With a 12:30pm departure today I took the opportunity to take in a long overdue sleep in. Checkout was 11am so I milked the time available to me for all it was worth. As noon rolled around, I hooked up with a new driver "Georges" and a new crew of 3 pommie lads, two New Yorkers in Jennifer and Stephanie and one Saffa, Tracey.

Once on the road we made a couple of quick stops at the Mont Royal lookout (which I have already visited once before with Mickey last year) and also a supermarket to pick up some lunch and or munchies for the somewhat brief drive ahead.

We pulled into the cute Mont-Tremblant ski village in the late afternoon and were given a bit of time to look around. I suppose as far as ski villages go, the layout here is pretty much similar to other villages like Whistler etc, but the colours and details on the buildings here give you the feeling that you're in a "Disney'esque" kind of place. It's kind of surreal – I'm sure I'll take some photos in the next couple of days that will explain what I'm getting at.

The HI-Mont-Tremblant which I'm staying at for the next few days is fantastic – definitely one of the best hostels I've been in so far. It's clean, has great facilities, plenty of free activities on offer and the staff are all really friendly and really relaxed. From almost the time we pulled in, checked in and got settled, the heavens opened up outside and we were treated to a torrential downpour.

"So with life jackets fastened and paddles in hand, Steph, Jenn and I headed off in the refreshing water to an unknown location on the other side of the lake."

It was discussed and decided that collectively the Moose Bus crew were going to chip in for the ingredients to make communal pizzas, but we were short a few ingredients. Georges suggested that a couple of us take the canoe to the other side of the nearby lake to the general store to take care of the stuff we still needed. Considering how hot and muggy it was, I had no problems with doing such a thing in the rain and immediately volunteered. To my surprise, the NYC girls were also quick to jump at the opportunity. So with life jackets fastened and paddles in hand, Steph, Jenn and I headed off in the refreshing water to an unknown location on the other side of the lake. We really had no idea where we were going or what we were heading for, but it was just nice to be out in the fresh air and cool rain.

As it happened we found everything with no troubles – even the ingredients we were after! To fulfill my duties as trouble-maker, I made sure I tipped the canoe ever-so-accidentally on the girls while pushing off the bank on the return trip. Actually it was an accident... and everyone laughed about it so phew I got off lightly on that one. Back at the hostel jetty, we ditched the canoe and food stuffs and jumped in for a dip before heading in for the night. It's been a while since I've been able to swim freely in a large expanse of clean, clear water so I really enjoyed it.

The pizza making for dinner was definitely a success, it's amazing how much of an appetite you can develop swimming around in circles – ha! As has become the norm, we all hit the downstairs bar after dinner where we played cards and sampled some of the local beers. I eventually made it out to the large tepee which was erected out in the backyard of the hostel. Inside I found Dan (one of the Poms) chatting to Steph and Jenn. Turns out that they are leaving tomorrow, leaving me and Dan here all on our own, so we tried to convince them to change their schedule up and hang around for another couple of days. We were very persuasive (I thought), but unsuccessful in the end.

Oh well... time for bed!


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