I cook better than I write

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

La Mauricie

The second camping experience of this summer was the “traditional” week-end at Park de La Mauricie. This is the place where I first came camping with Eric and since then (3 years ago) we visit the park at least once per summer.
The park has a lot of “activities” – you can come for a pick-nick, or rent a canoe/kayak to go down one of the lakes, or you can walk in the woods. Two of the most fascinating things (according to me) to do at Mauricie is kayak-camping on Wapizagonke lake, or 7 day hiking trial around the park. And if the second one is still just a plan (for next summer), campsites on Wapizagonke are our good old friends. There are 13 sites with fire-pits on the lake (there are other types too – you can check it all on the map). Each site has 4 tent platforms and usually 2 pits. To get to the site you have to ….. paddle down the lake (surprise surprise) ;)))

This year, unintentionally, we got the same site that we had first time – site #6. The place is still my favorite, although I haven’t been to all the sites at Wapizagonke. It’s difficult for me to describe the beauty of the lake, just like it is difficult to describe your hometown. You get so used to (in a good way) and fond of the place, and each corner brings so many memories that any description would seem dry and unworthy. I have couple of pictures of scenery – hopefully they’ll be able to channel the amazing peacefulness (don’t expect too much of it in the high season, thought) and beauty of the place. It is the perfect place for the lazy long week-end when you want to sleep till 12 and not sure if you want to paddle or just hang around the campsite.

Don’t forget to check the web-site for more pictures and activities.

The day of our arrival was greyish. We got caught in the sudden downpour that ended as abruptly as it started, to give place to wonderful sunlight and tons of mosquitoes (the only thing I MIND during camping).

Despite constant itching and scratching we’ve managed to set up a camp, and I started…..COOKING!!!!!! The menu of the trip was pretty simple, since a lot of the packing was very last minute:


1st day


2nd day



3rd day

Scrambled tofu with sausages.

Yeah, this time I was SUPER lazy and very messy ;)
Overall, everyone was happy with the food; even butterflies came down for breakfast. They ate jam off of my fingers, and drank water from our water-bladder.

This was the most “insect – intensive” camping experience. We had mosquitoes, no-seems, butterflies, and dragonflies all over.
The morning routine would start by making sure that no butterflies were caught between the fly and the tent. After rescuing all the stubborn creatures, it was time for breakfast (don’t forget to feed the butterflies). Then, once the dishes were done and everything was put away – it was time to ….. work!!! I brought some test-scoring sheets with me and spent a couple of hours next to the lake working…. But hey, when your “office” looks like this you don’t mind doing some overtime ;)

After the hard work it was time to check out the wild life. Tadpoles were warming up in the water, while worms were trying to hide in the shadow (I even managed to overcome my fear of worms and held one of them!!!!)

By night the tadpoles would disappear and the frogs would take their place. The frogs were not as numerous, but they were surprisingly aggressive. In fact, when Eric decided to pet one of them, the monstrous creature tried to bite his finger off (should I mention that he was almost blinding the poor thing with his head-lamp ;))))

All this time, while I was running around exploring the “wild-life” Eric enjoyed some solo-paddling experiences, or just relaxed, looking at the beautiful Wapizagonke.

At night – more cooking and gathering around the fire

On the first evening I went for the short paddle – it was the first time I was on the water alone at night. I lied back (literally – the deck of the “Explorer” is so low that you can lay back on it) in the kayak and looked at the sky filled with stars …… these kind of moments are so peaceful, yet powerful….. it makes me feel very safe…. I feel like I am a part of something big (the NATURE) and that it welcomes me, protects me, and takes care of me….. And although I am just a tiny grain of sand in the desert, I still feel the power of the nature inside me…. I feel the courage, the strength, the adventurousness…. It’s such an incredible mix of feelings ……
On the second night Eric joined me for the after-the-sunset paddle (2 other campers followed our example – it was the first time they paddled at night). We started by paddling away from the sunset (East) and were surprised by the darkness of the water and the shore…. It was so dark that we felt almost disoriented (I guess, it happened because we couldn’t make out the horizon; both water and the sky were dark grey and it was hard to say where one ends and the other starts). Once we turned West, where the sky was somewhat light on the horizon – the feeling changed completely, and we enjoyed the quietness and majestic of the night (my favorite time for paddling).

And more goofing off next day

Unfortunately, everything ends one day, and so did our long camping week-end. On the third day we slowly packed our gear, said bye to the tent ground, the trees, the beach, the butterflies, and tadpoles and started our journey up the lake.


Anonymous said...

Great place with evil and hungry mosquitoes. The worse are, probably, in Birobijan.

- pesec.

CCC (Crazy Cooking Camper) said...

hello there!!!!

Finally someone had pity one my itchy bitten legs.