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 thinkwe 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 dayI'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
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 anywayalong with a lot of others who had come
to the same conclusion. I somehow let George talk me into leaving
my camera behind for safety (mine I thinkwe 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.
had dinner at a place called Biardgreat food, great service.
I seem to recall an excellent dish of paella. Have I mentioned
how wonderful the food is in Québec?