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Monday, September 8, 2014

Road Trip along Quebec’s North Shore

Not quite the end of the road
Photo by Kate Tompkins
For some time now, my husband has wanted to drive along the north shore of the St. Lawrence, as far as the highway goes. This year we finally had our chance, and took off two weeks ago for ten days on the road. Of course we could have done the trip in less time, but we wanted to see things along the way. Also we wanted to stay in comfortable hotels and motels, which meant stopping in larger centres. However, if you like to camp, there were lots of campgrounds along the way, many of them along the water.

Would I recommend it? If you like looking at rocks, water and sand, forest and bog (and I do!), very much so. If your vacations are more travelling from one amusement park to the next, then it’s not the trip for you.

We went the last week of August/first week of September for two reasons. One, because we’d been told by someone who’s travelled that way frequently that the black flies and mosquitoes wouldn’t be as bad that late in the season, and two, because the kids were back in school, there was less traffic. We certainly didn’t see many bugs, even when we went hiking through the woods, but that could also be because it was nearly always windy. On the other hand, because school had already started, many of the smaller tourist offices (and hence public roadside toilets) were closed for the season.

While not everyone we ran across spoke English, they were all friendly and helpful and very keen to point out the beauties of their locality. Also, while we were worried about the availability of gas near the end of the road, that turned out not to be a problem (though it nearly was on the road between Saguenay and Tadoussac). There’s actually a pump right in Natashquan (up until last year the official end of the road), though it only dispenses regular and diesel. No one in the tourist industry seems to know about it, however.


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