Posted by: Silver | May 28, 2012

Joliette to Shawinigan

Joliette to Trois Rivières:
Distance: 104 km
Ascent: 331 m
Cycling time: 5 hours, 55 minutes

Trois Rivières to Shawinigan:
Distance: 47 km
Ascent: 321 m
Cycling time: 3 hours

Giving over my life to this journey for SOS Children’s Villages has meant giving up a lot of choices: I only eat whatever anyone is kind enough to give me, I only sleep wherever anyone is kind enough to welcome me, and almost every waking hour is consumed by the work required to make the whole thing a success for the kids I’m trying to help. There are still a few choices that are left for me to make, though, such as: when the only free afternoon I have for over a week turns out to be beautifully warm and sunny, do I spend it exploring the city I happen to be in, and learning more about the local First Nations culture, or do I spend it shut up indoors in front of my computer, writing my blog?

I’m sorry this entry is a bit late.

It’s certainly been an eventful time since I last brought you all up to date though. On my way to Trois Rivières, I gave my first French television interview – just as the only brief rain shower of the day was starting. Great. So once again, I had the joy of being recorded for posterity in my oh-so-sexy bright yellow raincoat… I can only hope that my ‘charming’ accent made up for it. 😉 Then, very shortly after the cameras had left, the light rain decided to blossom into a full-blown thunderstorm. A Canadian thunderstorm, that is. Compared to the UK, Canadian weather generally seems to be somewhat more extreme, and its thunderstorms are certainly no exception: winds strong enough to bend the trunks of small trees, rain pelting down so hard you’d swear it was going to bounce all the way back to where it started, and ear-splitting thunder that seems to know just how much noise it has to make to be heard over the rest of the infernal racket. At that precise moment, however, I just so happened to be arriving at the one and only underpass of my entire route, so I simply pulled up under the middle of autoroute 40, hopped over the safety barrier, and stood there eating chocolate until the show was over. I almost felt like I was cheating. 😉

Face-à-face garden seats that rock back and forth on wheels seem to be something of a Quebec speciality: the basic wooden models are everywhere, but this was one of the fanciest I’ve seen so far

Half-close your eyes and it could almost be Cambridge! Thanks to my amazingly kind and welcoming hosts as well, I felt very much at home in Trois Rivières

Evening sunshine, as seen from my hosts’ back garden in Shawinigan

Do woodpeckers visit bird feeders in the UK? This young lady in Shawinigan was far too busy enjoying an abundant supper to mind me taking photos – if only she’d stayed still a bit more! In the end, this was the only shot that wasn’t blurred!

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