I have always wanted to go to the MagdelanIslands. The islands, which belong to the province of Quebec but are located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence always held a special interest to me because my Great Grandmother was from there. I finally had the opportunity to visit the islands this past summer with my mother and sister.
The trip was well worth it and we had a blast! But there was one part of the trip that stood out from everything else. The trip to Entry Island on a Zodiac! All the islands in the archipelago are attached by natural causeways and bridges except Entry Island which lies about four miles from the rest. The only way to get to the island is by car ferry, small plane or for the more adventurous, a zodiac.
For those of you who don’t know, a zodiac is like a motorized rubber dingy. That’s the best way I can describe it! The night before we set out on our adventure, we prepared for the bad weather that was forecast for the next day. They were calling for high winds and heavy rains but the weather didn’t stop us from meeting the tour group at the docks at 9:00AM sharp! The crew had rain gear for us so that helped a bit. We left the dock in a torrential downpour but soon, it was unnoticeable as the water was so rough, we were getting wet anyway! We sailed at high speeds on the open sea for about a half hour than we reached the coastline of Entry Island.
We scoured this coastline for a long time learning about the history and geology of the island and watching birds and seals swarm our boat. We darted in and out and caves and caverns and made our way through large rock formations. We even spotted a large and rare Leatherback Turtle! The crossing was very bumpy and at times, I thought I would be thrown overboard but we made it to the main dock with everyone in one piece and disembarked the zodiac for the grand tour of this desolate island. The population of the island is only about 130 people, so it seemed like a ghost town to us.
There was no one around and we saw no cars or houses. It was like a deserted island! We walked for about half a mile in our rain gear until we came across a small café and restaurant. We entered and ordered some coffee and poutine, which is a favourite in the area and is not made the same way as any other poutine I have every tasted. Than we set out on our tour of the island.
The island was flat where the few houses stood but the other side of the island was seemingly untouched rolling green hills and valleys. As we walked further, we saw more houses and than we saw people and cars although the popular method of transportation seemed to be all-terrain vehicles as there was one in every yard! We started our tour by visiting a small museum to learn some more about the area. While there, it was recommended that we take a hike to the top of The Big Hill. We debated for some time because we were so tired but in the end we decided that we would have no other opportunity again to climb The Big Hill. And it was a very big hill.
We made it to the top after an hour of zigzagging through small valleys and bogs and we finally made it to the top, we were taken back by the spectacular scenery! We rested for a few minutes and watched some whales in the harbour and took some pictures of the scenic lighthouse and the picturesque surroundings. We made our descent just in time to meet up with the rest of the group. We had a few minutes to spare so we entered the café again to buy some ice cream cones and a couple of T-shirts that read “I climbed The Big Hill” and we boarded the Zodiac that unfortunately took us back to reality and left the little deserted island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean behind.