Wednesday, 26 June 2013

It's camping, but not as we knew it

What if you could go camping in the wilds of Canada without the troubles of packing and unpacking, mosquito bites or highway traffic?

Well Parcs Québec has the solution to one of these and we tried it on the long weekend of the Fête de la Saint-Jean-Baptiste. (Warning: don't tell people in the RoC - Rest of Canada - that this holiday is known here as La Fête Nationale du Québec. They won't understand, on many many levels, and could get a tad upset...).

The solution is called Huttopia: you arrive at your camp site and the big family tent is already pitched, with electricity, stove, fridge, dishes and cutlery, a camp fire, indoor and outdoor tables and chairs, mattresses and everything else you could have forgotten. Even a corkscrew. All you have to bring is food and sleeping bags. 

We went to the Parc National de la Jacques-Cartier just outside Quebec City and we had a blast. We hiked for miles, silently crept up to observe a wild moose, bicycled, ate, drank, snored in the fresh forest air, kept on the lookout for black bears, stuffed ourselves with burnt marshmallows and more. 

We discovered too that "OFF" with 25% DEET is a good way of keeping the mosquitoes at bay. And the best way to avoid traffic is to travel on Saturday morning, not Friday night. 

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