On Tuesday we left Notre Dame du Portage to take the ferry from Riviere du Loup to St. Simeon on the north shore of the St. Lawrence. The fancy ferry brochure said that you could often see whales while crossing the river. I kept my eyes glued to the grey horizon for the hour crossing, hoping to see a small black fin or a fine grey geyser - no, nothing but rain, rain and more rain, sigh.
Things did brighten a little on the north shore, however, as we travelled west from St. Simeon through some lovely villages to our destination, La Malbaie. It was once called Murray Bay, but with the Frenchification of Quebec a while ago, few towns were able to keep their English names. Mercifully most people spoke English and we were able to negotiate the necessities, as needed.
We were staying at an apartment in a small resort not far from Manoir Richelieu, the last, I believe, of the famous railway hotels which were built to resemble French chateaux. Our unit had a gorgeous view of the St. Lawrence, the mountains, the sky, the clouds, and wait...where's the rain? Actually the sun was shining for a few hours at the end of the day and apart from a brief shower that left us with a rainbow, we had a gorgeous evening.
We bought some prepared food from Metro, the supermarket in town and ate tortiere with salsa and a salad of cherry tomatoes, dressed with - I hate to say it, Kraft oil and vinegar dressing - it does come in handy, though, when you're travelling. In fact, for the four nights that we were staying at Auberge des Falaises, we ate in three of them, with prepared foods we had bought in Baie St Paul, St. Fidele, St Ireneé and a few other saintly spots around the Charlevoix area. After all, Charlevoix is all about food and light - not to be confused with light food, which it wasn't.
The weather - you had to ask, didn't you. Well, the next day, the rain had turned to fog, which cancelled the view from our unit. Why we pay a premium for a spectacular view, when nature, at a whim, can wipe it out with a mist so thick we didn't think we could drive, let alone bike. We were, however, able to creep along the coast to Baie St Paul for a coffee in a pretty cafe, while the fog cleared and the rain started again :)
Have a great day!!