We are off to explore this big country of ours, even if it is for a few days to celebrate Canada Day. I booked us for a mini trip only 580 kms away from Toronto near Mont-Tremblant, Quebec in a little village called Brebéuf. A mini 5-day vacation spent sleeping, hiking and fighting mosquitoes.
The first hike was 6.5 kms that made me doubt my fitness levels, if any. The weeks before the trip I walked from work home on 7-8 km-tracks twice a week. That did not help at all on our mountain hike. There are multiple options from the ski resort to reach the Mont-Tremblant summit and from the looks of it I did not think it was such a challenge considering the elevation of 875 meters, nothing for such professionals like us. The hikes we did in 2012 still count as recent experience, don’t they? Who cares that we started the climb at 2 PM, that we only had one bottle of water, or that there was a big blown up poster of a mosquito with a warning to use a protective spray. Those types of warnings are for novices. The track we chose, Le Grand Brulé was a strenuous hike up and within an hour and a half I was already tired and convinced we did more than half of it. Man oh man, the moment we reached the map to tell us we only did a third of it, I was both scared and embarrassed. We powered through although at times I was sure we were lost, Chris gave up drinking any of the little water we had left and his legs were prime target for the bugs around. As we approached the top we decided the easiest thing to do, considering the late time of the day was to take the zipline down. When we finally reached the summit and no one was there, I really wondered how we could be so irresponsible.
We took a step back and thought of Mr. H & G, who are two adventurer friends mentioned in other blog posts here. By the way please go and follow their blog as they document a trip they are doing by bike from London to China. Their general approach is very inspiring and we channelled them as we tried to be very relaxed and go with the flow when we rolled at the top of the mountain with no water, no zipline, no people, and a man closing down the telegondola for the day. It was almost 7 pm and as the sun was getting ready to set a knight in shining armour rode up in his truck and was generous enough to accept to take us down. I was sitting there, grateful for not having to panic in the dark over the hike down, realizing I do not understand anything and I should get back to learning French.
The second day we drove into the Mont-Tremblant National Park, the impressive home of 6 rivers and 400 lakes. We only did a small walk around the Lac des Femmes, a beautiful forest and lake site, a few banks of butterflies on the way, a pheasant too fast to photograph and a scared duck. All in all a lovely walk, a bit rushed again due to some flies/mosquitoes. We also saw a beautiful deer munching away as well as some woodpeckers working their way through some bark.
This was just a little trip, and we should return during the fall time to properly dedicate some more time to enjoy the sights. Maybe I can be in better shape by next time.
We enjoyed a lovely stop over meal in Ottawa at The Whalesbone.
While in Brebéuf we bought groceries for most meals and enjoyed some of the local produce and also a rewarding pasta dinner at Mille Pâtes.