Waking early this morning didn’t feel that great as I needed a good nights sleep after our long day yesterday. I woke at 5:15 am, looked at my phone for the time and realised that it was the start of the day weather I liked it or not. Feel somewhat rested I was however looking forward to the hike that was planned for the day. Doing some serious exercise always makes me feel better even though it feels hard some times.
Breakfast was served at Gite Fleury 8:00 am sharp and we had a lovely spread of local produce and the conserves were just divine. Diving into the fruit platter was also a great idea as I knew I needed a good and solid start to the day. The coffee also helped a lot as did the conversation around the breakfast table.
Heading west to the Parc de Grands Jardin was just fabulous, the scenery spectacular and the day was just incredible. We arrived at the visitors centre and checked in, paid and sorted ourselves a bit, then headed out to the trailhead. Miss K was ready to go and I was right there with her. We took off and set a good pace for the 4km, 480 metre vertical trail that would take us to the summit of Mont du Lac Des Cygnes.
As we ascended the wildlife came to greet us, squirrels running around and birds calling out to all letting then know there were humans around to mess up their day. The landscape and flora changed continually as we continued up. We went from birch trees to lichen moorlands to alpine meadows to a crusty granite cap at 980 metres ASL. This was to be vantage point into the magnificent Charlevoix Crater and out across to the Saint Laurent River.
As we walked around the summit and began our descent Miss K spotted a black bear and two cubs roaming on the ridge about 350 metres from where we were. This was truly incredible and something that we had both hoped to see. So amazing to be that close……..To be honest I was very nervous about it as female black bears are extremely dangerous when they are nurturing their young.
On the way back down to the trailhead we took our time taking in the scenery and the flowers blooming. We even spotted a fairly rare carnivorous orchid species. Even the rangers at the visitors centre were impressed that we had found it. We arrived back at the trailhead a little bit tired but very satisfied with our adventure.
We headed off further east towards Saguenay with an appetite and a desire to shower. It was about an hours drive through incredible pine forests and lakes to our destination. We had a beer or two at a bar we found in downtown Saguenay and booked a place to stay for the night. It was now time to head to our accommodation and go for a stroll along the beach. The description of the area in the booking page was very accurate indeed.
We loved our stay at Auberge de la Riviere Saguenay.