« Packup your bag, we're leaving in 30 minutes! » That's what we told the kids as they arrived home to dinner on an ordinary Wednesday in May. The RV rented for the week appeared at the same time in front of the house.
Before having children, I loved going on adventures very simply, in minimalist mode, and sleeping at unexpected places. You know, the real vanlife! With four children, it is not so simple anymore! The purchase of such a vehicle, with the price of gas, without forgetting the registration and the insurance (phew!), it will not be for now! This year, we preferred to rent one to live the experience before dreaming of more! I present to you our journey, if it can inspire some :)
DAY 1 – DEPARTURE
We hit the road at 1 p.m. in the direction of the Quebec City region. The children were very excited to discover the route on a map, using clues that we had planned.
FIRST NIGHT – 200 km
It was in Pont-Rouge, at one of my cousins, that we parked the beast for the night. Aperitif in the sun, children in the spa, homemade pizza by Claude… What more could you ask for? After supper, we took the path behind the house to get to the Jacques-Cartier promenade. We took advantage of the beautiful sunset light. In May, the water level is high and the flow is powerful – a natural show that impresses me every time. A small fire in a pit awaited us on our return to end the evening in style.
DAY 2 – DIRECTION SAGUENAY – 300 km
We made our first stop at the Musée du Fjord, in La Baie. The museum makes you discover the wonders of the fjord ecosystem. Accompanied by two passionate guides, we descended with a group on the bank at low tide. Children equipped with water boots and a shovel had the opportunity to discover species such as nereis, gammarus, softshell clam, and more! Afterwards, we headed inside to discover the permanent exhibition. Among these, our favorites were the aquatic species manipulation pool found in the fjord, and the NAVIS multimedia show, which plunges us into the heart of the Saguenay Fjord. The Musée du Fjord, a must in the region to discover, whatever the season!
After enjoying an impromptu aperitif at the quai de La Baie, it was at the very generous and welcoming friend of one of my cousins that we parked our RV for the night. We discovered his family land and its playful attractions with joy. The children surveyed the recesses of the forest, a magical moment.
Day 3 – DIRECTION SAINT-FÉLICIEN
We were expected at a cousin's in Saint-Félicien for supper and to spend the night. On our way, a guide from the Alma tourist information office advised us to make a stop to visit Cristal du Lac, an organisation helping families and kids discover minerals and prospecting. The children had a lot of fun collecting and identifying precious stones with a sieve in a waterfall provided for this purpose. I admit that at first, I doubted the quality of the activity. However, I was charmed to see the sparkles in the eyes of my three oldest as they identified their gemstones. Then, while continuing our journey, the children continued to observe their stones until they reached their destination. A good moment of tranquility for us! Hehe!
Arrived in Saint-Félicien at Cousin Anne-Marie's, the children were very happy to see each other again and to discover the place. It was around the fire at nightfall, after having swallowed without restraint a bag of marshmallows and a box of cookies that the children surprised us by improvising a show of jokes and Chinese shadows.
DAY 4 – SAINT-FÉLICIEN ZOO
It is simply a must! The bears… Aaaaaaaah! A beautiful synergy between fauna and flora, the facilities are beautiful, clean, the video presentation of the beginning is superb… everything is wow!
After our visit, we hit the road again towards the Pointe-Taillon National Park where we slept for two nights. Since 2021, the Camp-de-Touage-Les-Îles sector has been developed so that visitors, by motor home or trailer, have access to the beauties of the lake. It is also possible to sleep in a tent. The name "touage" refers to the activities of towing logs on Lac Saint-Jean that began in 1859.
The reception chalet and the amenities are impeccable. The layout of the family toilet is really very practical for showers with young children. We arrived just in time to see the spectacle of the sunset over Lac Saint-Jean.
DAY 5 – DISCOVERY OF POINTE-TAILLON
Bellies full of pancakes, we took a segment of the Véloroute des Bleuets (aka blueberry bike trail), which crosses directly the national park of Pointe-Taillon. Good to know, bike rental is free for children. As there were not many bikes available for adults, you had to arrive early.
The water level being very high, we could not see the beautiful sandy beaches that make Pointe-Taillon famous. We still greatly appreciated the tranquility of this park.
DAY 6 – GETTING BACK
Way too short!... But it's by the beautiful route 155 that we took the way back. We stopped in La Tuque for lunch at Chutes-de-la-Petite-Rivière-Bostonnais Park. Superb view of the falls and the mountains. Short hike accessible to all.
For next time
Hiking the Eucher à La Baie trail for a beautiful view of the fjord and the Ha! Ha! baie.
Visit of du Val-Jalbert historic village – it was not yet opened when we were there.
Visiting the Cave Park « Trou de la Fée » – also closed when we were there.
A stop at the Fromagerie Perron – seems to be a must in the region.
Microbreweries trail! We're keeping this one for our next visit just the 2 of us!
The Véloroute des Bleuets in full – we're putting it on our to-do list!
Meeting humainsWhat we remember from our journey is the welcome and sharing of people on our way!
Thanks to Claude and Brigitte for your warm welcome.
To Michel for the toaster! In Lyli for our exclusive visit to the Musée du Fjord.
To Julie for your generosity.
To Anne-Marie, Mathieu, Victor and Léo for the beautiful funny moments!
At Parc national de la Pointe-Taillon and at CanaDream™ for your trust.
To my boyfriend Simon for embarking on my beautiful follies! To all those who smiled at us :)