La Coquille











Information Bulletin for Safari Condo Owners vol. 9 num. 1, April 2007


2007 Reunion


IMPORTANT : You MUST read the following if you are coming!

By Michèle



Many subscription forms have already been sent to us for the 2007 Safari Condo Reunion held in the Madeleine Islands. Some of you are arriving earlier; many booked the extra ferry on July 23rd, while others are arriving the day after. In any case you must all send us your subscription form! Some of you may have thought that booking your crossing was sufficient. As we have pointed out in the December edition, however, you must officially subscribe and send us your menu choices so that we can correctly plan the supper. You must also fill out all the other required information on the form. So don’t delay!


2. Subscription Time is Now Over.  

We have yet to receive all the subscription forms, but we estimate that we should be approximately 150 vehicles. Thank you for the outstanding number of participants for this reunion at the Madeleine Islands. Taking the ferry across with a number of our fellow condists should be an unforgettable experience for everyone. On the night crossing of July 23rd there will be about 80 Safari Condos sailing towards the Islands!


3. Sorry, We Cannot Pair Friends Together.

Many of you have expressed the desire to be placed close to friends. Unfortunately, as I have mentioned in the December edition of La Coquille, we will all be arriving at the same time at the campground’s reception, so it will be impossible for us to proceed as in the previous years. Usually we (with the help of a team of nice volunteers) placed people who wanted to be paired together according to a plan established before our arrival. The time between each arrival also allowed us to do this kind of pairing. On the morning of July 24th 80 Safari Condos will be coming out of the ferry in a long line. Daniel and the Safari Condo team will arrive at the same moment as the rest of the group. The only way to be paired with friends is to arrive at the camping reception one after the




other. The camping staff will then assign you a site according to the order in which you arrive. If you were already on site upon our arrival, meet your friends at the camping gate and lead them to your own site.


4. Mark Your Territory.

Because not all participants will arrive at the same time at the Barachois campground it will be hard for those placing vehicles to determine which sites are occupied in the event clients have stepped out to visit the islands. Because of this we have decided to organize a little contest : Mark your Territory !


We encourage you to make the limits of your site visible in a personalized way. It can be colored ribbons, flags, garden gnomes, or any other way you can think of. This way we will know at all times that your site is occupied. You will all be invited to choose and vote for the most original site markers.


5. Electricity: Share the Energy with Those Who Need It Most.  

We are organizing an area for all those who are autonomous in energy on the part of the camping that offers no electricity. This will free space on the sites with electricity for those who need it most. If you have solar panels, if you are planning on driving around the islands (thus recharging your batteries) or if spending a few days without electricity does not worry you let us know. Please tell us when we give you all the documentation on the ferry crossing. We will give you a colour card that will indicate to the campground staff that you can be placed in the Self-Sufficient CornerJ There’s already a large group of us, full of energy. Come and join us!!


6. Arrived Early?

Don’t forget that you will have to share your site with other participants. When the new arrivals will come there will be many of them so be ready.


7. Packages Containing Tourist Information, Supper Tickets and the Program for the Weekend.

For those taking the ferry on the night of July 23rd, your information package will be available for you to pick up at the ferry tourism bureau, next to the counter where you pay for your crossing. For everyone else your information packages will be at the campground reception, identified with your name. 


8. Saturday Night Supper Menu: Sea food Vol-au-vent (flaky pastry) or Salted Meat Chiard (traditional stew).

In the subscription form you had the choice between sea food and salted meat stew. The choice was given mainly to provide an alternative for people with an allergy to sea food. In your information package you will find tickets that will indicate your menu selection to the caterer.


9. For our Friends from the Madeleine Islands who want to attend the Supper only.

If you are not coming to the Barachois with us, but you wish to attend the Saturday supper held at the common room of the Étang-du-Nord recreational center, here is the information you need :

Place: Étang-du-Nord Recreational Center

Guest Arrival Time:(under the watchful eyes of aunt Emma) 18:00h. to 18:30h.

Aunt Emma’s Tales: 19:30h.

Supper: 19:30h. to 21:00h. (Bring your own wine or beverage)

Music: Jocelyn Thériault’s Band starting at 21 :00h.

Price: 36$ per person

Please send us your subscription form and make sure to note that you will be attending the supper only. For payment please follow the instructions at the top of the form. Don’t forget to make your menu choices (sea food or meat stew) and to write down the number of guests in your party.


The Beauce in any Season

By Michèle

It is often said that if you live in one place long enough you no longer appreciate its full beauty. This is completely untrue. I was born in Beauce, like my father and his father before him, and like them I have remained deeply in love with it throughout my life. I love its soft curves, the unpredictable Chaudière that runs gently through the valley, and the back-country where the accents of the Beauce meet those of New-England.


In the spring the fields on both sides of the valley take on a luminous shade of green that strongly contrasts with the dark brown of the ploughed areas. Beauce is then filled with the deep odour of the awakening earth and the faint smell of future crops. Free from a heavy coat of ice, the river has left the lower fields and has sagely returned in its bed. Its soft whisper does not fool the local Beaucerons who have known her for generations. They know all too well that she can begin to roar with the first rain storm. There are no seasons that assure security from her wrath.


In the summer, time seems to crystallize itself. The hot humid air carries the strong smell of freshly cut hay. The suffocating heat forces us to slow down. The sun has yellowed the green fields and in St-Joseph the river can now be crossed by foot at the turn where it is met by the rivière des Fermes. This is the season where you can hear the piercing sound of the cricket, while lying comfortably in the grass, looking up at the sky, trying to discover the shape of a dragon or a boat in the few summer clouds. How long has it been since you have afforded yourself the time to take your time…


Beauce is generous in any season. In autumn she presents herself in her most beautiful colors and freely offers an explosion of reds, yellows and oranges. It is nature’s last cry of joy before its long winter sleep. It is the last spark of color before everything becomes draped under a black and white blanket, and the Chaudière is once again hidden under a thick cover of ice.


I want to warmly invite all cycling enthusiasts to come and try our new bike path that runs between Vallée-Jonction and Scott-Jonction. This long asphalt ribbon (21 km one way) follows the sinews of the Chaudière river in the valley, offering you an unparalleled view all along the way. As for restaurants, Vallée-Jonction will offer you two local choices: Le Feuille d’Érable (The Maple Leaf) or L’Auberge des Temps Perdus (The Lost Time Inn). At the Feuille d’Érable, Jean-Claude, our adoptive Beauceron from Nantes, will offer you an excellent lunch menu. You should also have a look in his newly added delicatessen, Au Pied de Cochon. You will be able to bring home all kinds of specialty dishes prepared by a deli maker that Jean-Claude brought back from France. At l’Auberge des Temps Perdus, Julie and Gilo invite you to take a trip back in time. They have fully restored the Nadeau house. This home, built in 1838, is the oldest one in Vallée-Jonction. The windows of the large dining room overlook the lower fields of the valley and the river in the distance. It offers great food at a great price in a warm atmosphere. The Nadeau house also happens to be the home of Daniel’s great-great-great-great-grand-mother. The Inn is located at the very end of the Boulevard Rousseau, towards St-Joseph.  For fine dinning, the Val des Sens, next to the Vallée-Jonction historic train station, will provide you with a highly sophisticated menu, based on local products from the region. Giovani, the owner, has built an extraordinary wine cellar with a fantastic selection. In Ste-Marie, the bike path passes behind the tourism bureau, where you will surely find any additional information you need for you stay with us. Your cycling excursion begins in Vallée-Jonction at the small municipal park on the boulevard Rousseau (along the river).


For you night’s stay, two choices offer themselves to you :


1 : The municipal park in Vallée-Jonction, on the boulevard Rousseau

2 : Havre d’un soir (see your list or the one on our website for the complete addresses) :

The plant in St-Frédéric

Benoit and Cheryl’s home in Vallée-Jonction

Daniel and Michèle’s home in Sts-Anges (country home built amongst the sugar bush)


You are welcome at our home, and welcome anywhere in the Beauce! J


Clémence : Star at the Canadian Museum of Civilizations


ndlr : Madame Clémence Lessard has been the owner of a Safari Condo for a few years now. We have already published a series of her drawings in La Coquille last year. Aside from a love of travel and camping, she is an artist on her way to acquiring national recognition. We reproduce here an article published in a local paper.


In the summer of 2005, Jean-François Blanchette, curator of the Canadian Museum of Civilizations, accidentally stumbled upon a totem on the front lawn of Mme Clémence Lessard in St-Joseph. A year later, this lucky find has become the prelude to a great adventure that will bring Clémence to the Museum and maybe farther.


The Gatineau cultural institution which attracts an average of 1.3 million visitors a year, will present, in May 2008, an exhibit on Québec folk art. Until April 2009, three centuries of Québec creations will fill 580 square metres in one of the exhibition rooms of the museum.


Jean-François Blanchette, who roams Québec in search or artists and works connected to local folk art stopped once again at Clémence’s home in 2006. He was seduced right away. The works of the St-Joseph artist, who works with sculpture, painting and drawing, matched perfectly with the objectives of the exhibit.


A First Rate Role


Yet, there was more! Clémence’s way with words and the ease with which she talks about her art won her additional roles in the exhibition. Since the Museum wants to encourage an interactive approach with the visitors, says Jean-François Blanchette, we will retain the services of Ms Lessard for a few days of animation.


A production team will also come to t-Joseph to shoot a video that will be presented at the exhibit. It will highlight the need to create without constraints.


According to the exhibit’s plan, some 400 pieces representing a wide variety of folk art will be presented to the public. Seven artists from Québec will, however, be the central focus. A part of their work, a video, a life book and other particularities of their art will be presented in different blocks. Clémence will be amongst these artists.


All the Way to France


The expo will remain in Gatineau for a year. Afterwards it will be offered to other museums. The traveling version has yet to be determined, but there are already twenty museums that have shown interest in exhibiting Québec folk art. These museums are located across Canada, the US and France.


Discovering Florida

By Luc Foisy


Who has never visited at least once the sunniest State of all, the Sunshine State? Who has not dreamt of escaping there during the next winter? This is what my wife, Henriette, and I have done in the winter of 2006. Here are a few details for condists interested in going to discover Florida.


First of all, when planning your trip it is recommended to purchase the « CAA Florida Road Guide » and their map for this state. It is also handy to have their maps of North-Eastern and South-Eastern United States. Second of all, if you have access to the internet, it is good to get information on parks, cities and campgrounds that you plan on visiting. It is recommended to make your reservations on campgrounds for the months of March, April and May. Finally, a stop at the Visitor Centre located at the entrance to the state of Florida will allow you to get all kinds of useful information on the regions you are planning to visit.


You can choose to visit the entire state, which will require several weeks and 8000 to 10,000 Km of traveling. Alternatively you can select an area of your choice and concentrate your exploration on this region. This will require less time and fewer kilometres of driving. It is recommended to choose State Parks or State Recreational Areas to camp in Florida ( You can reserve up to 11 months in advance (usually no more than 14 days of camping) by going through the following website  or by calling toll free 1-800-326-3521. Closer to cities, the KOA network of campgrounds is well established, though pricier. Finally, when in a bind, you can always stop at a Wal-Mart or a Flying J.


Here is a selection of some interesting places to visit in Florida:


* Amelia Island – tourism destination.  Fort Clinch State Park (campground located in downtown)

* St. Augustine – historical city. Anastasia State Recreational Area (Campground located close to St. Augustine, by the sea with beautiful sand dunes).

* Walt Disney World Resort. Fort Wilderness Campground : deluxe campground on the Disney World Site, near Orlando. Packages are preferable to get a full access to the parks and enjoy the visit.

* St-Petersburg / Madeira Beach Resort - Camping KOA -

* St-Petersburg Fort Desoto Park Campground – regional parc in Pinellas County right along the gulf of Mexico (reservations can be made up to 6 months ahead for a maximum of 14 days by calling the parc (727)582-2267 or the Clearwater bureau (727)464-3347. Sites 1 to 85 are located by the water and are made for pop-up vans).

* Sarasota – the beach and village of Siesta Key. Oscar Scherrer State Park : this park is located close to the road and not the ocean, but it has great services.

* Sanibel Island, next to Fort Myers.      The ideal place to relax, visit the beaches and do some cycling.

* Fort Myers and Naples Collier –Seminole Sate Park : From this park you can easily visit the western part of the Everglades and Everglades City.

* Everglades National Park - Long Pine Key campground in the Eastern sector of the park – It is important to note that the village of Flamingo, south of the park, was completely devastated by the last hurricane in the fall of 2005.

* Long Key State Park – The campground on this park is located along the main road through the keys. It is by the sea along the beach. All the installations are recent and the park is about 65 miles from Key West.

* Bahia Honda State Park – This park is 35 miles from Key West. It is built around a lagoon and it is very popular.

* Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge Campground - (305) 872-2351. It is an excellent private campground located 33 miles from Key West.

* Sebastian Inlet State Recreational Area or Long Point Park – This campground is administered by Brevard County :(321)952-4532 or [email protected]

* Titusville Manatee Hammock Campground - Brevard county campground – Located close to the Kennedy Space Centre and to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (321)264-5083 or [email protected]


Other interesting places to visit on the way there:


*Myrtle Beach State Park in South Carolina  Campground close to the beach and downtown Myrtle Beach.

*Skidaway Island State Park close to the beautiful city of Savannah Georgia.

Jekyll Island Campground in Georgia. Advanced reservations are recommended.  Call 1 -866-658-3021 or

(912) 635-3021 or  [email protected]  Great destination for cycling, golfing and relaxation at the beach.


Florida offers a great diversity of places to visit and things to do. Beaches and marshes are amongst the very different landscapes you will find in coastal Florida. You can observe a great diversity of birds and wildlife. The lucky ones may even get to see some manatees. Of course the beach and the fishing probably constitute the main attractions.


It is therefore up to you to go and discover Florida according to your interests and aspirations.


Have a nice trip.


An environmentally friendly block heater


Since 2006, all GM vehicles are equipped with a block heater that turns on only when temperatures fall bellow -18°C. Therefore, you don’t have to worry if it seems that your block heater is not working even when you plugged in your Safari Condo during a particularly cold week. When temperatures rise above -18°C the block heater is not needed for the well-being of your engine and it will save our precious electricity. 


A big thanks to Mr. Labrie that pointed out this new feature to us after having visited his local GM dealer to have his block heater checked out. They were the ones who informed him of this new environmentally friendly feature.



News from Daniel

By Daniel

Our latest project will have taken 18 months of hard work to complete. In the fall of 2005 I started to draw plans for a small travel trailer.  I thought the so-called light travel trailers on the market were not so light after all and very few of them could actually be towed by a small or medium sized automobile. Our list of priorities included a mobile roof that allowed for a maximum interior height, but that also permitted the Alto to fit into a standard garage once closed. We also wanted it to be very light, built out of recyclable materials and have an aerodynamic shape that would allow it to cut through air. Once the plans were put into the computer we ran tests on the aerodynamics of the design. The firm that ran these tests has a computer program that can virtually run wind tunnel tests without resorting to the traditional models. This allowed us to test our initial plans efficiently. We were also able, through this technology to enter the dimensions of a conventional travel trailer to compare with our Alto. We found that the shape of the Alto produces 75% less aerodynamic drag than a conventional 16’ travel trailer. This was excellent news.


In order to get the lightness we desired we chose to build with aluminium and honeycomb material. We started making sandwiches! A core made out of honeycomb sandwiched between two sheets of aluminium for the wall, while we use honeycomb between two sheets of Formica for certain parts of the cabinets. We even used a similar kind of technology on the floor. At this point we had already been working with this honeycomb technology for almost 2 years. It is already used in the roofs of our vehicles and in the second story sliding bed. It is a very light material, with insulating properties that provides a lot of rigidity to a structure.


We revealed the Alto in the month of March at the Montréal RV Show. For me, this was a truly important moment. I was revealing 18 months of my thoughts and hard labour. What if people did not like it!? Nobody, except our employees, had seen the Alto yet. I was nervously looking forward to finding out the public’s reaction. Fortunately, everything went incredibly well. The reaction of visitors at the show was overwhelmingly positive. The large scale construction of the Alto will not affect that of the Safari Condos. We had already bought another plant across the street for our current Safari Condo production site 2 years ago to prepare for this project. There will now be two distinct assembly lines, but both of them will run on the same source of energy: our passion.