Breakfast on the balcony of Maison Victoria has proven to be very informative. Arleen, our innkeeper, sips her coffee amongst the guests and recounts tales of her adventures in the region. She describes the magnitude of the Fjords, the chilling waters of the St-Lawrence and lists ingredients used by local chefs to prepare different meals that leave your mouth watering.
By the time breakfast was over, our afternoon had been planned. We decided to follow the Route du Fjord heading towards Les Bergeronnes. We started by taking the ferry from Baie-Ste-Catherine over to Tadoussac.
There were many boats crisscrossing the water in search of whales. As a photographer, I appreciate the opportunity to be up close to these magnificent mammals however I am torn. The noise of the motors must be so distracting and disorienting for them. I am still very disturbed about the bad treatment of whales after having just watched Blackfish – all about Orcas in captivity in Sea World. It was a very sad documentary however it changed the outcome for the whales and there will no longer be performances at Sea World starting in 2017.
A view of the Saguenay River where it meets the St-Lawrence River.
Our cheese curds were devoured, the visit with Cesar and Garou seemed so long ago and the sounds of the waterfall all distant memories. It was the perfect time to stop for lunch. Arleen had mentioned there was a great restaurant located on the water in Les Escoumins called Pêcherie Manicouagan.
Based on her recommendation, we ordered the lobster club sandwich that was served with salad, baby shrimp and fries. It was a good sandwich but lacked the succulent pieces of lobster that we came to expect from our visit to PEI last summer. After speaking with some locals, they pointed out that this was not the fishing side of the river, we would have to head over to Rimouski for the real deal.
We had two spots to visit this afternoon; Cap-de-Bon-Désir and l’Anse-de Roche. Still traveling along on route 138, this particular stretch of highway is also referred to as Routes des Baleines.
Just before the town of Bergeronnes, we turned off towards Cap-De-Bon-Désir. This is an interpretation and observation center managed by Parks Canada. The cost to enter the park is $10 each.
Before heading down to the water, we explored one of the 5 cabins on the property. It was the foghorn house.
This is a motorized foghorn which came into use in the early 1950s. To activate it, the keeper had to start up the motor and open a few valves. Several people would spend the night at the lighthouse when the foghorn was in operation.
We set out for the water following the Harbour Porpoise Trail.
It was an easy trail heading down to the water.
At the end of the path, you had to cross over several small pools of water and climb over the rocks in order to reach the river.
There were several wood bridges built right into the rocks to help you cross.
From the rocks, you can observe more than 13 species of whales, including the threatened St-Lawrence beluga. You could even see a blue whale, the largest marine mammal that has ever existed on the planet.
I just happened to catch a small black fin of a Minke whale as it swam by.
The water was quite rough and the swells were about 2-3 feet that day. These two kayakers were bobbing up and down, letting the waves guide them home.
One of the great programs that Parks Canada started this summer was #sharethechair. They set up a pair of red adirondack chairs in several Canadian parks, one of them is Cap-de-Bon-Désir. Another location is our very own Lachine Canal near Pitt street.
Thrilled that we spotted a few whales, we decided to proceed to our final destination of the day; L’Anse-de-Roche. We headed towards Sacré-Coeur along the Route de Fjord.
It was a small road that lead us down towards the river. Our first view was breath taking.
L’Anse-de-Roche is an access door for travelers and navigators. The amplitude of the tide varies from 4 to 6 meters.
Far off in the distance you could see the white belugas coming up for air.
A final look back before heading back to the highway.
At the top of the hill, there was a bee farm on our left called Herbamiel. This was one of the bee hives situated near the main entrance.
Lots of great products and we left we two different types of honey and a new “magic” cream for Johanne which could replace the oregano oil. I will keep you posted.
A beautiful Quebec landscape.
We returned “home” around 7:30 that evening and decided to share a glass of wine and some cheese and bread with another couple from the B&B and turn in early. Another big adventure lies ahead for us tomorrow.