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Gaspé—Land's End, Part I

Rocher Perce


September 8, 1999

Despite our early awakening (the trucks), we were anticipating our day on the road, which would be spent working our way along the rest of the northern coast of the Gaspé and out to the eastern point. We had the hotel pack us a lunch (smoked salmon I think—we couldn't seem to get enough of the stuff as it was delicious everyplace we went), and set out for the day's adventures.

Although it was a beautiful day, we encountered a good deal of ground fog that moved off the water and hung over the road in many spots. It made for some interesting views.Once it cleared though, the day was sunny and the St. Lawrence very blue. We stopped to eat our lunch at a roadside picnic area overlooking the Seaway and watched the birds. There were water birds of all kinds everywhere, including ducks and even a beautiful white heron who made it clear he didn't want any human sorts coming too close, camera or not.

The villages were quaint and picturesque, and there were a number of small lighthouses (les phares) to visit along the coast. Some of them were open for tours, and we took advantage of a trip to the observation decks of these structures wherever possible.

The first lighthouse was at Pointe-à-la- Renommeé. We couldn't go up in that one. It apparently had been in exile in Québec harbor for close to 20 years before being returned to this site.

Another lighthouse (which we actually saw the next day—I'm a little ahead of myself) was at Cap-des-Rosiers, so named for the wild roses that used to grow there. This lighthouse, the touted tallest in Québec, is considered the gateway to Forillon National Park, and as such, it has witnessed many shipwrecks. We were able to climb to the top of this one, and beheld a spectacular view.

We encountered many more English speaking residents and visitors in Gaspé than in other parts of Québec. We met one such English speaking couple on tour from Ontario at the lighthouse. Turned out they had a son who lived in Washington, D.C. Small world.

We arrived in Percé in the late afternoon. We wanted to see the monolith, Roche Percé (the pierced rock). According to the folks at the Information Center, it was too late to walk out to the Rocher Percé, even though it was low tide. Because it was a nice day and we weren't sure the next day would be as cooperative, we decided to risk it anyway—along with a lot of others who had come toRocher Perce--side view the same conclusion. I somehow let George talk me into leaving my camera behind for safety (mine I think—we had to climb over a lot of rocks) and regretted it as soon as we got out there. The late afternoon sun was hitting the rock perfectly and I realized that this was one of those circumstances in which "a few good ones" had gotten away. I had to settle for photos from afar.

Figuring the Land's End area would keep us busy for a couple of days, we took a room for two nights at the Cotê de Surprise, a charming motel complex with the best view of the Rock we could find. It was very nice and quiet (no trucks) with a raised balconey by the window that overlooked the Bay. That's the vantage point from which I shot most of these photos, including the one of Mount Joli below.

We had dinner at a place called Biard—great food, great service. I seem to recall an excellent dish of paella. Have I mentioned how wonderful the food is in Québec?

Mount Joli


Fog coming off the St. Lawrence


Mont Joli



Point-a-la-Ronommee LIghthouse


Lighthouse at Cap-des-Rosiers



The view from the top of the lighthouse at Cap-des-Rosiers



Rocher Perce--front view


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