Day 46 – 24th August (Mont-Tremblant)

As an aside, some of you may have seen the news article below. This was the hotel we were staying at in Ottawa, and we were in total ignorance of both the photo and the theft.

BBC News – Iconic Winston Churchill photo vanishes from Canada hotel

Oh, well…..

To today, then. A very decent night’s kip in separate queen beds (romantic, I know) and awoke to grey skies, but temperatures in the high teens.

Down to the free breakfast (buffet only) which was chaos. No mugs for coffee, no dishes for cereal, no bread for toast, people milling about everywhere, disinterested staff. Managed eventually to cobble something together, but not a great experience. However, the weather had improved considerably.

Mont Tremblant is so-called after the first nation people who lived here and called it the Trembling Mountain, as they thought it was inhabited by a deity that made the mountain shiver when he got angry.

It’s been a ski resort since the 1960s as it’s the highest mountain in the Laurentians, but it’s only 875 metres (about 2,900 feet) above sea level.

This actual resort wot we are in (a pedestrian village) was built in 1991. Another analogy for it, apart from Poundbury and Portmeirion, is Toytown. It’s all a bit weird.

We started our day wandering towards the base station of the cable car (the Cabriolet) which takes one up to the higher reaches of the resort whilst standing in a large suspended bucket. After some dithering, we decided to go up – it was free, after all. Temperature had risen to about 25 degrees now and it was a lovely day.

Built of Lego…..
Me neither
Upper level
And again

We then daringly decided to go up in the main cable car to the very top of Mont Tremblant. It was a much longer ride than I was expecting and it wasn’t free. Apologies for the marks on the cab screen.

Once up there, it was a little cooler, around 21 degrees, but still very pleasant.

We headed for an observation tower, about half a mile away, which held the promise of some good views. We were not disappointed.

Observation platform
Toytown below
Like the cloud formation on this one

This is a centre also for hiking, but neither of us were up for that. There was a 2 kilometre circular walk which we thought we’d have a go at.

This was much tougher than I was expecting. It wasn’t long, but it was very steep and rocky in parts.

The biggest problem was going downhill. The arthritis in my knees now seems to be affecting my left hip, and it felt very uncomfortable indeed. Most of the work I’ve done over the last few months to mitigate the effects seems to have been undone, and it is thoroughly depressing to realise that, over time, this is not going to improve. It’s particularly galling as my cardiovascular fitness is fine. My mobility, however, is quite badly impaired. It was actually a relief to be able to go uphill on the way back.

Grabbed a welcome beer at a huge restaurant, then set off back down the mountain in the cable car.

Once down, we had a look around with the intention of a) finding a liquor store b) a restaurant to eat out at tonight. A) was established, but it was closed for a short while, so we (or to be more accurate, I) resolved to return later. B) was a lot more difficult, as there were so many to choose from. So we left it. Big mistake.

Some pictures from Toytown (Upper Level):

A chairlift up another flank of the mountain

We walked back down to the lower level so that Jean could buy an ice cream and we could both enjoy the sunshine.

Time came to see if the liquor store was now open, which was another excuse to use the Cabriolet. It was, so some essential supplies were purchased, including some gin. Mission accomplished. Except – no tonic.

Disaster was avoided by visiting the general store at the lower level. Jean was craving toast and Marmite (!), so bread was also bought (she already had the Marmite).

We took all this back to the room, gathered together an enormous pile of washing and took it to the guest laundry. These things are important, you know…..

Rewarded ourselves with toast and Marmite (Jean) and fizz (me) and sat on our balcony whilst the washing got done. Jean did have some fizz later….

View of the Cabriolet from our balcony

Then set out to find dinner. Given the number of restaurants around, one thought that this should be an easy task. Nope. Queues outside, 40 minute waits. Busy as hell. Now wished we’d tried to reserve a table somewhere.

Finally found a restaurant with a shorter queue further up the hill. We both ordered fish and chips, which when it came, was OK, but not brilliant. Now we know why the queue was short, but at least it was food.

Walked back down the hill with the remains of Jean’s beer and half a bottle of a Portuguese vinho verde, to find that the air-conditioning in the room was working, as promised yesterday. Result, as it was still pretty humid.

So…. we sat out on the balcony to finish said beer and wine, as you do. Well, we do anyway.

Now we know rather more about this place, we might venture further afield. Who knows? Not us at the moment. You’ll have to tune in tomorrow to find out.

2 responses to “Day 46 – 24th August (Mont-Tremblant)”

  1. sorry to hear about your knees and now gone to your hip
    Simon also has a bad knee and has mobility problems which like you stops us doing walks together although we also have good cv fitness
    its so depressing getting old
    my henry lives up church road in bow brickhill and getting up that hill makes me out of breath i have restricted lungs from years ago

    1. Hi, Adele – yes, this lack of mobility is hard to take.

      The hill up to Henry’s House is the steepest in Bedfordshire, so no surprise you’re knackered climbing it!

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