G – Thursday 6th August 2015 – “Your Mother Was a Hamster, and Your Father Smelt of Elderberries!”

Starting Point: Walmart Car Park, 169 Rte-230, La Pocatiere, QC, G0R

Finishing Point: Parc de La Jacques-Cartier, Quebec

Distance Travelled: 177km (not including all the diversions…)

Route from Walmart to Parc de La Jacques-Cartier
Route from Walmart to Parc de La Jacques-Cartier

QUEBEC HAS BROKEN US WITH ITS FRENCH!! We are currently three hours into what should have been a two hour drive to the Jacques-Cartier National Park, or should I say, ‘Parc de La Jacques-Cartier.’ We started off this morning in high spirits: AJ was being completely adorable lying in bed people watching from under the blind and commenting on all the activity outside the different shops (and mainly wondering what the hell kind of store IPG is) and we had a yummy fruit and yoghurt breakfast.

AJ

We got ourselves some Kraft Dinner for tonight ( because we can’t not try Kraft Dinner!) and set off at 9.30. We had put the postcode of the park I got from a guidebook into the satnav that took us to a cul-de-sac down a tiny windy road somewhere in the vicinity of the park, but nowhere near the main entrance. We then tried ‘Jacques-Cartier National Park’ but that didn’t work, so we started typing ‘Jacques-‘ and ‘Jacques-Cartier, QC’ came up straight away so we thought ‘brilliant!’ and punched it in. Twenty minutes later we find ourselves on a road that’s NOWHERE NEAR the park. I decided to give the satnav one more chance before one of use threw it out a window and try ‘Parc de La Jacques-Cartier’ thinking that it probably wouldn’t work as the National Park didn’t work…boy was I wrong! So on one hand, yay, we’re now on our way to the park, but on the other hand this could have been avoided if the satnav had just recognised the damn English name as well! I need some sugar…

Cool bridge we drove on
Cool bridge we drove on

Road Trip Road Trip

The road signs in this area are really cute!
The road signs in this area are really cute!
Nearing the park! :D
Nearing the park! 😀

In other news, my bites have gone down! (which is an exceptional relief after I had woken from a dream that maggots exploded from them) I managed to get proper bite cream for them so here’s hoping they’re fully gone asap!

Finally made it to the park at 1.25pm, two hours late. Everything’s in French, the park attendant at the entrance just handed us a brochure (in English thank God!) and told us to go to the visitor centre 10km away, which is called some random French name and is very badly laid out. So far, Quebec has honestly been a bit shit with how they treat non-french speaking tourists, and considering how fantastic every other part of Canada has been so far, I’m highly disappointed. Nevertheless, we managed to book ourselves into the (last) RV site so we’re sorted for the night. We’ve had a quick bite to each for lunch, and have chosen to do ‘Les Loups’ an 11km (~3 ½ hours) return trip around a mountainous area with observation decks, so we’re on our way now! 🙂

Back from the walk – EXHAUSTED!! Our feet are killing us and we are starving but it was well worth it: the forest is really pretty (but creepily silent) and we saw some gorgeous scenery and really cute animals – we got really close to a tiny squirrel and saw a native bird (no idea what it is) and a rabbit. We went to both observation decks – the views are spectacular – well worth the 447m climb!! All in all, it took us about 4 hours to get there and back while taking photos. It’s time for some well-earned ‘Sharp Cheddar’ Kraft dinner with added bacon bits and chopped up bratwurst sausage, I can’t wait!!

Jacques-Cartier Park Jacques-Cartier Park Jacques-Cartier Park

These were everywhere along the route, we guessed they're to mark the trail in winter??
These were everywhere along the route, we guessed they’re to mark the trail in winter??

Jacques-Cartier Park

AJ taking a breather after leaping over a (teeny tiny) MONSTROUSLY LARGE gap.
AJ taking a breather after leaping over a (teeny tiny) MONSTROUSLY LARGE gap.

Jacques-Cartier Park Jacques-Cartier Park

Taking in the view
Taking in the view
It looks like a monkey head!
It looks like a monkey head!
Naturally I had to pose beside it
Naturally I had to pose beside it

Jacques-Cartier Park Jacques-Cartier Park

View from the first observation platform
View from the first observation platform
Everything along the way was so interesting looking, I couldn't help take so many photos!
Everything along the way was so interesting looking, I couldn’t help take so many photos!

Jacques-Cartier Park Jacques-Cartier Park Jacques-Cartier Park Jacques-Cartier Park

So cute!
So cute!
AJ closing in on the squirrel...
AJ closing in on the squirrel…

Jacques-Cartier Park

I really want to find out what this bird is called, it's so cute!
I really want to find out what this bird is called, it’s so cute!
View from the 2nd observation platform - breathtaking!
View from the 2nd observation platform – breathtaking!

Jacques-Cartier Park Jacques-Cartier Park

Yummy kraft dinner!
Yummy kraft dinner!
Map of the park with walks highlighted
Map of the park with walks highlighted

So, second heart attack of the trip over my tablet – I couldn’t find it, tore the place apart looking for it, sent AJ running to the visitor centre to see if it was left there, spiralled into complete misery and started eating my feelings via Kraft Dinner…and then AJ took a head torch, looked in the FIRST place I had looked in (cubby hole by the driver’s seat – I had emptied it)… and found my tablet sitting on a shelf in the cubby hole I didn’t even know existed. Honestly, I am ridiculously bad at finding things! In other news, Kraft dinner is delicious…for mac & cheese out of a box.  I highly approve of it for a quick, filling and tasty dinner!

I am EXHAUSTED. I’ve typed up another two days of journal entries (last wed & thurs – made it to Canada now!) so now it’s time for a nice cuppa, a game of cards and then bed. It’s off to Montreal tomorrow – I’ve heard good things about the city!

Slán! 😀

G

P.S. So it turns out Canadian Tetley is nowhere near as horrific as English Tetley…wonder what they do to it…

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