It could be the Caribbean, almost. It could be Newfoundland, almost. It could be Cheticamp, almost. It's a wonderfully unique place that most Maritimers are too blind to see...thank goodness. When you spy a Quebec license plate speeding through New Brunswick on a blisteringly hot summer's day, there's a pretty good chance they're going there.
Where is there?
Les Iles de la Madeleine. They're a Quebec archipelago located in the middle of the Gulf of St.Lawrence, a scenic five hour ferry ride from PEI's sandy backside. These islands, for whatever reason, don't seem to register on many Anglophones' radars. For those who know about Les Iles, one trip is rarely enough.
It's the perfect place for a leisurologist. Unless you're fluent in French, which I'm not, there's almost no chance of ever becoming employed. Your Rogers cell phone won't work. Internet access is limited. Television is pretty much useless, unless you like watching re-runs of La Fureur. Les Iles de la Madeleine are the perfect place to hide out with few distractions. I'm pretty sure I saw Jimmy Hoffa in a thong one day at the beach. The beaches are endless and made of golden white sand. The water is Cavendish tepid. You can build towering sand castles until you're completely trumped by the tides.
These islands are sexy, but not Las Vegas sexy. They're naturally arousing; the shape-shifting ocean, the powdery sand underfoot, the whistling winds, the taste of waves. These islands aren't completely perfect, as poutine is sold in most establishments, but I'm willing to overlook this culinary indiscretion if you are. If you love poutine, then you have no excuses...what are you waiting for?
It occurred (oh, curd!) that you might want to learn more about this place. You can start by checking out the official web site for the islands, conveniently translated into Hinglish for those of us who didn't pay enough attention in Mr.LeBlanc's French class.
It's a dreamy place, where your troubles disappear like sand through your fingers. I like to start my Iles de la Madeleine day with a latte and a pain chocolat, and end it with a glass of red wine poured through a sunset. What might you do here? A better question....what might you not do here?