Adventuring through Chaleur region

The first week of August I organized a media trip in New Brunswick. Instead of going down south, where everyone else goes, I decided to spend the week in what people call ''the pit stop'' of New Brunswick, Région Chaleur.
 

Now why is it called the Pit stop place? Because that's where everyone stops for a night or two before heading down south. The thing that people don't realize however, is the beauty they are missing while they focus on their final destination.

After an easy 9h drive, we arrived at our campground called Le Camping, and it was by far my favorite camping spot to date. We had a beautiful ocean front site, where we could inhale the ocean air, hear the marine life that was a few feet away. Let’s face it, it was like in the movies.

It was an early night for us, we were quite tired from the drive and decided to opt for a campfire and catch up on our busy lives. We might of went to bed early, but we were up at 5:30am to catch the sunrise that arrived in front of the ocean horizon.

I think this was one of the easiest sunrise shoots I have ever done. I woke up, walked a few feet away from my tent, and was greeted by this insane pop of pink hues covering the sky. Sophie decided to take her SUP out and it was like…. Inevitable for me to take out the camera and to start shooting.

In a matter of fact, we were all out that morning taking in the breathtaking scene mother nature greeted us with on our first official day in Région Chaleur.

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We took a few hours to have breakfast, relax and talk before we were up and ready for a full day of adventuring with Aventure Nepisiguit where we all fell in love with the hospitality of Samuel, the owner of the company.

I have done many media tours, and contracts with various tourism companies, and the thing that really makes the experience special isn’t necessarily the activities, but it’s the passion that the guides deliver while taking us out to discover their region. In this particular case, Samuel was so inspired and passionate about his region, that it made the whole week even more special. We were so excited to learn about the area, and his passion really transpired through every single one of us.

The first day he took us on a small hike to discover one of the trails he is in the process of restoring, the Nepisiguit Mi'gmaq Trail. The iconic trail is what the natives used for trekking from one region to another and is about 140km long! Samuel taught us about edible plants and some of the history behind the area.

From there, Samuel took us out on a 3 to 4 hour canoe adventure through the Nepisiguit river. It was probably one of the most memorable parts of the trip because half way through the ride we got drenched in rain. And when I mean drenched, I mean like it was pouring non-stop. We laughed, and instead of complaining we just celebrated mother nature and carried on with our adventure. We crossed no one on our paths, it was crazy how silent our surroundings were, however we saw bald eagles in every direction. I even had the opportunity to photograph a juvenile who’s head was not all white yet. Throughout the ride, Samuel was informing us about the region and the river, sharing us some amazing stories that made us appreciate the area so much more.

It’s easy and nice to take some canoes out on a river, however going with a guide makes the experience so much more special because you learn even more about the region.

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Day 01 was insane, and our bodies were aching a little bit once we got back to our campground. We spent yet another early night around the fire talking about everything we witnessed during the day and getting excited about tomorrow’s adventures.

Day 02 was overcast, but that was fine. One thing you learn when you are an adventurer is to never let mother nature get in the way of your itinerary. That’s life, and lets face it, we can’t always have those perfect blue bird days.

Samuel picked us up in the morning to take us out for a walk along the coast, and then for a small kayak adventure in Beresford Lagoon. It was a very foggy day, but again, it did not stop us from adventuring the region.

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The afternoon was clearing up, and we head back to the campground to go snorkeling. It was awesome to be able to just walk from our tent to the ocean and start snorkeling. Samuel guided us through, showing us crabs, fish and lobsters. Although the water was chilly, it was rich in life. It’s funny how you can just sit on the beach looking out to the ocean and knowing the life that can be found just inches away.

Day 03, and our last official day came by very fast. We got up and met Janine, who is Samuels sister and also the inspiring lady behind Tourisme Chaleur, who took us for a bike ride through the local town of Bathurst. We biked through the trail, and then into the village where we had a surprised stop at the local brewer, Four Rivers. It was only 10:30am, but hey! It’s always a good time to taste some good local beer. (Says the girl who never drinks. LOL!) But seriously, it was really cool to visit a local brewery, and learn about the industry,

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After the bike ride, we went back to our campground and took some time for ourselves. Some of us went to the local ice cream shop, others just hung out and went SUP’ing. It was until a few hours when Janine and Samuel came up to surprise us with an ultimate activity to end our trip: Ocean fishing on a kayak!

Everyone’s eyes lit up and our energy suddenly rose to another level. All a of a sudden we were by the shore, with Bass Attack about to head to the water and end our day fishing for some dinner.

Luckily, everyone had the opportunity to catch a few, which led to having dinner plans that night. The guys from Bass Attack, who were once again so kind and passionate, showed us how to prepare our fish over the fire. We had way to many fish and ended up giving some away to the owners of the campground. We ate silently around the fire, savoring the freshest dinner we have ever eaten.

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And there it was, our trip was over. Like the blink of an eye. It might of happened so fast, but it will forever stay in our minds. A beautiful region, inspiring locals and activities to get you to love the outdoors. Samuel and Janine were amazing hosts, and also informed us about the great fall and winter activities the region also has to offer.

Région Chaleur is truly a warming place. (Pun intended!) A lot of people ask me about the adventure itself, and what made it so special. Without a doubt I would have to say the people. The guides, and everyone we had the opportunity to meet made the experience so much better. The tip I love to give to everyone who is planning a trip, is to definitely at some point hire a guide. It makes the experience so much better, and you actually learn about the region. Of course anyone can go anywhere and do what we did on their own, but having someone there, passionate about teaching you the region, creates the long lasting memories. You also come back with a sense of understanding about the area, and how to inspire others to discover that area.

If it wasn’t for Samuel and Janine, we wouldn’t of had the experience we had.

Now, I just can’t wait to go back!

Alex

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