In the deepest bush and forest area we moved from Labrador to Quebéc, a province four times the size of France, but inhabited by only about 9 million people.
From Fermont the asphalt strip runs through the expanses of the north to the southwest and later directly to the south. To the Maricouagan Reservoir and Manic5 there are few settlements; nothing else far and wide! The dam to Lake Maricouagan was built in the 1960s and today holds back a huge mass of water that is converted into electrical energy in a first stage just below the dam. Up to the sea another 4 dams follow, before the water in the nearby Baie-Comeau flows into the St-Lorenz-River; otherwise again endless forests.
For us, reaching Baie-Comeau also meant a return to civilization. After x-hundred kilometers of bush and forest, thousands of lakes and rivers, as well as many kilometers on corrugated iron tracks, we were happy to be back in an area where the mobile phone had a network and the Internet opened the contact to the world.
But when we reached the coast, the daily search for a possible place to sleep immediately became more difficult again. The best places we found – how could it be – always the next morning in sunshine.
Besides rain the flying plagues (mosquitoes, Black Flies, etc.) made us an ideal place to hell every evening, forced us to look for another possibility, resp. had to search for the expanse.
Despite the “plagues” we enjoyed the coast, looked for possible whales at direct sea accesses into the vastness of the St-Lorenz-Strom and shared the many impressions with the other holiday tourists.
Tadoussac, a holiday resort on the St. Lawrence River can be compared to Interlaken in our country: The tourist highlight of crowds of people moving in the streets and creating an almost atypical picture in the big Canada. Also at the nearby big sand dune everything moves, whether on foot or by motorcycle; nobody was bothered by the fact that in the middle of the crowds of people a few motorcyclists drove up the steep sand flanks: Typical for Canada – “laisser faire”.
At St-Siméon we had enough of mass tourism and whale watching again, turned off and followed the Saguenay stream again in northwestern direction, a very lovely area, almost to be confused with the Black Forest; one drives long through the woods, followed by agricultural areas. In La-Baie/Saguenay, the picture of the lovely landscape suddenly changed to an industrial area where wood and aluminium are processed and transported away by large ships thanks to direct access from the Lorenz stream. After the huge factories we soon reached wide landscapes and large fields, followed by countless farms and intensive agriculture. The soil here must be very good and enable the farmers to produce good yields. In any case, we were always surprised by the well-kept agricultural goods.
From Lake St. John’s we soon followed the St. Maurice Current southwest again and drove through national parks such as St. Maurice and Mont Tremblant. As a result of the holiday season and unreserved sleeping places, we had to move to the provincial nature reserves, where we were usually assigned a place, so that we could spend one of the most beautiful nights in the Papineau-Labelle reserve on a lake, for example.
Likewise one may drive in the nature parks still somewhat more generously over “back roads”, than this is possible in national parks – I exposed myself as absolute off-roader!
After roaming through the vast forests, fields and lonely areas north of the densely populated area between Quebéc and Ottawa, we arrived at just the right time (August 1) my relatives, who have been running a larger farm near Pembroke (Île des Allumettes) for many years.
After thousands of kilometres and millions of impressions we enjoyed the almost limitless hospitality of emigrated Swiss from the first minute and are already looking forward to further adventures in this huge country; this time in a more densely populated area.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator