Sun without all-inclusive for Christmas
As the holidays and winter approach, Métro reveals the original plans of some travelers to inspire you if you have, you too , want to get away from it all during the cold season. Warning: their routes may warm your body and mind!
Traveling has always been part of the DNA of Andréane and Louis-Benoît's family: “Even before the arrival of our daughters, we had traveled quite a bit backpacking in Europe, among other places. It was therefore only natural to continue to build our life and our budget around this objective with Adélaïde and Élysée”, explains the mother, who also feels a little urgent to make up for the time lost due to the pandemic.
Andréane and Louis-Benoît want to take advantage of the latitude granted by the three weeks of school holidays in order to think a little more off the beaten track and outside Terrebonne, where they live. “It is so enriching for our girls to learn about other ways of life! In addition, they are at an age where they want to participate in the organization of the trip.
The advantageous cost of plane tickets, apartments found and the hiking offered by this destination quickly convinced them to opt for Argentina.
Photos: Courtesy: Andréane Martin
They will arrive in Buenos Aires, the capital of tango, right for Christmas. After a few days of warm celebrations in an atmosphere tinged with a European touch, the family will head south, to Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego. Andréane, Louis-Benoît and their two daughters will go hiking in Tierra del Fuego National Park, take a cruise in the Beagle Channel and greet the colony of penguins on the beach of Martillo Island, a winning activity with children.
The journey will continue in the parks of El Calafate and El Chalten. The family is crossing their fingers to be able to cross the border to spend a day in Chile, despite the long road, as well as in Uruguay. Last wish: tread the Perito Moreno glacier.
“As we lived in Montreal without a car, we are used to walking all the time. We also traveled to Japan, where we walked 20 km a day. When our daughters are busy walking with their audiobooks, if we take regular breaks and they get some motivation like chocolate, it goes by faster. They are also each equipped with their own camera,” says Andréane.
Vanlife and water sports along the west coast of Florida
The teenagers of Alexandra and Gilles are growing up quickly, but they still want to leave with their parents. Especially since each member of the family practices the same activities, which means that they can often share great sporting trips.
“We want to celebrate in small groups and not have 'hourly. Settle down quietly and don't run. From day to day, according to the winds, to catch the frenzy of the waves!” says Alexandra. This trip also represents the realization of the development of their new van, which now allows the family to travel like a snail with a house on its back.
Photos: Courtesy, Alexandra Harvey-Deveault
With their daughters May-Laura and Samya, they have already visited Florida in the past, more precisely the Keys. But this time, their objective is to discover mainly the surroundings of Naples on the wilder west coast in order to practice kitesurfing and snorkeling in the marine reserves.
Another objective: to find the less popular beaches for great picnics and barbecues, with their finds in small grocery stores. Then, heading for Miami, on the more vibrant east coast, to celebrate the New Year. Then, still on this coast, a tour of the state parks is on the agenda: Alexandra, Gilles and their daughters will take the opportunity to paddle their board through the canals and watch the manatees.
Florida is an accessible destination and, by traveling by van, there is no need to limit yourself in what you bring as equipment. “As we play sports, the weather is even more important. At this time of year, the “winter” temperature suits us perfectly,” says Alexandra.
A well-deserved break in Guadeloupe
Cynthia is a teacher and therefore cannot travel during the school year, particularly in the context of a shortage of teachers. And despite Hugo's new job, following a forced return to school, they were able to get started and leave during the Holidays with their three children, Eliot, Charles and Vincent.
More of the tropical temperature and the beautiful beaches, it is the affordable price of the plane tickets which directed their choice towards Guadeloupe. It is often this way, by following the inspiration of the moment, that their holidays take shape.
“Our trips are light, both in luggage and expense, as we prioritize hostels and home exchanges. On the other hand, this time, we would like to taste more Guadeloupean flavors by offering us more meals at the restaurant than usual.”
Upon arrival in Pointe-à-Pitre, a rental car will be waiting for them for the week as well as beautiful, simple accommodation on the edge of the jungle. They will stay in a former hotel converted into an Airbnb, equipped with an incredible swimming pool and private beach. On the menu on “Butterfly Island”: climb the volcano of La Soufrière, visit cocoa and coffee museums as well as the spice market, sail aboard a boat with a glazed hold to snorkel. The dream for this family of five adventurers!
Photos: Courtesy, Cynthia Bilodeau
Discovering the volcanic islands of Cape Verde
This is the first time that Alexie will not have custody of her children during the holidays. This saddens her, but she still decided to take advantage of it and leave with Frédérick, her lover.
Direction Lisbon in Portugal to spend the night there and cut the trip in two. Then, departure for Cape Verde in Africa, renowned for its Afro-Portuguese Creole culture, its morna music and its many beaches. They chose to stay on the island of Sal for a week and to drop by Praia, the capital, on the island of Santiago.
“We plan to rent a car to explore and soak up the culture that makes a bridge with our stopover city since it was colonized by the Portuguese. We are curious to see how this fusion of cultures has evolved,” says Alexie. On their return, the couple will stay again for a few nights in Lisbon in a pretty Airbnb located near the festive Da Atalaia street, in the Alto district, in order to kick off the year.
As with nearly every trip the couple makes, the first must-stop must be the public market. Alexie and Frédérick also want to experiment with kiteboarding. They are also planning an inland road trip to encourage the local economy and see the country through the eyes of a Cape Verdean. On their list: visit the port of Palmeira, the natural pools and the “blue eye” cavity of Sal, Pedra Luma and its salt flats, as well as savor a host of seafood.
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Photos: Courtesy, Alexis Deschênes