Kayak on St. Lawrence river with fever
It was one of those days when you just hate everything and everyone and you would like to stay in bed all day long with a do not disturb sign hanging on the door handle from the outside.
To add up to it, I had fever, was shaking like crazy, almost didn’t sleep at all the previous night and because of the sinusitis I couldn’t breathe much. Yes, that was exactly how the day I was going to do kayaking on St. Lawrence river started …
At first, I wished I could just cancel it, forget about the outside world, go back to my comfy bed at Auberge des Falaises and sleep it all through. But it was not an option. I needed to show I was strong. I needed to show I could keep my word as I don’t like disappointing people.
So I said yes to the adventure and kayak on St. Lawrence river could start …
First, I met Sébastien, the manager of Katabatik. We signed some forms and picked up wet suits, shoes, hats, gloves and everything necessary. I know, it was second half of June. June! And it was cold like in November, raining or drizzling or whatever it was and with cold mild wind. Let’s say the weather was not cooperating at all and didn’t help me to feel better either. Maybe with some sun I would not shiver! It made me sick to remember my kayaking at Balandra beach in Mexico just in bikini a month ago.
We were picked up and taken to the Quai de Cap-a-l’Aigle Marina where we were supposed to depart from. The Katabatik guides prepared the sea kayaks – there is a difference between those sea ones and the river ones and we used the sea kayaks so the activity we did was called sea kayaking even though we did it on St. Lawrence river.
Us, the tourists, changed in the bathrooms. I felt very weak with all the sickness and then when I put on the wet suit, a jacket, gloves, something I don’t know the name of around my ears and a hat, I felt like a sea lion moving more slowly than a snail.
I admit I was not in the best mood either and was making it a bit difficult. But the guides were amazing and so pleasant they were slowly changing my mood.
The basics of kayaking was explained to us and we were ready to hop into the kayaks. As I was a bit sick and not very strong, I preferred to be in a double kayak with a super sweet guide. She was Canadian, from Quebec, but her English was extremely good, I admired her strength, modesty and thick hair; and she reminded me of Sara, a Portuguese cabin crew I used to work with in Scotland.
We had some nice conversations about life, relationships, traveling and the local life with my guide. And Philippe, our guide senior was always kayaking close to us to give me information about the area, rocks and the birds we spotted. Philippe was not put back by my initial bad/sick mood and kept coming over to explain me things in a funny way with a lovable English accent.
Both the guides and the beauty of the region managed to put a smile on my face and at least for an hour or so forget about the fever.
I started looking around, breathing deeply, and just taking in the charm of Charlevoix region with my eyes and ears.
It took us around an hour of kayaking to get to La Malbaie where we turned and kayaked into the open river where at times it did seem like sea and we could not see the other river bank at all. Then we started paddling back to Quai de Cap-a-l’Aigle Marina. Now we had to overcome the waves that were not there on the way there which made it harder to kayak but thankfully I was not alone and Philippe was cheering us to kayak faster.
After the quiet beginning, the way back was more challenging and I was losing my strength. It was so rewarding to get back the marina. Before we got of the kayaks, Philippe showed us different ways of getting into the water with your full body and most of all, getting out of it. He was brave to do it in that cold river but I guess he must have been used to it already. It was the beginning of Canadian summer after all.
Once we changed back into the dry warm clothes and packed the kayaks on top of the van, Philippe drove me to my hotel as I was ready to go for a well deserved massage.
The adventure turned out pretty awesome in the end and I was really grateful for not having refused kayak on St. Lawrence river even when sick. Shame was I was a bit mean in the beginning but let’s blame the fever 😀 Huge thanks to the guides and also sorry for my mood in the morning. It was fun in the end.
My kayak on St. Lawrence river adventure was a press trip organized by Katabatik (they also do SUP, paragliding, river kayak, bike etc.) with the help of Tourism Charlevoix and Tourism Quebec. Huge thank you for showing me that even a sick person can have fun on the river. The adventure was part of Adventure and Spa project I did.
*** It took me 4 hours to write this post.