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1 - 15 August 2011 16 - 31 August 2011

Monday August 1, 2011

Ouff!  Festival is over, now some rest and no music until 3 am!

Trying to fix the lights on Marc-Henri's trailer.  Lots of supervision but still not fixed!

We went for a bike ride to the 9th falls on the Mistassini river.  They have lots of bike path around the lake and some branches off like this one.

We have to bike 15 klicks to get to the falls but when we had only 4 km to go we got hit by rain.  It was OK because the rain was warm.
Nice falls and the water was warm.

On our way back, we made many stops to pick up blueberries.

Back at the car we could see some more bad weather coming our way.

A quiet evening at Monique's place, also a great meal, brook trouts.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Visiting the "Parc du Vieil Art" or "The Old Art Park" in St-Edmond-les-Plaines, close to Albanel.

Uncle Nicolas and Aunt Marie old farm, close to St-Edmond-les-Plaines.
Some photos of the homestead.

I have some fond memories of this place.  As a kid, I used to chase the chickens in this barn.

Off to St-Félicien to Gilbert and Margo's place for another big meal.
We take Aunt Marie's car to St-Félicien
.  She is 95 (not on the photo) and just got herself a new car and I got to drive it.
A short stop at the falls on our way.

A great meal at Gilbert and Margo, she is the one sitting at the end of the table.

WOW! Thank you so much for the good time and the great meal we had.

On our way home, we stopped for a small light and sound show in St-Félicien but some how the sound did not happen!

The last two weeks have been filled with so much fun and got to renew ties with uncles and aunts we had not seen in over 30 years, some over 40 years.  These two week have surpassed my hopes, you were beyond your reputation as very warm and welcoming people.  We felt like we just left last week!

Thank you so much and hopefully we will not wait another 30 years to come back!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Moving day again.  From Albanel to Alma.
Bye bye Monique and thank you so much for welcoming us like you did!

Some of the photos on our way to Alma.

Short stop at the "Géant du Motoriser" or the "Motorhome Giant" in St-Ambroise to change the propane regulator.  As you can see, this is not the first time they change some!

As I am looking for the campground, I miss a turn because I did not listen to the GPS.
So of come the car from the motorhome, right in front of RioTinto/Alcan in Alma and turn around.
To my defense, the GPS was confused also!

When ever we tow the car behind the motorhome, we have to wash the car because of all the dust and sand that gets in the windows seals.  If we don't wash it, we scratch the glass when we open them.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Yesterday we arrived at the campground "Colonie Notre-Dame", we will be leaving tomorrow.
Nice place with a beautiful beach on Lac St-Jean.

Alma is a company town so there is not much to visit.  But one of the main attraction is the "Odyssée des Bâtisseurs".
A very good guided visit in the main building and a very, very good multi-media show inside the water tower.  It is worth a visit.

A view from the water tower.  The river is named the "Big Discharge River".

This is the first time we see some yellow Daisy!

I love the bicycle sculpture!

Friday August 5, 2011

On our way to the campground "La Rocaille" in Laterrière a few km south of Chicoutimi.

What a treat to have a very good information center like this one in Chicoutimi.

We will be here in the Saguenay region for a week.

Saturday August 6, 2011

The city of Saguenay offers three "Hop-On, Hop-Off, Tourist Bus circuit for only $10 and it is valid for 48 hours.
Saguenay is divided into three "boroughs",  one is Jonquière, one is La Baie and one is Chicoutimi.  The river that goes by the city of Saguenay is also called the Saguenay river.  Today we are doing the Jonquière tour.  It last one hour and 45 minutes.  A very good tour with a very good guide.  On top of that, we were only four in the bus.

We ended the day with a play, the "La Fabuleuse Histoire d'un Royaume" or " The amazing story of a Kingdom".
We could not take any photos during the play so, only this one at the end of the show.

What a show, over 2 and a half hours of dancing, singing, stories telling about the history of the Saguenay/Lac St-Jean!
On a personal note, I would recommend you take the tourist bus tours first as it will kind of prep you for the show with lots of background information about the area.  By the way, the show is only in French!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

We are back on the tour bus.  First, the La Baie tour.
Here we are waiting for the tour bus at the information center in Chicoutimi.  I guess they call  this art! Doesn't do it for me!

La Baie was badly hit during the great flood of 1996.  For those who don't know, here is a short version of what happen in 1996. During the summer of 1996 a storm system stalled over the Saguenay region and dumped more rain in a few days then on a rain forest in a year.
Combine this with a somewhat poor management of the hydro-electric dams in the area and you got a BIG flood.  Many rivers taking out over 200 houses, roads and more with them.  This is what the "Déluge" was.  More info here.

Anyway, the borough of La Baie decided to commemorate the great flood of 96.  They building this great pyramid made out of yield signs, over 3000 of them.  At night, when you drive by and turn on your high beam on your car, the pyramid turns bright red.


The Saguenay river viewed from Chicoutimi.

The tour of La Baie was great.  The one for Chicoutimi was not so good. The tour guide was not up to par, or even less the par!  Our opinion only!

Before supper we had time to visit the "Le Musée de la Petite Maison Blanche" or "The Museum of the Little White House".  This little house survived the big flood of 1996.

The photo below shows you the little white house.  In the forefront you can see the foundation of a house that was there before the flood.

Inside the museum they had a robot just like the lady who used to live in this house until the flood plus many facts about the great flood.  Well done exhibit.

A view of the "before the flood",

The "during the flood",

and the "after the flood".

If you happen to be in the area, this museum is worth the visit.

We had some bad luck with our satellite internet.  After 3 hours on the phone with our internet provider and no connection, they came to the conclusion that the modem was bad.  Until we get a new one, we have to go to the community center to get our internet.

Another busy day!

Monday August 8, 2011

We noticed that every evening the weather turn to rain and thunder storms.

This morning the weather looks like rain... but we are going to visit anyway.

We are visiting a salmon ladder on the rivière-à-Mars in the La Baie area.  Rivière-à-Mars means Mars river.  Mars being the first name Mars Simard and not the planet Mars.

The Salmon are running at this time.  Here is one taking a rest in the ladder.

The biologist are taking all the salmons from the ladder and moving them further up on the river, above the falls.  That way they have a better chance to reproduce.  It seems to work well because for the last 10 years, the population of salmons in the river is going up.

In the fore front, the ladder that the salmons are using to pass the small dam.

The guide talked about falls the salmons could not overcome.  So we asked him where it was and he pointed us to the Bec-Scie park for a hike to the falls.

A salmon pool and the Mars river.

A before and after photo of the flood in the canyon.

The water was actually passing over the railing during the flood.

Find Charley (or Denis)!

Wild strawberries, they are so good!

View of the river above the falls.  This is where they put back the salmon they caught at the ladder.
The studies show that less then 10% of the salmon die in the falls on their way back to the ocean.

Some view of the falls.

Like I mentioned before, it rains a lot here. To continue the tradition, the rain hit us, and it hit us hard.

We stopped at the "Musée du Fjord" or museum of the Fjord.  Well, other then this exhibit, it did nothing for us...

On our way back from La Baie, we drove by where we used to live back in 1981.  The address was 1981, can you imagine the hard time we had for that year!  We lived in the basement apartment.

And the rain comes back in the evening!

Tuesday August 9, 2011

Unsettle weather, off we go to Saint-Félix-d'Otis and the site of "Nouvelle-France".
But first, a statue representing the first pioneer to settle in the region.

This site was build as a movie set for the Canadien movie "Black Robe".  It was also used for another series.  Also for the documentary,  "Canada, A people's history".  The site represent the city of Québec in the 1800's.

A Huron village with the long house.

Our "role" in the visit is to be people just coming off the boat from France, after 3 months at sea.
First we get the Do's and Dont's from a good Sister.

Remember, we are in Québec City in 1800s.  We are looking at the lower part of town.

The "Upper" town with a stop at the Auberge or Inn to get more instruction on how to behave in the new colony...

A young native girl telling us some of the way of life of the Indian back in the 1800.

A very good visit, good actors and well done site.

On the way back, by the Saguenay river.

We had lunch at this small restaurant, the Sud Restaurant.  Very good.


After our meal, we stop at the Pulperie musée (Pulp Mill museum) in Chicoutimi.  Way too much information to write about here but have a look at the photos.  For more info on this site, click here.

I could not resist the call of the mermaid!!!

We are back at the pulperie to catch a play on the "Legend of Arthur Villeneuve".  He was a barber who turned painter later on in his life.  He painted his whole house, inside and out, with paintings about life on the Saguenay.  His house is now inside one of the building at the Pulperie.

The play was good but of course we could not take any photos but here is a poster of the play.

We really liked the play.

Wednesday August 10, 2011

Nothing special today, just rain and a do (almost) nothing day.  Some internet and laundry.
Speaking of laundry, when Michèle was doing laundry, she noticed some stuff flying around the laundry room.  She opened the dryer and saw flames , about 6 inches, inside the dryer.  She took our cloths out and left the dryer's door open, the flames went out.  She went and told the person in charged of the laundry room but he did not seem to care too much.  Well, if you don't care we don't.  It did not burn down but it was close.  We had to redo our last wash in town.  We did not trust the dryer at this place...

Thursday August 11, 2011

As you can see, it is still raining!

We are in Chicoutimi to re-do our last wash from the campground...

We went to a very good show,  "Québecissime", from Céline Dion to the Bolduc.
A very good show but no photos...

Tomorrow we are moving to Tadoussac.

Friday August 12, 2011

We are leaving under a cloudy sky
(again).  Going across Chicoutimi was pretty easy but let me tell you, there are some pretty big hills.

We are taking highway 172, the Fjord Road to the Whale Road.  Highway 172 is on the north shore of the Saguenay river.

Of course the rain meets us...  And as most road in Québec... We get ready for a dips and bumps on the roads.  Just a fact of life here in Québec!   Since we went to Chibougamau, Saguenay/Lac St-Jean, we had to move our wine glasses from our cabinets to the bed to keep them from breaking, this is a first for us!  Welcome to the Québec roads?  They are not all like that but lots of them are...

One of the things we find unique in Québec is the abundance of "Chip Truck" and the likes.
Loosely translated this one is called, The little tummy!

When you get to Tadoussac, do not enter the town with your motorhome, 5th wheel or travel trailer.  There is absolutely no parking for you in town.  I recommended that you got get your campsite and come back later with just a vehicle.
Our campground is in the next small village of Les Bergeronnes.

This campground is for people who stay for a few nights.  Lots of sites with a view of the St-Laurence but if you want all services, you can not see the river.  We are here until Friday.

A view from the sites by the water.  It is high tide right now.  Big rigs, travel trailer can not make it down there.

Why this photo?
This is the smallest fire hydrant we ever saw.

Saturday August 13, 2011

We are visiting Tadoussac!
With a population of 850 souls, the main employer is tourism.  Pretty little town.

I could not describe it better!

This little church was build between 1747 and 1750 and is the oldest religious building on the North-Shore and one of the oldest in North America.

The Tadoussac Hotel was build in 1865 and could accommodate 200 guests in 1868, at a cost of $2.50 per night.

Where the Saguenay and the St-Lawrence meet.  Here is the Saguenay river.

The Tadoussac bay is a member of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club.  The first to earn this title in North-America.
Very pretty!

We chose AML Whales & Flord Cruise for our whale watching cruise.  Here is our ship, the Cavalier Royal.

Michèle, in red, at the front of the ship.  It is cold on the St-Lawrence river as the water temperature is about +4 C

A grey seal and minke whales.

After the whales, the ship took a short cruise in the mouth of the Saguenay.

A very nice whale watching cruise.  We were lucky to see so many whales.

Sunday August 14, 2011

Again, the weather is undecided... but off we go!
A Park Canada site, Cap-de-Bon-Désir, offers a view of whales and other mammals right from shore.  They also had 4 kiddy pools with all kind of sea life in them. They had interpreters at each pool, great!

We sat close to where you can see these people.

Far from the crowd, from 10 am until 2:30 pm we saw grey seals, harbour porpoise and minke whales.

As I am looking at the water, lots of fish jumped out of the water.  It looks like I was scare!
Just the way the photos are laid out...

We were pretty lucky to see a minke whale sleeping for about one hour.
The kayaks did not bother the whale.

Lots of harbour porpoises in the afternoon.


At the fore front, harbour porpoise, followed by beluga and minke whale.  The other did not come for a visit today.

A quick visit to the village of Escoumins.

With the purchase of a ticket for the Cap-de-Bon Désir Interpretation and Observation Center, you also have free entrance to  the Marine Environment Discovery Center.

A beautiful place to visit.  On the photo to the right, a beluga that does not seem to be feeling too well.  The biologist were watching it because it was not diving.  We never found out what happen to the beluga.

A nice view from the discovery center.

For the price of one you get to see both center, it is worth it.
On top of that, they gave us a  50% off on the Archéo Topo Interpretation Center.

Monday August 15, 2011

Today we are slowing down the visiting.  Only one visit today, the Archéo Topo Interpretation Center.
The Côte-Nord, or North Shore, is a rich area for archeology world.  With the 50% off, even better.
We have learned a lot about the people living here many thousands of years ago.

On top of the exhibit, you have a taxidermist exhibit.  Very pretty!

A short stop at the internet café to update our web page.
Back at the motorhome, I continue to write more pages.

Wow!  You want nature, you got nature here in Côte-Nord.  Being on the edge of the Canadian Shield and the St-Lawrence, just plain beautiful.  We will have to come back and got further down the St-Lawrence.

Take care until next time...