Those annoying Mosquitos
While touring around the Isles de la Madeleine out in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, we wanted to have a closer look at a shallow lagoon, called Baie du Havre-aux-Basques, trapped between the two sand dunes that connect the southwestern islands of Havre-Aubert and Cap-aux-Meules. As a result, on the west side of Havre-Aubert we took a gravel road (to Pointe des Canots) through the woods in this area. However, it finally degenerated into a major muddy puddle when we neared the lagoon. We then set out on foot through a short woods road to get a glimpse of the lagoon - and we were successful in also seeing a Great Blue Heron feeding. However, it was not seconds after we emerged from the car that the mosquitos had picked up our scent and were onto us. When in the woods at this time of year, you have to keep well covered up or lathered with repellent. They were no problem on the wind-swept beaches themselves - only the sheltered forest areas.
Mosquitos and blackflies are a major nuisance outside of the cities and towns in all of eastern Canada, especially in the months of May, June and July when they revive after their winter hiatus. Insect repellant and proper clothes are a must if you want to head off into the 'wilderness'!Related to:
- Road Trip
- Sailing and Boating
Watch for Large Animals in the Road!
Quebec, being both rural and wild, has lots of large animals that can wander into the roadway and damage your car. Among the least exotic of these are the cows, which are slow-moving and rarely encountered. But you can also hit moose or deer late at night if you are driving too fast. Please use caution on rural roads after dark!Related to:
- Road Trip
Whale Watching Zodiacs: Not for the Feint of Body!
While we enjoy taking the zodiacs on our whale-watching trips, we realize that they are not for everyone. First, they zip across the St. Lawrence at a high rate of speed, sometimes severely jarring your bodies when the water is choppy. If you have a bad back, I'm almost sure you would be injured on all but the calmest days. Furthermore, you are bound to get wet from the salty splashes of the waves. Which means you'll be cold -- even with the gear they give you -- if you don't dress warm underneath.
Finally, I met one man who came up with another reason to take the cruise ship rathr than the zodiac -- no bathroom. He didn't think he could hold it for three hours. So, pee before you get on board!Related to:
- Whale Watching
- National/State Park
Don't get all scared by those who tell you that you can't visit Quebec withouth knowing french or that speaking english is not well-seen...
There are hundred of thousands of tourists visiting Quebec every year and most of them don't speak french. The tourists area all have bilingual staff and as you would expect in any small villages of Europe or Asia, you will sometime have difficulty to find english-speakers in rural area.
For anyone who has travelled outside North America, it takes very little adaptation to travel all over Quebec and have a great time.
Frozen shots with your camera
January in Quebec can be harsh -- it is literally freezing cold! Therefore, you might experience some problems with your automatic camera. You will notice that it will slow down (listen to it when you take a picture), and also, if you keep the camera inside your jacket pocket, it will accumulate some condensation from your body.
So, try not to keep your camera exposed to the cold for a long period of time, and always check your lens before you take a photo so it won't be "foggy" (see picture). Your batteries might run out faster too, so, if you are running low on them, bring some spare batteries.
When Wild Beasts Attack
Meet Maggie - a friendly Saint Bernard from Mt. Saint-Anne. See that yellow sign near the dog house? Read it before you decide to pet Maggie; it says the dogs like grabbing hats and gloves -- of course i only read it after it tried to grab my hat off my head... ehehehe
Province of Quebec Hotels
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