grammatically accurate that she suspected I was using either a French-speaking friend or a very clever computer programme to write them, and feared that when I turned up in person, I wouldn’t actually be able to speak a word of the language myself! Having trained as a proof-reader in English, I guess those habits must have made the transition into French as well! I still find it very hard to believe that my undoubtedly idiosyncratic choice of words didn’t immediately betray me as a non-native speaker, but then again, as those of you who’ve been following this blog for a while have probably noticed, my choice of words in English can be a little ‘unusual’ sometimes too, so maybe I really can manage to sound like a true francophone… in writing, at least…! (Everyone has been very reassuring about the comprehensibility and attractiveness of my accent, but no-one has been so daft as to try and suggest that I sound even remotely like a native…)

And it’s certainly true that my French is still very far from perfect. I thought my host in Joliette had asked me if I’d ever tried kombucha. My confident assertion of “Non, jamais” (“no, never”) suddenly started to seem a lot less appropriate when it turned out that what she’d actually asked me was whether I would like to try some…! I’m very glad that we managed to sort out the amusing misunderstanding though, as the kombucha (a fermented drink that tastes a little bit like fizzy apple juice) was delicious!

And as it happens, this wasn’t my only new taste experience since the last blog entry. My Sorel-Tracy host’s partner was an expert in woodland plants, and he gave me the rare privilege of tasting a médéole root (well, technically a rhizome). A later web search revealed that the English name for this native plant is Indian cucumber root, although I have to confess, I thought it tasted rather more like a slightly sweet water chestnut. But then again, maybe the first white people to taste (and name) it had never eaten a water chestnut… Given how small the rhizome was, though, and how sparsely the plant grew, I felt particularly honoured to have been offered the opportunity to try it, whatever it was called. 🙂

Oh, and by the way – as of today, I have exactly six months left to go before my journey comes to an end!

This definitely seems to be a bit of a feature around here: tiny villages with huge, twin-spired churches! This one was in Yamaska, on the way to Sorel-Tracy

More bike paths! 🙂 Probably around half of my journey to Sorel-Tracy was along traffic-free paths or designated cycle routes along very quiet roads: I was a very happy girl 🙂

Here was another beautiful find during my woodland walk in Sorel-Tracy: a painted trillium

People sometimes ask me why I’m always carrying my camera around with me: it’s because you just never know when your host’s cat is going to line herself up perfectly for just a moment…



  1. Beautiful photos as always. I especially like the serendipitous one with the cat!

  2. Love reading all of your posts and wish you all the best. I am in Parksville for some R&R watching a program on SOS and thought again of you. I will donate again to this great program in honor of your efforts. Sherry from Kamloops

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