Out for a drive south of Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 6, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Purcari Winery, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist! Arrive December 8th.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Ahead of schedule, and another fantastic overnight spot

We didn't leave Matheson, Ontario until about 10:00am yesterday morning, and we were planning on making it to the small city of Val d'Or, Quebec...about  250 kms (155 miles) away.

But as the day went on, we just kept driving. And, we had a message from our daughter not to forget that we had an appointment to pick up our batch of wine on Friday at noon...we had thought it was Saturday at noon!

East of Matheson, Ontario it's a secondary paved road that leads into the province of Quebec. Not much to see along the way, but a lot of mining activity. In this area of Quebec, the main industry is mining. Gold, copper, lithium, and a variety of other minerals.

Secondary road leading into Quebec.

Hardly anybody on it.

Welcome to Quebec. Bonjour!

As soon as we entered Quebec, the speed limit changed from 80 km/h to 90 km/h. Ontario has very restrictive speed limits. No change in road conditions, or road surface...just a higher speed limit in Quebec. And, much higher going through the towns as well.

We made it to the city of Rouyn Noranda (pop 42,000). A very busy little city, and not very easy for RV's. We did notice a sign that said RV parking outside of the downtown area. As we drove through downtown, we noticed that there would be no way to find RV parking anywhere near downtown.

Nice wall mural on the side of a building in downtown Rouyn Noranda.

We continued on another 100 kms (62 miles) or so to the smaller city of Val d'Or (pop 30,000). 

On the highway between Rouyn Noranda and Val d'Or.

One thing that surprised us was how built up it is. I expected there to be far less people up here in North Western Quebec. We specifically took this route because we had never been here before.

Catholic church in the town of Malartic, Quebec.

Made it to Val d'Or, and stopped at a grocery store to buy some beer. Canada's beer prices are truly ridiculous, but each province does things a little bit differently. Quebec is the only province where you can buy a full selection of beer and wine in a grocery store. Civilized idea, huh? And because of that, there is a lot more competition and they have lower costs. So, they also sell it cheaper.

I bought two cases of 24 of Molson Canadian beer...on sale for $29 a case.

While entering the store, I noticed a sign pointing to an RV dump site...in the grocery store parking lot!

Sherman, using the free dump site.

It was almost 4:00pm by the time we made it through Val d'Or and we headed on in to La Verendrye Park. We hadn't planned on driving that far, but hadn't seen anything along the way that looked nice enough to spend the night. Sure, we could have stayed at the Walmart in Val d'Or, but that's truly a last resort for us. We always think there is something better and there usually is.

This time, there most certainly was!

La Verendrye Park is huge. There are more than a dozen official campgrounds, and lots of unofficial areas too. But the official camping areas closed up on September 11th. The RV ones with full hookups are gated and secured. But the other camping areas are still accessible. 

We pulled in to one, expecting to see other campers, but on a Wednesday in October, we were the only ones there. We looked for some kind of self pay booth, but there was nothing. I guess they simply close up, and if you want to use it, you use it. Likely at this time of year that very few people do.

We took a nice spot by the lake. Absolutely perfect.

Yep, this is perfect.

We went for a sunset walk on the beach.

And then retired to the night.

We ended up doing 355 kms (220 miles), a little more than we usually like. But now, we'll make it to our daughter's place this afternoon instead of tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing everybody!

Yesterday's drive, 355 kms (220 miles).

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16 comments:

  1. Another nice travel day making good time. Gotta bottle that wine at you will be set for a while.
    I can buy beer here for $30.95 a case (Laker)including deposit not too bad of a price then. But still more expensive than in the States.
    Enjoy the visit with the family.

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    1. Laker is not drinkable beer in my opinion. Glad you like it though!

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    2. I like Laker also. Lakeport makes a Red beer, which in my opinion is better than Rikkers Red. It is $32 a case. We in Ontario have to do what we do when we are not in the States.

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    3. Even when Kevin is in the States he rarely buys American beer, he looks for Pacifico (Mexican) beer instead. Again there are very few American beers that he likes. He is a fussy beer drinker! :-)

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    4. Actually Laker Light is our choice, but not everyones taste, personally we don't care for Molson Canadian. That is why there is so many varieties on the market.

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    5. Yep, each to their own, that's for sure.

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  2. Great score on the beer! I love the northern route you're taking. And a beautiful camping spot too.

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    1. We really enjoyed this route and it helped that the trees were in colour which really made for some nice scenery. Our only wish is that could have had even more time, there were a few places that we would have enjoyed exploring more and some nice places that we could have used our kayak too!

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  3. I have/had relatives in Val D'or on my mothers side.

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    1. Maybe you should plan a visit out to see them, especially in the fall when the colours are so pretty.

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  4. If you think about it, a dump station at a grocery store makes a lot of sense. After all, you get your food there---might as well get rid of it there, too ;)

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  5. Perfect timing to head for the fall colours and Celtic music festival in Cape Breton,

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it would be but we aren't headed that far East. Ottawa is our destination so that we can spend time with our families. The colours here are always beautiful too! :-)

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  6. Looks like a lovely overnight spot! And the weather would make it even better!

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    1. The weather has been just about perfect. Our overnight spot would have been even better if we had just one more day because then we could have done some hiking and even put our kayak in for a paddle before heading to Ottawa but we forgot about an appointment that we had for noon Friday.

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