Lac des plages · Montreal

Long Weekend, Sunday – The Lake

Jean-Marc with the kayaks he made

Sorry it took me so long to post this, my last installment of the weekend before. I still have to tell you about my adventures this weekend after that.

On Sunday morning, we awoke, had breakfast with Bernard and Renee, and wandered about the farm, where we discovered that Bernard makes his own kayaks. Strip by strip of wood glued together, months of work. So does Jean-Marc, J.’s other uncle, who lives at Lac des Plages.

Which is where we headed next. We drove through the hills again, swooping down and up and looping around until we reached the small dirt road off which Jean-Marc’s house and garage were. After a quick change, we wandered down the garden to the small inlet where his beautiful, hand-made kayaks lay. This picture on the right is one of them. Since I had never kayaked before, I sat with JM and his overgrown 1-year old puppy, Leo, in a large three-seater kayak he had specially made for him and his wife. It was called Le Gros Bertha.

So, off we went, with Leo rocking the bloody thing from side to side as he turned round and round in his spot, slipped under the hole to try and crawl out of JM’s so he could be in his lap, or spin around and leap at me to rest his head on my shoulder or lick my face. No number of “Assis” from JM could make him sit. Half an hour later, we reached the small island, where we pulled the vessels to shore, stripped down to our bathing suits and swam around like happy seals. The water was incredibly warm and the sun beat down splendidly. We had some apples in our bags, which we ate, as we sunned ourselves and watched Leo dart after the toy JM kept throwing in the water for him. It was really strange to get water in my mouth and not have it taste of sea-salt.

It was soon time to return, but J. did not want to get back in her kayak as it was too tipply. So she and A. got into the 3-seater, I got A’s kayak, and JM took J.’s kayak back. About 3 minutes into the rowing, I got the hang of it, and soon, I was flying across the lake, spinning the boat around, and absolutely thrilled with my circumstances: happy, school over, wooden oar, wooden kayak, breeze in hair, sun on face. Aaahhh.

After a lunch of sandwiches, JM showed us into his garage. Turns out, he not only builds kayaks, but an airplane as well. A real, life-sized one. He doesn’t know how he’s going to get it out of his garage. We wandered down to the beach and took a long nap. J. and I chanced another dip, but the sun was soon vanishing and it was getting chilly. We went back to JM’s, had coffee with him and his wife, thanked them profusely for this lovely day, and headed back to Montreal.

The next day was pouring rain. T. and I returned the car and then had bagels and lox and canolis for breakfast on rue St. Catherine before a bout of window shopping, a coffee with S., and a bit of a wander downtown. It was a treat for me, because I hadn’t been around there in a year, even though I’ve been to Montreal so often. What need to go when you’re in the Plateau? Nevertheless, it’s a fine place, and we scored some cool threads at Simons. I can’t believe I winter-shopped.

Now I’m home, and all I can think of is the sun and the breeze and the warm water.

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