Vistech Charlevoix: Scenery, Gastronomy, and Screw Piles
After the rain, comes the sun! To reach our next destination, Charlevoix, we left Sherbrooke after just having said goodbye to Johnny Bessette and took Highway 20 eastward. We simply had to take a quick break at Madrid for some pictures with the dinosaurs and to buy a few snacks, and then we made our way towards Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. We didn’t have any reservations for a campsite, but we did finally find our shelter for the night at the Motel et Condo Chez Charley, next to the bank of the Saint-Laurent river! Even at a late hour, we were able to get a room and hook up our RV. Plus, the road trip got a new fan! Geese migrating north kept us company until the early morning hours, offering us an incredible spectacle at the riverside. What a welcome to the region!
In the morning, there were only a few kilometres for us to go in order to meet up with Normand Boudreault, the franchisee of Québec, Charlevoix and Cap-Rouge/L’Ancienne-Lorette at the Cap-Tourmente National Wildlife Area. Vivid sunlight reflected off the still partially snowy slopes of Mont Saint-Anne, giving us a good peek of springtime! Normand was waiting with a smile at the park entrance, when Audrey from the Information Office gave us the sad news that the snow geese had departed at dawn that day. Fortunately, there was still enough beauty to look at before we reached the walkway and promontory that Normand himself had built. This ambitious project had necessitated an ice bridge so that the machines would not sink into the marshy ground. Plus, given that this project was one of his first of this kind of scale, Normand explained that he was able to count on the machines and expertise of his colleagues from Saguenay in order to meet the deadlines and face the technical challenges.
A CHARLEVOIX WELCOME FIT FOR A KING
Normand is a generous man, always smiling, and has a bit of a TV host air about him. He walks with sure footing, and we could see that he planned our welcome with real care. From his past career in catering and as a wine representative, he has kept an impeccable sense of customer service and enjoyment in meeting people. For Normand, epicurean and bon vivant, fine connoisseur of his region and seasoned entrepreneur, it is important to him that everyone is happy, whether it be clients, friends, or family. As we’ve said: we were welcomed as kings to a small gastronomic gem of the region, the Maison d’Affinage Maurice Dufour! Normand knows the owners of this place well: “Here, our group appreciates the region and hopes to show others who come to see us what you can find on our best day”, he exclaims. Even Ila got to taste the tomme de brebis, and as a cheese lover from France, I must admit that Québec does not cease to astound!
All good things must end, however. Once everyone was back in the RV and settled in, we hit the road again. Lynda Brassard and her family, the franchisees who had just lent a big hand to Normand with Cap-Tourmente, was awaiting us in Jonquière that same evening.