This is our last day together. For the last time, Catherine and Marie-Michelle are waking us up to the sound of the ukulele. A number of people are joining them, and it is a line of singers and dancers who go from room to room. What a joy.
We had breakfast looking at the river. It changes from the forest and the mountains, and it’s just as beautiful. The Auberge des Sapins is the perfect place to end our expedition. Before we leave for Québec City, we have the official graduation ceremony. You won’t be surprised to know that everyone has received their certificate of excellence. This degree represents all the efforts made, all the thoughts and learning about ourselves and the life we have had. It also represents the sharing, mutual support and cohesion of our group.
One last group photo in front of the river and we’re back on the road. We take full advantage of those four hours of travel because they are our last moments together. On the bus, as we usually do, we laugh, we sing. We also remember our wonderful moments together. It is unbelievable how we have built strong relationships so quickly. They have consolidated over the days and are now as strong as the Monts Vallières.
We will remember Adam’s laughter, Serena’s smile, Jayden, our “back street boy”, Alexandra’s little attention, Audrey’s sweetness, Gerald’s cookies, Georgi’s leadership, Catherine’s translations, Nicholas’s little distractions, Antoine’s perseverance and Angel’s calm.
There are several quotes and anecdotes that we will keep in mind: “Is there any milk in there?” – Nicholas – Is anyone here? – to use the toilet – Thank you for breakfast – Jayden said in French – I’m freezing like a Popsicle – Gerald – Karl always comes at the right time …
– Morning Song – Charles’ wonderful meals – Jessica’s energy
– Valuable advice from our guides Korine and Isabelle – Marie-Michelle’s and Catherine’s audacity in organizing this magnificent expedition – The best care of our Doc, Caroline, and our nurse, Marie-Pierre.
And so much more!
Here we are, in Québec City. The first stop is at the bus station. The Montreal group will leave in an hour, and then flights will follow. It’s time to say goodbye. The hugs and the words line up and one last “cinnamon roll.”
Heavy hearted, we are so grateful for this adventure.
We have surpassed ourselves, we have learned, we have had new experiences, and, above all, we now have new friends across Canada.
I will end my role as a blogger by thanking you for reading me. I hope that you have appreciated and perhaps you have felt what we have gone through.
To all the participants and staff of the expedition, I hope that these texts and photos will allow you to immerse yourself once again the well-being we had, to feel these moments of happiness once again. I will keep you in my heart for a long time, every one of you.
Thank you for being yourself. You are inspiring.
Chantale Lecours, Photographer and Blogger for On the Tip of the Toes Foundation