Take Me to the River

We love the north shore of the St. Lawrence so we were kind of sad to bid farewell. We made our way to the south shore via ferry from Saint-Simeon to Riviere-du-loup. The crossing is just a little over an hour. We made the trip in the other direction in 2012 with the Canadian Chefs’ Congress bus and loved it so much that we planned it into this journey. Because you have to be at the ferry and in line 90 minutes before sailing we had time to wander and explore Saint-Simeon. As a rule we love to photograph signage and Saint-Simeon did not disappoint. We also were able to spend a little time on the beach and couldn’t resist picking up a couple of rocks. Christian is afraid that by the time we get back to Toronto the car will be full of rocks. The landscape on the south side of the river was quite a contrast to the north side. We can’t seem to put a finger on the difference. It is still hilly but less extreme and maybe a little more agricultural with fewer trees and cliffs. That is until you get a little further east! Attracted by a giant ice cream cone on the roof of a Bar Laitier, super common in the Gaspésie, we stopped for and indulged in chocolate dipped soft serve cones to sustain us until we reached the village of Metis-sur-Mer. We pre-booked a campsite, this time because of the name, Camping Annie (we have a daughter named Annie!). A word of advice: this is not a good reason to choose a campsite. This campsite was a four star campsite and we have come to realize that four star private campgrounds are not our cup of tea. They receive this status based on number of amenities and activities. These might be great if you were camping with children but then again we still wouldn’t choose these campgrounds. Turns out two star campgrounds are perfect for us as they are smaller, more quiet, have just the amenities we need – electricity, water, shower, toilet, dishwashing sink and have consistently been super clean and owned by really nice people. Because we have only previously tent camped we have been oblivious to serviced campgrounds. It has been a real eyeopener. Our little VW Westfalia is a baby campervan compared to most in the serviced sections of campgrounds. The monster campers dominate and lend a parking lot feel to even National and Provincial Parks. Camping Annie was to be our first real parking lot style camping experience and sadly not our last. The one thing Camping Annie did have was access to a beach with a view to an old lighthouse. So, even when we are feeling gloomy because of where we are spending the night a walk on a beach and the smell of the sea air changes our outlook almost immediately.