Endless Scenic Route in Quebec
For those who need suggestions for cheap roadtrips, Quebec is a good destination. Particularly in October, the sceneries are absolutely gorgeous. You can start your trip by visiting Montreal, a very glamourous city with a multicultural atmosphere : nice restaurants, great nightlife : Then, you have the Eastern Townships with their Boston-like buildings sourrounded by colourful mountains : http://www.cclacbrome.qc.ca/photo1.html You can also visit Quebec City, with her European atmosphere and her cute cafes and boutiques : http://www.planetware.com/photos/CDN/QUQ006.HTM
In my opinion, the most beautiful part is when you take the 138 East (scenic road) and you go accross Charlevoix all the way to the Cote-Nord area. You'll have hours of beautiful sceneries upon the St. Lawrence River which becomes larger as you move towards the coast. October is the right season to go whale watching, and you don't even have to pay anything. You just have to find a good spot (like the pier in Les Escoumins) and wait or have a chat with a fisherman. Near the end of the road (you have to take a ferry to go to the other villages along the coast), at Havre St-Pierre, you can rent a kayak or take a guided tour through the Mingan Islands where you'll see geological phenomenons which look a little bit like those of the US National Parks, but instead of cactus, you'll find pines and blue water: http://www.ouellette001.com/Quebec_en_photos/09_Cote_Nord/Minganie/Archipel_Mingan.htm
Camping is usually permitted on the islands, but you should ask the people on the pier first, since they are very welcoming and nice people, it's never a problème even though their english is very poor. They are very kind and patient and it's always interesting to hear stories from them, even the policemen are nice but you have to be respectful of their culture and do the same thing with the Natives who live around in small communities. Along the way, you'll find many cheap motels and camping, but note that many camping are closed after August because of the cold weather. There are many National and Provincial Parks, some are located directly on the coast, it may be great for a picnic but it's pretty windy for a night of camping.
You'll also find all kinds of berries on the roadside, almost all of them are edible but be sure to ask first at the Environnement Canada stand in Havre St-Pierre. Be sure to bring warm clothing, even if it's 100 degrees in Montreal. Do not forget also to bring an emergency kit and a bi-mode cellular or cb because there are long streches of road without any services available. If you like peace, harmony, long quiet roads, colourful sunsets, nature and observe wildlife, this place is made for you.
PS-For those who would like to have an idea of the time/distance I made the trip from the Eastern Townships to Pointe Parent (end of the road) in approx. 11 hours
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