In the summer of 2018, for our traditional road trip among friends, we headed toward Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, a beautiful region located north of Québec City. My friend Mélanie knows someone from that region who put her a mission to taste the squeaky cheese and the chocolate-covered blueberries at the Pères Trappistes shop.
Riding in the rain
We travelled to the region by driving through La Tuque and taking Route 155. This scenic and often winding road offered some unique landscapes for us to admire. For the first day, we rode until we reached the Motel-Restaurant Le Rond-Point, which is equivalent to a few good hours of motorcycling. Before going to bed, we checked the weather forecast for the next day, and it was calling for a rainy day. Even though we didn’t really like the idea of riding in the rain, we decided to stick with the route that we had initially planned: going around Lake Saint-Jean, visiting the small white house in Chicoutimi, and continuing on our way to La Malbaie.
The next day, we saw that the weather forecast was accurate: it was a deluge! But nothing could stop us, so we put on our rain gear and left for our ride around the lake. We even backtracked so that we could do the full ride. Luckily for us, there was rain only in the morning.
Once we got to Dolbeau-Mistassini, since the sun was back out, we decided to take off our rain gear. It was getting really hot with that gear on! People in the region recommended that we stop at the Mistassini River waterfalls. I can confirm that those waterfalls are gorgeous! There’s a first waterfall directly alongside Route 169, and if you drive up to the Motel Chute des Pères, there’s a stop where you can admire this splendid scenery up close. Believe me, this is worth the detour!
We got back on our motorcycles to head toward our next stop, as recommended by Mélanie’s friend: the 13 statues of Dolbeau-Mistassini. There, we were able to buy chocolate‑covered blueberries and the famous squeaky cheese. The blueberries were really delicious, but a lot smaller than we had imagined. We were expecting large blueberries, but even though they were small, these berries were packed with flavour. It was like an explosion in our mouths!
We continued on our way to the small white house in Chicoutimi. This is another really nice place to visit. It’s really impressive to think that this small house was able to withstand the 1996 deluge! We would have stayed longer there, but since we had planned on having dinner in La Malbaie, we headed back on the road toward Charlevoix and our room at the Motel Chez Pierre.
Fog on the horizon
We stopped to fill up on gas in Sacré-Cœur. The staff at this gas station told us there was a thick fog over Tadoussac and the whale-watching excursions had been cancelled. Apparently, the temperature was only 15 degrees Celsius. This seemed unbelievable to us because it was 27 degrees at the time.
We drove off, and in the distance, we saw that there was actually a huge fog patch. Once we got in the fog, the temperature suddenly dropped. We were cold. And when we were out of it for a little while, for instance on a hilltop, the temperature would go back up. It was a rather strange phenomenon… This very dense fog even prevented us from seeing the St. Lawrence River. Mother Nature will never stop surprising us.
Riding back through Charlevoix
Despite this, we still made it on time at the Motel Chez Pierre. We had dinner at the Restaurant Grillade La Bohème, a good western-style steak house. We really enjoyed our time in La Malbaie, just like the rest of our trip in the Charlevoix region. On the way back, our visit in Les Éboulements seemed too short.
See you again next year, Charlevoix and La Malbaie!