Glamping, eco-style

Cabins in the forest

We’ve just finished our three-week Workaway stint at Repere Boreal, the eco-cabins resort in the woods on the St Lawrence River in Quebec, so now seems a good time to write about it.

As eco-nomads, we were attracted to go there by the idea of the eco-cabins. They come in three types:





  • the Shiship, converted from old shipping containers, complete with compost toilet. As you can see from the photo, it doesn’t attempt to hide its origins








  • the Maikan, a basic one-room cabin with no running water (no photo)

mashk interior

  • the Mashk, a more upmarket affair with the usual mod cons – kitchen, bathroom with shower, galleried bedroom looking out onto the birch trees.

The good thing about doing a job cleaning rooms every day is that you get to know the cabins intimately! Some of the great things about them were the way they had been located round the property, so that each one was totally private, yet just a short walk from the main building and its facilities. They each had outside space, with a camp-fire/grill set up and seating.

The cabins feel very much in harmony with the surrounding trees and wildlife. Chipmunks give their warning calls as you pass by, rabbits and foxes are close.

However, like our own compost toilet at home, which we gave up on in the end, the toilets in the Shiships struggle to cope. The fruit flies move in and multiply at an astonishing rate, meaning there’s no choice but to use toxic chemicals to get rid of them. Exactly what you don’t want to do.

I’m sure there are compost toilet models that work better, notably those with a large underground pit that can be rotated, rather than a removable drawer, as here. The owners of the resort are committed to improving things and finding solutions, and I am confident they’ll do so.

mashk roof terraceMore on the eco-resort – and on what we’re up to in Montreal at the moment – soon.

Any comments on glamping, compost toilets or anything else welcome. Let us know what you think!

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The joys of hitch-hiking

Slow travel

in this year-long trip of ours, so far we’ve chosen to travel without a car. And our current Workaway is at an out-of-the-way eco-resort up the route du Fleuve, along the St Lawrence river. Public transport doesn’t reach here. There are no buses for 26 kilometres. There might be an occasional train, but it’s a fancy tourist one which doesn’t come close to us.

Our Workaway hosts, who set up the Repere Boreal a couple of years ago, are very hospitable and do their best to give us lifts for expeditions on our days off. But it’s not always possible. In fact that has opened up another door for us – to the delights of hitch-hiking.



On Tuesday we set off in the pelting rain. We reasoned it would be easy to get picked up as car drivers would take pity on sodden hitchers. However, the opposite was true. We had to wait about 15 minutes. Maybe they didn’t want the interiors of their cars getting wet. Or maybe they couldn’t actually make us out in the driving rain.

Smile – you’re on MY travel blog!

It was worth the wait, though. We were picked up by a couple of friends, originally from India, now living in Vancouver and Ontario respectively. They were two lovely people on a week’s road-trip in Quebec. One was a documentary film-maker and blogger. His camera was running when they picked us up, and we got interviewed. Not sure whether we made the cut, but it leads to the curious experience of the mutual blog!

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Yoga is good for the environment

Looking after yourself One of the things we didn’t find time for back in our old lives was a daily yoga practice. We kept saying to ourselves, and each other, that we’d like to do it, but it always got crowded out by other things. We managed to practise yoga by going to classes 2 […]