Sam on his first day in France.

Sam on his first day in France.

So, we did end up going for our first ride. Jean-Pierre took me to his son’s place, who marked trails on a map for me. I am not allowed to ride on the 20km long beach near Arromanches until after 7:00 p.m. because of the tourists. Don’t they know I would go around them? 🙂

Instead we ride along the cliffs of the D-Day landing beach. What amazing scenery. Between the ocean view, the cliffs, the batteries with cannons and the many gites (farms) and small towns, which were built in the 1600-1700s, it is truly spectacular.

We didn’t go far on our first ride, only about 10km. Sam was full of energy and we are a great photo opportunity for the multitude of tourists that come to view this historical site on its 70th anniversary. I know my grandfather fought in World War II. I do not know if he was here at D-Day. I should find that out. It would be incredible if he was.

Sam and his companions.

Sam and his companions.

Sam is now used to his company of three miniature ponies and has settled in well. My French has improved enough to get the old hay removed from Sam’s paddock and obtain a new round bale for 30 euros (about $50 CDN). He had a bin of rain water, but didn’t care for it. He actually drank from a puddle on the road during our very short ride, so I obtained a big bucket from Jean-Pierre and filled with fresh water. We will ride again Thursday and Friday, exploring more of the countryside, then have Saturday off.

Now we are a few rides in and Sam isn’t sweating within a few kilometres of going along. The many tourists walking, and on bicycles provide an interesting experience…especially when they pop out of one of the bunkers we are riding past. The view is truly spectacular and when Sam calms down enough along the cliffs, I will take my camera to show you what we are seeing.

He is finally eating better after a week of being here. There are a lot of flies, but no mosquitos, which is simply lovely after being eaten alive every ride back home. The weather here has down poured rain and been boiling hot. The food is…French! Wonderful, most of it made locally here. From caramels, to bread, cheese, it is no wonder last time I was in France I gained weight.

Maryse and Jean-Pierre's backyard.

Maryse and Jean-Pierre’s backyard.

You can still donate to help fund us for this quest to represent Canada at the World Equestrian Games via my Go Fund Me account under Leanna Marchant. All donations are greatly appreciated as the costs continue to add up.

Just over two weeks now to race day and Sam looks and feels awesome! He is eating so hopefully will regain some of the weight he lost from the trip here.

Au revoir!