Four days into my white-knuckle tour of Quebec and having already tucked kayaking, rock climbing, paddleboarding, white water rafting and bear stalking under my belt, you’d have thought I’d earned a breather.

But no, the conveyor belt of adrenaline-fuelled pursuits I had specifically insisted be included on my week’s itinerary just kept on rolling; this time toward a day of zip lining (‘test your physical and mental abilities on the “extreme” version of a treetop ropes course’) and a Via Ferrata along the cliffs of the spectacular Saguenay Fjord.

And for the uninitiated, a Via Ferrata is a route along a vertical cliff face equipped with fixed cables, stemples, ladders and bridges that allows people with a diverse range of abilities to rock climb without fear of falling.

Safe, certainly, but for anyone who suffers vertigo in Homebase, it does little to settle the colon.

I actually attempted to complete the route but faltered the moment the cliff path began to lean back out over the sea (the distance from childhood to adulthood may take many years to traverse, but it’s a matter of seconds in reverse...).

Nevertheless, if you’re stupid enough to want to confront your demons, Parc Aventure Cap Jaseux offers a perfect safety net of expert tuition and emotional support (I was tackling the so-called ‘Family’ course and needed counseling, before, during and after).

Yet I ended up staying most of the day, so stunning is its scenery, and none more so than when, suspended by wires on its ‘extreme’ zip lining course (the only ‘extreme’ ride of its kind in North America its owners boast), you literally fly back down to earth.

Thankfully I realised I needed to take both feet off the adrenaline accelerator and relax a little. And fortunately, that evening I was booked into Pourvoirie Cap au Leste, a Scandinavian-style lodge perched gingerly on cliffs overlooking the Fjord.

It was the perfect ‘retreat’ (when I say the off-road track that winds its way there is as long and remote as the fabled Northwest Passage, I’m not exaggerating).

But it does what it says on the tin – it’s remote, relaxing and distinctly off-beat.

And despite being in the middle of nowhere, a trunk or two of mosquito repellant should see you fine.

Refreshed and re-rooted (I’m 49, not Peter Pan, and need to buy varifocals) my sixth day of living life on the edge saw my prayers answered with a day devoted to nothing more than gentle, in-my-own-time cycling. It was a leisurely one-hour drive from Cap au Leste to the Parc National de la Pointe Taillon and here, with the sun beaming down and kissed by the most gentle of breezes, I began to do what I’d thought I’d been doing all along – letting go.

With Lac Saint-Jean at its heart, the Parc is a paradise for anyone who enjoys swimming or boating or bicycling. You can rent a canoe, kayak or pedal boat to explore the vast lake (and OMG is it vaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaast).

Or, like me, you can rent a bike.

However, due to time restraints, I was only able to spend the day here or I’d have rented, without a second thought, a Huttopia Ready-To-Camp Tent (see picture) and watched child-like as the stars slid out.

Still, that evening did prove you can never be too old to be taught a valuable, and very reassuring, lesson. You see, my hotel was located in Alma, a small town 30 minutes drive from the Parc.

Modest and conservative, the hotel by contrast looked like something straight out of a horror double bill (see picture).

Sitting atop a multi-storey car park, Hotel Universel Alma looked as bleak and menacing as anything in a ‘Hostel’ movie (after first setting eyes on it, I even made preparations to just dump my bags and seek refuge instead in one of the downtown bars). But once inside I was forced to eat crow. Big time.

It was beautiful, and its restaurant every bit as good as Oxford’s Malmaison. Yet driving away the next morning, I still couldn’t help but glance over my shoulder and shudder at its exterior.

Anyway, final stop on my holiday was now ahead of me; six hours drive ahead as it happens, back through Quebec and on to Montreal.

Elegant, laid back and oozing charm (if Montreal were an actor, it’d be George Clooney), it’s a destination that’s both Big City and small town retreat.

I stayed my last night in Hotel Nelligan – a little black dress of a building with air conditioning – and ate at La Queue de Cheval Steakhouse & Bar, Jon Bon Jovi’s favourite joint.

He wasn’t there, naturally, but hey, when you can eat steaks as large and thick as a small island in the St Laurence river, you barely miss him.

Which left just the final day to soak up the sun in the Old Town section of the city.

Be warned however; driving to the airport is an adventure in itself as major roadworks have effectively extended a 30 minute journey into an hour-and-a-half safari of horn-blowing and sexualised hand gestures, so do give yourself plenty of time.

I boarded my flight home exhausted, excited and completely in love with Canada.

Which, curiously, is precisely how I felt when my plane lifted off from Heathrow eight days earlier.

Need I say more?