Weekly Photo Challenge: Adventure

This week, share a photo that says “adventure.” It could be an image of someone setting off on an epic journey, a photo you took on an adventure of your own, or something more metaphoric that represents a personal or psychological adventure. – The Daily Post

On my weekend getaway with my boyfriend last month, our first stop was a location called Caverne Trou de la Fee where other than exploring cave and trekking on hiking trails, the other activity people could go experience was ziplining over the water area.  The zip line 350 metres long and 50 metres high.  As much as I’m a newbie in this whole zip lining business and I truly love the adrenaline rush, my fear of heights would never allow me to do these adventurous acts.  However, we walked past people that did do it and here’s a few shots of them 🙂

Trou de la Fee

Preparing for ziplining

Trou de la Fee

In the middle of the zipline

Trou de la Fee

In the middle over the water – zoomed in

Adventures are fantastic.  It can just be defying what we love or exploring something new. Everyday can be an adventure, of course, some are more extreme than others, just like this extremely high zip line adventure for their participants 🙂

What do you think of when you think of adventure? 

Saguenay, QC: Centre d’observation de Falardeau

The last day of Saguenay was for the Centre d’observation de Falardeau.  Its a observation centre for animals.  They  hold only a few of certain animals but they take very good care of them.  Right when you go in to the reception hut, they have a bunch of baby animals there. You can pet some of them and some are in their cages depending on how interactive they are.  I really wanted to get a chance to pet the tiger cubs but they already outgrew that stage so it was the first weekend where they were back to just viewing.  But thats okay, I still got to pet baby kangaroos and baby raccoons. One day, I’ll get to those baby tigers and have a chance to pet them…one day, it’ll happen! 😉

There’s really nothing to say about this observation centre or we can even call it a zoo to a certain extent.  Its amazing to see actually pretty happy animals (or at least they look that way) and healthy.  They all look excited to see everyone thats there and they live in a fairly decent amount of space for them to roam around.  It should give them a natural habitat sort of feeling. It was a very memorable experience.

Without saying anymore, here is a portion of the pictures that I took there.  A lot were behind cages (like bears and tigers, etc) so I just gave up on showing those pictures because its not clear enough.

Saguenay has a lot of beautiful things to offer and this observation centre goes right along with everything else I’ve done here.  They actually have another zoo that I went to last time in St. Felicien which is more of a zoo and bigger.  Its also worth the visit and I invite you head over to check it out if you missed it back in 2012 right HERE! The most epic moment goes to my distant staredown with a wolverine.

I’m falling really behind with a bunch of this travel stuff.  I still have stuff to post up from Hong Kong.  Hopefully,  I’ll manage to do some catching up and sharing a bit more of my travels this year throughout September 🙂

Have you gone on your vacation yet? Where did you go? Are you a fan of zoos? Which was your most memorable zoo visit?

Saguenay, QC: Hiking in Mont-Valins National Park

Day 2 started on a good note.  We were energized and warmed up from the day before and ready to tackle the Mont Valins National Park.  It was about a 45 minute drive or so from the hotel.  We had to first go to the Information Building where we paid our fees and learned a little about the trails to decide where to start and what takes us where.

We finally decided to drive up to the higher trails so that we could benefit from seeing the higher viewpoints and not having to worry about not completing the trail and ending off in the middle of nowhere and having to turn back.  The drive up was the most painful for the car because it was off road and huge slopes.

It was quite a relief when we finally got up there and parked.

Off we go for the hike on the Pic de la Hutte Trail! It crosses over two other trails and includes three viewpoints. The top most one is also the starting point for paragliding and has a breathtaking view.  It makes trekking through this crazy mountain with snakes, birds and frogs worth it.

Hiking is amazing because of getting in touch with nature (even if I’m mega freaked out by snakes). Its also great because its motivating and great exercise.  This time, we were better prepared with snacks and abundance of water so we were able to set a good pace and keep our energy going.  The best part about hiking is going higher and higher up and seeing that absolutely stunning 360 degree view that really nothing can compare.  The reward at the end makes all that hard work feel almost like nothing.

Saguenay Lac Saint Jean region has some of the most beautiful hiking trails that I’ve ever gone on.  Its really a treat and if you are a hiker, I highly recommend it! 🙂

I’ll be wrapping up the Saguenay weekend getaway with the last day events tomorrow! Remember to check back..I promise a lot of cuteness! 🙂

Saguenay, QC: Parc de la Caverne Trou de la Fée

This year, my boyfriend and I had a big purchase: our house.  With a few other events budgeted in, we had to make cuts.  That went to cutting down on the vacation we had together in the end.  However, we did decide to take a trip since it was nice to take a breather, relax and just be together away from everything.  Thats what weekend getaways are fantastic for.

Our choice was Niagara Falls and Saguenay.  Seeing as we’ve already been to Niagara Falls two times in the last 6+ years, we decided to go back to Saguenay and do what we weren’t able to do last time.

The first one was scheduled for Day 1 for a cave exploration and walking and hiking trail located in Parc de la Caverne Trou de la Fee. What that directly translates to is “Fairy’s Hole Cavern Park”.  The park is actually very affordable with a guarantee of at least 3 hours of activities. Its separated into 4 parts.

The first part is going for the 15 minute cave exploring.  They are known for their wide settlement of bats, except summer isn’t the season and with some climate changes, its caused an irregularity from what the guide said.  Inside the cave, it was impossible to see anything so I didn’t even bother to take any pictures but I promise you, there is actually a shape of a fairy in there on the walls and there’s a little piece of history attached to it.  However, the walk to the cave had a few pictures.

Parc de la Caverne Trou de la Fee

Overview of the park area at the start of the trail

Parc de la Caverne Trou de la Fee

Looking back from the bridge over the falls

When you reach the other side, its a little bit of a hike and then you get to the cave, where we wait for a little bit and head in to explore.

Parc de la Caverne Trou de la Fee

Waiting to go into the cave!

If you recall, I actually did another cave exploration earlier this year.  This one had a little bit more maneuvering around rocks.  It had some narrow spaces but it was short enough to not be too much of a problem. There was three chambers to go through and some stairs to climb here and there. It was pretty impressive!

Coming out of the cave, the second part of the hike is following the path back, except when we cross to the other side of the bridge, there is an actual hiking trail to the Three Falls.  This trail does a loop and leads to an open area with three waterfalls.

Parc Caverne Trou de la Fee

Lots of water around the site! Love it!

Parc Caverne Trou de la Fee

Near the falls!

Parc Caverne trou de la fee

A beautiful rainbow

The hike is a simple family trail.  Its easy and comfortable.  Coming back into the loop, you come back to the main path and this time, instead of heading back the way we came, you go down to walk on the old electric dam facilities which now forms a tunnel with some information about what this site used to be used for.

Parc caverne trou de la fee

As you walk through this, it is connected with some wire barriers like this one, which leads to wooden pathways.

parc caverne trou de la fee

This path eventually leads to the final part of the trail which is the Green Corridor/Coulée Verte. This part is yet another hike but a super calming and beautiful fun.  The only thing is this one gets a little more challenging with narrow paths and some slippery uphill areas, rocky paths and that sort of thing.  Hiking shoes are useful not only for the caves but also for this trail.

During this path, I gained my new obsession on this trip, aside from waterfalls and flowing rivers: assorted berries and mushrooms, especially along mossy areas.

The Green Corridor was long and curvy.  It was pretty tiring as the ending of this trail, mostly because our day started at 6am and a 6 5+ hours drive.  However, it was a great preparation for warming up the muscles and getting ready for our actual hike the next day.

If you are in the Saguenay Lac Saint Jean area, this area is a must do.  Its not expensive and you get a whole lot of activities to do which makes it completely worth it.  Its part of getting in touch with nature.  You can always choose to not do the cave and just do the trails and that costs less.  Or you could choose to do everything including the 350 feet high zip line crossing.  I wasn’t brave enough to do that.  I’m not actually sure of the actual height but its pretty high so I wouldn’t be surprised if it is.

Thats Day 1 in Saguenay for us! Getting in touch with nature, a bit of hiking, lots of water, calming and refreshing! I loved it! 🙂

Day 2 coming up tomorrow! 🙂

Trip to the Fjord Museum

Saguenay is known for its fjords and its marine life and research on that level as it runs along the Saguenay River and ends at the Lac Saint Jean.  This museum is situated on the Saguenay Marine Park and featured multiple exhibits.  Please note that I didn’t take pictures for all the exhibits especially when it was for mostly reading material or photographs.

The first exhibit was when we walked down the hall from the reception area to the first exhibition hall.  There was an exhibition of photos titled “Underwater Beauties”.  It had pictures of various colorful marine species like starfishes, sea anemones, etc.

The second exhibit was in the first hall and was a temporary exhibit featuring various types of whales.  It provided information on all sorts of whales like the Beluga, Dolphin, Killer Whales, Blue Whales, Right Whales, etc.  It was accompanied by little interactive games to better understand how the animals functioned such as their hearing, adaptation, maneuvering through water.

The third one that we went to was about BALSAC, a program collaborated by multiple professors throughout Quebec universities that focused on building a system on the historical values and figures of the Saguenay region.  It focused on the roots and colonization and the development in this region.  We walked through the panels of this exhibit called “Roots and Dreams: A Fresh Look at the Saguenay Lac Saint-Jean region.”  I was interesting to see how the region itself has developed over the last 40 years or so, socially and economically.  This one not only had a whole lot of information but came with video clips, sound clips, articles, various objects from the pertaining period.  They also explained the programs and how each professor occupied a crucial position in putting together all the data in about this region.

The fourth exhibit is where we get the real deal.  We enter into the farthest part in the museum and we see 2-3 aquariums with various fishes.

The aquariums weren’t really crazy or anything.  I believe it was focused on the marine life around the area, typical fishes, etc.  The one thing I really enjoyed about this museum though was the fact that it had the pool where you got to touch some of the marine life and because it has less traffic, they actually carefully explain everything to you and gives you the full experience.

So lets check out the stars of the little observation pool full of…

STARFISHES!

The girl explained that starfish had their teeth at the center and they would suck out the meat of say the mussels

SEA URCHINS

Sea urchins are similar to starfish as they also have their mouth at the middle which if you look clearly has 5 little teeth.

This was really funny because while in my boyfriend’s hand it was leaking water out of it from the back.

HERMIT CRABS

Hermit crabs usually borrow the empty shells to hide themselves.

The one on the bottom was placed down upside down which made them crawl out a bit more.

SEA CUCUMBERS
To end off this exhibit area, I’d like to show you a little stunt our little friend, the snail has when near a starfish, as they are their primary predators.
After this exhibit, we went to the another new permanent one called Museum Vivarium. Its where we can touch amphibians and arachnids and insects.
This little guy here is extremely fierce. He went straight for the finger.  Thank goodness there was a glass.
After that, there were the frogs.  That little guy is sitting on my boyfriend’s hand.How cool is that!?!

After the frogs, we had this aquarium full of leaves and branches. Or is it?

Voila! Stick bugs!

It was actually funny.  These stick bugs camouflage with trees and their branches.  So when the guide open the door to get one to show us and touch, the bugs started moving up and down, as if there was actual change in the environment so it was wind blowing through them.  It was hilarious to look at!

This area had a few other little nifty things, for example, a horseshoe crab skeleton (that thing is massive in size).  They had tarantulas and crickets.  They had specimans of insects all around the world, even one of the biggest ones were winged insects in Malaysia and Indonesia.  I’m not much of an insect person so that was somewhat disturbing.

Overall, this museum was really fun.  It wasn’t as big as  I had expected it to be but because it was less populated with visitors, it allowed the visit to feel more personal and experience a lot more.

Hope you enjoyed our visit to the museum, next stop will be to the Zoo Sauvage de St-Felicien!