Exploring Tadoussac was the adventure of the day, so we started at the Visitor’s Center where a very nice lady told us where to go and what to see. Martha commented about her ability to write upside down so we could read as she talked. We walked a wooded path to the Marine Environment Discovery Center and Escoumins (lookout point). For $11 each we took the tour. The best thing about the center are the lookout rocks outside, where we saw more Belugas and one big whale. Then Martha hit the shops while I sat outside. An hour later, we had covered the town. While sitting outside one shop, I noticed a local girl leaving a small quick food shack with a paper cone of what looked like fried shrimp. Later we would sample what turned out to be calamari fritters, and they were excellent. Right behind it is a gelateria (gellato) that also serves expresso. We just peeked in for a look, and it looked just like ones we saw in Italy. We decided to return after dinner.
Driving north past our campground, we found the Dunes de Sable that the Visitor’s Center lady suggested. This was a happening! I felt like we were in California or maybe the Baja Peninsula, or maybe a drive-in movie. People were parked along the edge of high, steep cliffs of sand overlooking a beautiful cove. The tide was out, and there was a steady flight of what seemed like thousands of seagulls or terns flying into the beach. We were up so high, they were dots below us. The wind was blowing hard, but people didn’t seem to mind. Some backed their cars in and then put the trunk up. Then they set up chairs behind and had their lunch with the car and trunk lid acting as a wind break. Others parked sideways and took out their chairs. Campers were parked along a tree line, and people were walking down the steep hill to the beach. I put on all the layers I had and walked to the edge of the cliff. I decided I could make it down to the beach, but I would need a chairlift to get me back up the long, steep climb. We ate our lunch in the car and people-watched half the time and beach-watched the other half. Apparently, this is a huge bird-watching area – seabirds, ducks, geese, forrest birds and migrating hawks. At the far end, we took a trail that wound its way to the beach. It wasn’t too bad getting back up.
We returned to the Visitor’s Center to get better WIFI and take care of some business. We decided to return to the Dunes for cocktail hour. By then, the tide was back in and it was raining, giving it a much different look. Still, people came and went. We watched a young family come up from the beach. They were huffing, but they made it. At the far end, a fellow had a small fire going. People came and went, but some were there for the night, one building up sand in front and back of his tires, I guess so the wind wouldn’t blow him off the cliff. It is an incredible spot.