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Marie Claire (South Africa) - - TRAVEL -

The pièce de ré­sis­tance is the padded snow trousers that, along with hel­mets and sturdy snow boots, are pro­vided free of charge and will keep us shielded and toasty when we head out on a snow­mo­bile. Daniel drives ahead on his, guid­ing us care­fully through the woods on to the frozen Sa­ca­comie Lake, a glit­ter­ing, wide-open space that’s ours for the tak­ing. Rac­ing up and down, cling­ing on to Chris feels ut­terly ex­hil­a­rat­ing – and ro­man­tic, although prob­a­bly more Tom Cruise in Top Gun than James Bond (sorry, Chris). It’s not as in­sane as the ice driv­ing but it’s faster than the huskies, and I feel like I’ve found my stride. ‘We must have been go­ing at, what, 180km/h?’ I ask. ‘More like 100,’ says Daniel with a smile. We keep our ar­mour on for the af­ter­noon, swap­ping the boots for snow­shoes when Daniel takes us out on his woods­man trek. It’s like hav­ing a ten­nis racket at­tached to each foot and seems as much a hin­drance as a help when I fall over for the fth time, duly cap­tured on the smart­phone.

Daniel then leads us to a lit­tle hut where our host is en­ter­tain­ing com­pany – full of sto­ries about the life of a trap­per back in the day, which stops it from feel­ing too much like the start of a hor­ror lm. Later, we are joined by a group of our fel­low ho­tel guests and Daniel lights a re on which to cook the llets of lo­cal trout he’s car­ried here in his ruck­sack. Glasses of Cari­bou (a u be­cois con­coc­tion of red wine, whisky and maple syrup) are downed and a song chanted about how ‘all we need is a cabin in the woods’. The sh is de­li­cious and needs no sea­son­ing, ‘as it tastes of na­ture’, ex­plains Daniel. Yep, they’re proud of their trout at Sa­ca­comie, with their food show­cased in a French set menu at meal­times.

We get three cour­ses, in­clud­ing red ale onion soup for lunch; then four cour­ses, with a heavy meat dish such as duck con t, at din­ner. After all that, it’s a won­der I’m not air­lifted out on a ski-plane. It’s worth al­low­ing at least a cou­ple of days – ei­ther be­fore or after your time in the snowy wilder­ness – to take a look around Mon­tréal. This beau­ti­ful city has the largest num­ber ir anada ies ro ohannes ur via urope to on­tréa and Toronto Sa­caco ie od e s ut­door Dis­cover ac a e starts ro a out or two ni hts Sa­ca­comie.com

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