O Beautiful, Camera-Defying Tadoussac! This was the high point of our roadtrip, in both elevation and picturesqueness. Don’t believe me? This was the view from our campsite:
There was a lot of walking up and down a lot of tall hills. Our site was a scant kilometre from downtown, but oh! It was pretty much a vertical one! The evening yielded dinner at a delicious fancy restaurant, along with an almost-full moon! A quick note about our dinner: we stopped at Chez Matilde, which has a smallish, seasonal menu*, no website other than a Facebook page, and served up food so delicious that The Boy and I felt like we were on a date night, even with Starfish cheerfully exclaiming about the colourful paintings decorating the heated patio.
* The menu had such tempting entries on it that when The Boy and I ended up ordering the same thing, I didn’t even blink. This is huge for me, because I always feel that you get to try more of a restaurant’s offerings and see more of its overall character if everyone orders something different. If you’re wondering what we ordered, it was a deer filet mignon with mushroom risotto and glaze, alongside roasted seasonal veggies. So good. Starfish particularly enjoyed the many baskets of their fresh-made bread that the server kept plying her with.
We spent the morning of our departure day just walking around the town, including an unexpected — and unexpectedly beautiful! — wooded pathway right through the downtown area! Highly recommend that walk if you go; it’s a gorgeous, shady breath of woodsy green amid the rocky seascapes. We also passed more than one person who had stopped there for a coffee and a bite.
Once we made it down to the riverside, there was a huge sandy beach, a lovely boardwalk, and all the picturesque boutiques and candy stores you’d expect in a touristy town.
We would have loved to stay a day or two longer, but apparently we didn’t do our research. That weekend (starting with the Friday we headed out) was a migratory bird festival, and the camp site was booked solid! In fact, when we’d hiked back up the hill from town, with a half hour or so to spare before our checkout time, one of the camp staff was waiting somewhat anxiously to shoo us on our way to make room for the vehicle which had booked our space. Bird enthusiasts are serious folks!
Something to plan for next time, I guess, because Tadoussac was easily the most beautiful of our stops, and who knows? Maybe in a few years I will be relaxed enough in my role as Mama Bear to actually let Starfish out on water in a zodiac to go whale-watching!
Once we were herded out of the site, we headed east to Les Escoumins to catch the ferry which was definitely a less luxurious experience than The Boy had hoped. (Our ferry experience in New Zealand has spoiled us a little, I think.). It was pretty slow, and extremely windy which made staying out to try to glimpse marine life in the sunshine a little difficult. That fleece blanket we’d picked up on the zoo trip definitely came in handy again!
Having made it intact to the south side of the river, we stopped for groceries and headed inland for yet another KOA. This one turned out to be by far the most child-friendly of the ones we stayed at!