dinner on beach at ste anneWe are currently in Forillon National Park, at the very tip of the peninsula, where we are camped overnight.  We left Ste Anne des Monts this morning after two glorious days!! I wish I could blog with scents as well as pictures, because the ocean breeze has the loveliest salty smell.  Not like you find in big industrial or developed areas, but more like the smell of a fresh salmon.

Our campsite was on the beach, Camping du Rivage, about 1.5 km before the village. (Here is a Youtube commercial, if you want to get a real flavour.)  As is common is these parts, the village is normally close to a river that leads to the sea and a big church is at the center of it all.  We’ve seen many villages where the schools or convents have been converted to other purposes.  This town is no different with 2 old school houses having become inns and one former convent presently up for sale.  Their locations are often prime, overlooking the sea, close to all the amenities.

Our first evening in Ste Anne was spent eating a dinner of shrimp salad, chatting with the neighbours from Longueuil (Jean and Didi Cormier) and getting to know the outrageous owner, Francis Mercier.  We had a fantastic panoramic view of the town and the waterfront.  We sat on the beach for a bonfire, just like in the movies as we watched the sun set on the St. Lawrence.  I also watched the sun rise at 4:35am this morning over the water.  Now that’s a big view!sunset Ste Anne des Monts2

Yesterday we got on our bikes and rode about 2 km to town in search of the local delicacies such as bread and chocolate.  We visited a house called Alexis which used to be the doctor’s home.  The owner has completely restored the house adding a gift boutique in the basement where each room has a different theme.  My favourite was the coastal theme, of course.  One room even had bookshelves especially made for the rounded wall.  The floors in this room were inlayed with card symbols as it was the doctor’s bridge room.

On the main floor, there is a deli and a fine food shop as well as a large kitchen where they prepared catered items.  Other rooms include a dining area and a sitting room where special events are sometimes held.  The details of the whole house were simply phenomenal.  It’s a good thing I wasn’t with my buddy Marlene or we would still be there.sunset Ste Anne des Monts

The next stop was the chocolaterie where we purchased a delicious treat for dinner.  From then on, we were off to the boulangerie for a nice loaf of bread, a cup of coffee and a pastry for Leon.  We sat overlooking the main street drinking our coffee.  Very European!

The ride back to the campground was entirely against the wind and took about 3 times longer that going to town.  After a seaside lunch of grilled chicken and tomato open-faced sandwiches (with a nice glass of wine, of course), we went shopping for the evening meal – snow crab legs.  20130705_184604Our host, Francis, said he would gladly process the crab for us and we would only have to eat it.  I served it with a yummy veggie rice and more bread, while Jean and Didi offered some local cheese as an appetizer – fromage des Basques from Trois Pistoles.  Leon and I had also picked up some Danish beer, Faxe, to share with everyone.  Of course picking up some beer necessitated yet another bike ride into town where we couldn’t help but share a guedille (lobster roll) just for the experience of it.guedilleleon eating his first guedille

The evening concluded on the beach with another huge bonfire.  We chatted till close to 10pm and I noticed it never really seemed to get dark at all.  At one point, I think I may have seen the northern lights across the water on the north shore.  But it might have just been lightning.

Didi and Francis at the bonfire.
Didi and Francis at the bonfire.