August 16, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Tourism for all | Press

Tourism for all |  Press

“I look like Julius Caesar! Snowflakes, Maxim! I usually control my wheelchair so this took me out of my comfort zone … except there, I had to give instructions to the people carrying me. ⁇

Posted at 11:30 a.m. yesterday

Maxim Plante-Morin enthusiastically told me about his first vacation in Jolet, a one-wheeled wheelchair that allows people with reduced mobility to go hiking. It is enough for one person to hold the front of the boat and another to hold the back to make any terrain available.

Photo provided by BIVOUAQ

Maxim Plante-Morin (right, sunglasses) Surrounded by other hikers during an operation at Saint-Matthew-du-Park‌ in Mauritius

Maxim, he can count about fifteen hikers surveying Mount Saint-Matthew-du-Park that day.

“I like it! My only downside is that it’s so elegant. There are no shocks on the jolt, it’s hard on the body … but creating a network, coming out of the house and having an experience you’ll never know is worth the bang-ass.”

The expedition was organized by the BivouaQ Agency, which allows outdoor enthusiasts with disabilities to explore areas that are generally inaccessible to them …

Maxim may be a great player, but this is the first time he has walked on such narrow paths.

When we met the hikers, we could see that it aroused their curiosity. Such excursions democratize activities for people with reduced mobility.

Maxim Plante-Morin, fan of Jolet excursions

And it’s worth it.

BivouaQ is a solidarity cooperative founded over a year ago. The travel agency organizes open excursions for everyone. Whether you have a disability or not, you can sign up for one to seven days of hiking, canoeing or Nordic skiing activities.

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For each group of a dozen participants, there were two or four people with disabilities (whether visual, auditory or motor) and two guides. Others are invited to lend a hand, but without responsibility. Everyone wants to join it …

Photo by Simon Clark, KÉroUL

Winter activities are also provided. An adapted armchair named Hippocamp replaces the joellet.

“The beauty is that people shrug their shoulders,” explained Matthew Neran-Toupin, co-founder of the company. They get to know each other and introduce themselves to a reality that is different to them in a super fun context! ⁇

Matthew Neran-Toupin caught the Adopted Tourism Virus in 2018 while working as an outdoor guide in Kyrgyzstan. He was assigned a team of disabled people and was amazed at the magic deployed on the excursion. The enthusiasm of the pilgrims was evident; Maxim has the idea of ​​doing good by working. Thus he mastered comprehensive adventures and traveled between Central Asia and Europe.

Back in Quebec, the pandemic was needed, he found that no such offer was here. Contact a number of organizations working with people with disabilities to see if any of them would like to launch a project focusing on the outdoors. The two founders of the NPO Réseau Autonomous Sante of Victoriaville responded enthusiastically to him.

Photo provided by BIVOUAQ

The sidewalks do not prevent the joulettes from getting in their way … with little help.

Since then, the fifties and 24-year-old Guide have been business partners. “We formed a great funny team”, Matthew Neuron-Toupin, everyone laughed.

(I would like to explain the sincerity and positivity he exhibits, but I do not agree with that.)

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As a travel agent he explained to me that he could now book unsuitable places (think of specific campgrounds), and then bring all the equipment needed to stay.

The BivouaQ gang has also changed many tools for everyone’s convenience.

Participants had tables with spaces for wheelchairs, toilet tents with comfortable seats, modified camping chairs, panniers to transport personal effects, and more.

Thanks to this approach, their leisure options have become much wider. In short: they can go anywhere.

In July, a group does a week of canoe-camping in the Hautes-Laurentides. In September, a seven-day hike is planned in the Rockies. The first overseas tour is also sinking … probably in Bolivia.

And for people who do not have physical limitations, what is the benefit of turning to BivouaQ? Matthew Neran-Taupin replied that they could travel together. “This is a new form of tourism! You can enjoy your holiday and enjoy another … ”

Photo provided by BIVOUAQ

Sebastian Moison (left) assists in transporting a Joellet.

Sebastian Moison took part in a trip to the Cap-Tourmante Observatory last summer. During the ascent to the ornithologist’s marker, he assisted in transporting the jolt. However, for him it was a “normal increase” …

“And it’s not insulting! I mean, I went hiking with good people … no restrictions on people. No inconvenience! It’s proof that you can enjoy outdoors with others with disabilities.

Laughing tells me an anecdote. A family came together with children sitting on a joule. In front of a stone wall that was very difficult to cross, parents of children with disabilities placed wheelchairs to help hikers with no restrictions on climbing.

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Everyone needs help, deep down.

And the beautiful thing is that everyone is ready to help.

And with these words I started my vacation! I’ll be back to you in August, my head is resting (but most of all, motivating people to think and deliver to you). In the meantime, welcome to any hint for a good book and relaxing film!