Hubby and I are on the road again this week my friends. And this post is a trial run with my new iPad which I bought because my old iPad wouldn’t talk to my new blog format. Not powerful enough. This newer version is great. But. There’s always a ‘but’ isn’t there? It won’t fit into my old case with the Bluetooth keyboard. And they haven’t yet made a new case with a keyboard that fits the new iPad. So. I’m gritting my teeth and typing on the screen which is a pain. I’ve a feeling this might be a short post.
Anyway. Thursday. We hit the road early at 5:00 A.M.. The truck was packed to the rafters, well, if trucks had rafters it would be. Golf clubs, bikes, Hubby’s fishing equipment, suitcases, books, coolers filled with garden produce for our week at our timeshare condo, bottles of homemade pickles (Hubby’s) and jams (mine) which we’re taking to Mum. After countless bottles of Mum’s pickles and jams making the trip, over the years, from the farm to our little house on the Rideau, it’s time for payback.
The rain started before we hit Montreal, and it rained hard all the way up the St. Lawrence, past Quebec City, and pretty much until we drove into Baie-Saint-Paul where we were spending the night. Driving the highway in driving rain is no picnic, as I’m sure you know. Especially when one is virtually alone. When, like Hubby, one is unlucky enough to have a travelling companion who has trouble staying awake in a vehicle at the best of times. Let alone when lulled by the rhythmic swish, tock, swish, tock of windshield wipers. Ha. Poor Hubby.
So it was raining as we began our stroll through Baie-Saint-Paul. Historic Baie-Saint-Paul is a lovely little city on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence, and it has a thriving art scene. In fact, Cirque de Soleil originated here back in the eighties. But lovely as this town is, Hubby and I weren’t strolling aimlessly. I was on a mission. We were looking for two specific art galleries. I wanted to see the work of several Quebec artists I’d read about online.
I’ve been looking for just the right painting for a long time now. Years ago I was inspired by my friend Barb’s art collection; she and her husband Réjean have some lovely pieces, all by Quebec artists. And all of them depicting the iconic beauty of Quebec. Barb’s husband is from Lac Saint-Jean. And even though she was originally from the States, she loved Quebec. Every year when Hubby and I travel to our timeshare vacation on the Saguenay, we stop in Quebec City, or in Baie-Saint-Paul… and I look for just the right painting to make my own. I’m a notoriously slow shopper. Mostly it’s the deciding that scares me.
But this year Hubby and I left Galerie Guylaine Fournier elated. I had bought not one but two paintings by Quebec artist Christian Bergeron. I couldn’t leave either of them behind. One is of the fall colours in the Charlevoix region, and the other of summer. Ms. Fournier says they are in a style Bergeron has experimented with lately called “prismatic”… as if we are looking at the scene through a prism. See the vertical lines on the painting below? It’s that slight distortion which captivated me. That and the colours and the energy. Paintings which are too representational are like rhyming poetry to me, or prose which has too many adjectives. Too pretty, not rough-edged enough. If that makes any sense.
I must admit that I stressed once I’d paid for them. “What if I get home and hate them?” I wailed. Hubby just smiled and said, “You won’t.” And I think he’s right.
Later the rain stopped, and we had a wonderful dinner at Le Mouton Noir in Baie-Saint-Paul. A rustic riverside bistro with the best food we’ve had in ages. Our shared starter had smoked beets and duck and other yummy bits I can’t recall. Then we strolled through the quiet streets of the town to our B&B. Tomorrow we had hills to climb.
The hike up to Mont du Lac des Cygnes in Parc National du Grand Jardin was all uphill, as you might expect. About three hours round trip. We were glad we’d brought our hiking boots and poles. As I learned in Italy last year, hiking for a few hours in regular sneakers is murder on the feet. And downhill kills your knees and hips. All those rolling rocks and bi-ig steps down. It’s been a while since we’ve hiked such a steep trail. But it felt good to be moving, and breathing hard, and not sitting in the car. And the views were spectacular. As you can see.
So now we’re ensconced in our little condo in L’Anse-Saint-Jean, on a hill overlooking the Saguenay Fjord. Yesterday we biked. The hills reminded my thighs that I haven’t climbed hills like these on my bike in a while. Lots of reminders for various body parts these last couple of days. Reminders that the trails I normally bike and walk are not as challenging as they probably should be.
Today it’s raining, and we’re vegging a bit. Okay, a lot.
Tomorrow I’m pretty sure we’ll be back on the bikes, so today I’m drinking tea, and reading and blogging… while I can. Ha. Then in a few days we’ll be on the road again, off to New Brunswick.
Now. I must try to publish this post. The internet is iffy. I’ve moved from our condo to the lobby at reception. Keep your fingers crossed for me. If there are too many glaring errors, I know you’ll be forgiving.
À bientôt mes amis.