Each month, we give the floor to adventurers who have been able to travel. They share their experiences and advice with us. This month, Thomas tells us about his trip to Canada, more precisely to the Gaspé Peninsula.
I had the chance to travel to Quebec when I was 14 years old. Once I arrived in Quebec, I was immediately struck by the openness of the people. I said to myself: “You’ll really have to find a way to come back to this part of the world. So a few years later I left home to discover Canada and travel to the Gaspé Peninsula.
My name is Thomas Doucet, I am a young French adventure photographer and videographer. I left France and the Paris region to discover the world with my camera. The Gaspé Peninsula was my first travel destination and I studied there. This stage of my life allowed me to stop there long enough to take the time to discover its landscapes and its culture. I found there an ideal ground to create and document new creations as much in video as in photography.
Of course I had already travelled in my life, but to move to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean was quite a story! Especially when you’ve been 18 for only 7 days! I had heard about the Gaspé when I was looking to go to college. When I studied the map, I could see that the region was well north of Quebec City. Not really knowing how to explain it, I said to my friends: “You see Montreal? Well, it’s a 10-hour bus ride north! I thought that set the tone well! But I didn’t care, I was ready for a new existence.
(the Gaspé Peninsula, Quebec, Canada, ©Aegir Medias)
Freshly arrived in the Gaspé Peninsula, I was struck by the diversity of landscapes and expeditions that were offered to me. It is important to know that the Gaspé Peninsula is really an experience in itself. All along Route 132, we follow the St Lawrence River and the mountains. The contrast between the Gaspé and the Paris region had an extremely calming effect on me. Here people take their time and give more importance to the quality of the moment. I admit that I was quite destabilised at first. However, my passion for exploration quickly took over.
That’s how I went to explore the the Gaspé Peninsula National Park. To enjoy the park, you have to pay an entrance fee and this gives access to a wide range of hikes for all levels, with a great variety of landscapes. Once you arrive in St-Anne des Monts, go to route 132 and then take route 299 (better known as the park road). At this point you will be plunged directly into the park’s many mountains.
Since my first day in the park, I have done most of the trails offered by the the Gaspé Peninsula National Park. I must admit I have some preferences! Some are sentimental. Others offer something that no other mountain offers. They each have their own particularity that makes me never get tired of exploring them.
You can start by doing the waterfalls of St-Anne and then go and see the Americans’ lake (short hike of 2.9 km). This lake is, in my opinion, a must-see in the region.
(Ste-Anne’s waterfalls, the Gaspé Peninsula, Canada, ©Aegir Medias
(Americans’ lake, the Gaspé Peninsula, Canada, ©Aegir Medias)
For those who want to do a longer hike, Mount Olivine (10.3 km walk) is an interesting goal. It offers several unmissable viewpoints. One of these is the observatory overlooking the Diable Falls and the Diable Lake. From the lake it is possible to climb for another 1 km. From the top of Mount Olivine you will be able to observe a wide panorama of the park.
(Devil’s Lake, the Gaspé Peninsula, Canada, ©Aegir Medias)
(Mount Olivine, the Gaspé Peninsula, Canada, ©Aegir Medias)
Ahhh, Mount Xalibu, this one has a really special place in my heart. I did it the first day I discovered the park. It’s a more difficult hike (10 km) than Mount Olivine, but it overlooks the American Lake. The sunset is simply magical. To reach the top you have to walk 10km with sections that will challenge your legs.
I love this hike! It is not uncommon to see female moose with their babies, but also large bulls. They are impressive animals, with a placid appearance. It is essential to respect their environment. To do this, keep a reasonable distance from them to ensure that you can see them without disturbing them. Don’t worry, they are used to humans, so respect the wildlife and keep your distance! Once you reach the top of the mountain, take your time to admire the 360 degree view !
(Moose, Mount Ernest Laforce, Canada, ©Aegir Medias)
My practical advices
You should know that no matter what the hike is you need to be prepared, to be able to make the most of your outing here are my tips