A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that I would share more information about our Wi-Fi situation at Les Bergeronnes, Well, this was one of the campgrounds that didn’t have Wi-Fi. And back when we entered Canada, we turned the data settings on our iPhones and our iPad (which we normally use as a hot spot when we don’t have access to Wi-Fi) off because data is very expensive for us outside of the U.S. This meant that when we had no access to Wi-Fi, we had no other options.
The good news was that there was one place in the Les Bergeronnes that offered Wi-Fi. It was kind of a snack/gift shop in one of the interpretive centers. And one day we did get to use their Wi-Fi while we had some coffee there but unfortunately, the place shut down every day at 6 p.m. and most days we were out and about until after that time.
Fortunately, Hector and I discovered that we could still access the Wi-Fi after 6 from the marina parking lot adjacent to the snack shop. And there was also a pretty view. So we parked there on a couple of evenings with our laptops to use the Wi-Fi (our little secret, okay?).
Well, on the evening before we left, we’d gone there to try to catch up on the blog, look up weather and check e-mail. As we worked on our laptops, the sun started to go down and we decided to head home. But the car wouldn’t start.
After a couple of tries, we realized that the battery had gone dead. We’re still not sure what caused the battery to die so quickly.
In any case, now the sun had gone down and it was pitch black and foggy on the road back to town. And it was over a mile to the one establishment we thought might be open; the grocery store. But before Hector got on his bike to ride up a steep hill in the dark, I decided to call the office at our campground.
When I explained that our car was dead – the girl at the office immediately said “let me make a few calls and see what I can do”. I didn’t even have to ask her. And she didn’t even ask what we were doing at the marina in the middle of nowhere at this hour.
About fifteen minutes after our conversation, we’d not heard back from her so Hector took off on his bike. Then a few minutes later a gentleman arrived – Hector saw him drive by and turned back. The gentleman apologized for not speaking very good English, jump started our car, and after some polite but limited conversation, left. The girl from the office sent him, she’d tried to call me back but our minimal cell signal had fizzled out.
VERY nice. Yet another example of the kindness of Canadians.
Well, we did get to check weather, and the forecast was for fog to continue. I was concerned. During that night, I woke up a couple of times and heard the foghorn sounding, so the fog had actually gotten thicker. In a strange way, I find that the sound of a foghorn can be calming, but it wasn’t relaxing for me that night.
That next morning there was indeed fog. Hector said he would drive very slowly and pull over if the conditions didn’t feel right. So off we headed out of Les Bergeronnes.
Island Girl was about to take her third ferry. It was a short free ferry across from Tadoussac that crosses the mouth of the Saguenay Fjord. The ferry runs every 20 minutes and is basically considered part of the highway.
So we didn’t plan to get there at any particular time. Luckily, right as we drove up, we were boarded and took off within minutes.
Remember those steep inclines we avoided when we changed our plans leaving the Gaspé Peninsula? Well, we found them on the way to Québec City. So now we had fog AND very steep roads. The fog was variable, though, and would thin out at points, and those clear patches were helpful. But the roads were steep alright. Up and down we went. With 10 and 11% grades common. But at least they were not too curvy.
So Hector continued to take it really easy but he had to downshift and use the engine brake continually. Island Girl isn’t exactly a great climber and at some points we were doing 20 miles per hour in second gear.
The foggy conditions also continued throughout the drive, sometimes as a thick fog, others as just a mist.
Moving slowly as we did, the drive took a couple of hours longer than the GPS estimate. But we still pulled into our campground outside Québec City at a reasonable hour, since we left very early. We were both pretty exhausted from a stressful drive though.
Looking across to QuébecCity, we could barely see it. So we just settled in at our campground, had some Thai takeout dinner and called it a night.
Québec would be there in the morning.