The program can vary due to many factors. Light conditions, the weather, the presence of wildlife such as whales, seals, fox dens, etc., your photo priorities, and the amount of stamina you have left at the end of the day will all be considerations. Hiking excursions do not require a high level of physical fitness. We will take a "good rest break" at each place visited, so you will have plenty of time for your photos. Feel free to ask Louis Lavoie or myself for advice on photo topics and techniques. You are not required to get up very early. However, the light is superb between 4am and 9am on Anticosti. I strongly suggest you try it at least once during your stay! A nap will always be possible in the middle of the day to recover.
Monday / Day 1: Port Menier and the West Part of the Island
Departure from Montreal and Quebec City. See flight information. Arrival at Port-Menier airport around 10:30 am. I will be there to welcome you. We will then go to the village of Port-Menier to photograph your first deer and the surroundings of the only village on the island. Lunch will be served at the Auberge Port-Menier around 12:00 pm. We will take this opportunity to get to know each other better. Around 1:30pm, we will visit the museum and the site of the Chateau Menier for an introduction to the history of the island. After settling in to our rooms at the Copaco cottage, we will leave for Baie-Sainte-Claire and Pointe-Ouest around 4:00 pm. and stay until dusk. This area is rich in the history of the island and offers many photo opportunities consisting of a shipwreck, cemeteries, an old homestead, deer, seabirds, sunset, etc. We will have a seaside picnic lunch before sunset. Your memory cards will surely be well filled after this first day. We will then begin out 13 km return to the cottage for a good night's rest.
Tuesday / Day 2: Potato Chalets - North Central Anticosti
Get up at 4:00 am for those who want to return to Baie-Sainte-Claire or take pictures in Port-Menier at daybreak. I strongly recommend it! Coffee and muffins will be available. The real breakfast will be served around 8:30 am at the gite.(I don't know what this is Rene) Those who don't want to get up early can still take lots of nice pictures near the cottage. After lunch we will load our luggage, stop at the village grocery store and liquor store, and begin our 90 minute trek for the Potato cottages. A stop at Kalimazoo Falls is planned for photography and swimming, as well as at the McDonald Lodge for gas and scenic beauty. We should arrive at the Potato chalet around 12:30 pm. You will meet Claire, my wife, as well as my friend Louis Lavoie, photography trainer and my fellow guide for the safari. You will choose of your rooms and Claire will serve you one of her specialties for lunch. A moment of respite will follow to settle in, take a nap, fish for sea trout, or photograph the environment of Potato Bay. Around 4:30 pm, we will visit the Corneille enclosures, a 15 minute drive from the Potato cottages. You will be surprised to see what plants (willowherbs, raspberries, birch, etc.) are found there compared to the rest of the island. You realize the impact the deer have on Anticosti's vegetation! Louis Lavoie will take the opportunity to teach you some very practical photo tips. At about 7:00 pm we will photograph the sunset, blue hour and twilight at Point Carleton, not far from the Potato cottages. Dinner will be served at the end of the evening and we will enjoy a good night and good rest.
Wednesday / Day 3:
Canyon Observation and Baie de la Tour
For the early risers, photo of the sunrise in front of the Potato cottages around 3:45 am. Sea trout fishing may be an option depending on the tides. You will be amazed by the abundant wildlife in the area. Loons, common mergansers, terns, eagles, sea lions, deer and foxes will be our neighbors.The light is magnificent in the morning. Breakfast will be between 6:30 am and 7:30 am. We will prepare a picnic lunch and strike off around 8:30 am for the impressive canyon of the Observation River with its multi step waterfalls. It is the ideal place to practice photography in HDR mode and capture the movement of the water. Louis and I will be happy to share our tips on this subject. We'll spend at least 90 minutes there. We continue our journey towards the famous Baie de la Tour, passing by the observation deck of the Vauréal Falls. You will have a glimpse of the waterfall and the Vauréal canyon, which will be part of another day of expedition. Lunch is planned at Baie de la Tour where we will take at least two hours for photos, depending on the light and wildlife present. On the way back we will make a small detour to Vauréal la Mer to photograph the mouth of the river and the bay of Vauréal. We will then drive back to the Potato cottages in the evening and if there is still time we could go back to photograph the sunset 5 minutes away from the cottages, fish for sea trout or simply relax on the beach and enjoy the scenery. The evening meal can be served earlier in the evening, we'll see.
Thursday / Day 4:
The Jupiter River, its mouth and salmon pools
Coffee and muffins for early risers and photos in the Bay of Patate or the Bay of Capelans 5 minutes from the cottages by truck. We will eat an early breakfast around 6:30 am because we have a four hour ride to the Jupiter River on the south side of the island. We will leave at 7:30 am to refuel at McDonald and begin our drive to Jupiter, the largest river on the island. First stop, the beautiful salmon pool of Jupiter 24. You will see salmon swimming in crystal clear water and fly fishermen at work. A polarizing filter will help you photograph the salmon in this pit. After about an hour we will drive to the Jupiter 30 pool and its impressive cliff. A wide angle will allow you to capture all the splendor of this landscape. On our way to Jupiter la Mer, we will stop in a sector rich in fossils for macro photography. We will eat our lunch at Jupiter la Mer and spend 2 to 3 hours in this environment frozen in time. Then it is a 90 minutes drive back to the Patate chalets in the late afternoon. Optional activities: rest, photos in Potato Bay, fishing or dinner earlier.
Friday / Day 5:
Vauréal Canyon Excursion
For early risers we will have coffee and muffins as we enjoy fishing or photography in Potato Bay or Capelin Bay. Breakfast will be served between 6:30 am and 8:00 am and we begin preparation of lunches for the excursion in the Vauréal Canyon. Departure is planned around 9:30 am for the Canyon, 45 minutes away. The hike lasts about 4 to 5 hours round trip. Don't forget: water shoes, hat, sunscreen and bathing suit as you will be tempted to dive into one of the crystalline pools of the Vauréal. Lunch will be at the foot of the falls. We return to the cottages in the late afternoon and free time afterwards. Dinner will probably be served earlier (around 6:00 pm) as Louis will present us with a photo training on the blue hour and Light-Painting later. We will possibly end the evening with a camp fire, if conditions allow.
Saturday / Day 6:
Chicotte la Mer, south bank of Anticosti
Once again, early risers can enjoy photos or fishing in the Bay of Potato. Breakfast will be around 6:30 am. Departure is planned around 8:00 am for Chicotte la Mer. Another good day by truck. Our four hour drive will bring us across the island from north to south through the Wickenden burn area. We will stop at Smith Lake and Muskrat Lake, which are among the largest lakes on the island. Chicotte la Mer Pavilion is a superb Scandinavian style log cabin on the oceanfront. The site is enchanting and deserves at least a few hours there. You will see tamed deer and meet the colorful "Cowboy" master of the place. We will take a short 15 minute excursion in the small Chicotte Canyon to its superb natural swimming pool, passing by the mouth of the Chicotte River. The beautiful landscapes will inspire you, I am convinced. We return to the Potato cottages in the late afternoon and possibly stop at Anse de la Sauvagesse, on the north shore for sunset. We'll discuss it in the trucks on the way back. Otherwise the Bay of Potato will surely provide us other beautiful photo opportunities. Dinner, fishing, camp fire and another good night's rest.
Sunday / Day 7:
The Potato River and its surroundings
For this last full day on the island, we will take full advantage of the environment of the Potato cottages. One or two hiking excursions in the bed of the Potato River are possible. The first, which lasts about two hours, consists of going down the river to its mouth. You will see different varieties of wildflowers, beautiful salmon pools, deer and probably beavers. The second consists of going up one of the branches of the Potato to a magical and very little known place. Two magnificent waterfalls with levels (I don't understand this Rene), each with a circular pool, will amaze you. These are real natural swimming pools embedded in a superb little canyon. To get there, you have to drive on an old hunting path for 45 minutes and walk one of the branches of the Potato. A walking tour of about 3 hours. We may have difficult choices to make that day because other nearby activities will be possible: Sea trout fishing, a photo session at the Wilcox wreck, a short excursion into the McDonald River or Anse de la Sauvagesse, a camp fire, a nighttime photo shoot on the beach, etc. We will decide based on what's in everyone's interest.
Return to Port-Menier
Return flights We may have an early morning photo opportunity near the cottages or fishing for enthusiasts. Breakfast at 6:30 am, then load the luggage and depart for Port-Menier around 8:30am, as the next group will arrive at the airport around 10:00 am. You will have time to take pictures in the village, and have lunch in Port-Menier. The return flight is scheduled for 1:00pm. Arrival in Quebec City will be around 3:30 p.m. and in Montreal around 4:45 p.m. Please note that there may be changes to the schedule for uncontrollable reasons such as weather. That's it, it's already the end of the trip but it will last a long time through your memory cards! Feel free to contact me if you have any suggestions for activities or call me at 418-571-6603
See you very soon,