September 9, 1999
It was a good thing we made the decision
to walk out to see Rocher Percé when we did. We never
saw it again like that, all lit by the afternoon sun. By the
next morning, the rain (of the heavy downpour variety) and fog
had moved in to stay. We couldn't see a thing from our picture
window. It was time to find a few indoor activities. Food seemed
like a good idea, so we enjoyed breakfast in the rather large
and unpopulated diningroom downstairs.
first stop of the day was a Fish Hatchery at Grande-Rivière.
We were the only guests, and we were treated to a private tour
by an English speaking guide. It was very interesting. We learned
how salmon and trout are incubated and hatched to stock the
area rivers and streams. They also kept a family of virginia
deer on the property
Since it was still raining and already
lunchtime, we headed for the town of Gaspé to do a bit
of exploring (mostly for a place to eat). After a relatively
quick visit to a Chic Choc Indian reserve where we walked through
a rather muddy replica village, we landed in a busy little health
food cafe where the food was good, but the service nearly non-existent
(we finally had to take matters into our own hands to get the
food we had ordered, which was in sight, but not being delivered
to our table). There's a silver lining in every cloud, however.
The delay caused us and our neighbors at the next table to mutually
discover that we shared the same language. An animated discussion
in English ensued in this middle of this French speaking establishment,
during which we found out that the Pennsylvania residents had
traveled to many of the same places in Canada that we had over
lunch, we drove to the north side of Forillon to see the lighthouse
at Cap-des-Rosiers (discussed on the previous page), where we climbed to the top
and visited with a small bird who had somehow gotten trapped
up there. Back at the bottom, I successfully summoned up enough
French to report the plight of le petit oiseau to the caretaker
Next, we visited the Interpretation Center,
and then set off for Cap Bon Ami for the best part of the day.
The views there were spectacular, from the top of the rocks,
all the way down to the beach. Even the moss and rocks along
the trail to the beach were beautiful. The rain had stopped,
and while the weather certainly couldn't be called clear, we
could walk around comfortably. The mist coming in off the water
created a certain peaceful
aura that contrasted with the waves crashing against the rocks.
We stayed there mesmerized for quite a while.
When we were able to pull ourselves away
from Cap Bon Ami, we headed for the south side of Forillon Park,
where our intention was to drive out to the point farthest east.
When we got there, we found out that you could only drive to
a certain point, then you had to hike out the rest of the way.
There were a couple of young fellows with headlamps and backpacks
on their way out there who informed us that it was a 4 kilometer
hike (one way). Since it was nearly 6 p.m. and we didn't have
any headlamps, we decided it would be best to forego this particular
adventure. Instead, we took our time driving back along the
coast, stopping frequently to admire the views and animal life.
We saw a whale or two skimming by, seals bobbing their heads
in and out of the water, a variety of ducks, and some interesting
birds who were dive-bombing into the water in flocks for their
supper. We also found a homesite, the Mary Travers dite: "La
Bolduc," which consisted of a collection of buildings belonging
at one time to a long ago family who had made their home on
this spot and had lived off the sea. The building themselves
were closed, but wandering around the site and farm gave us
a good feel for the place. They really picked a lovely spot
to set up a homestead.
It was starting to get dark so headed
back towards Percé, intending to get something to eat
in Gaspé. Couldn't find anything interesting there, so
we drove all the way back to Percé (about a 45 minute
drive) and found a place called Mathilde, which was a house
converted into a restaurant. It was excellent, but we waddled
Back at the Cotê de Surprise, we
pulled into an empty parking lot and wondered if we were the
only guests staying there!