Gaspé Peninsula

Gaspé peninsula

June 2022

After our stay at Cape Breton, we had only one goal left in the province of Nova Scotia. We had promised Martina to visit her in Great Village one more time to show the camper. It felt like coming home to us. Together with her good friend Thelma, she was already waiting for us and we shared dinner. One night turned into two nights. We stayed one day longer and enjoyed doing nothing.

Finally, we said goodbye and would now begin the “real” road trip. Nova Scotia still felt like a “vacation,” but as we crossed the border into the province of New Brunswick, we were heading west. Our Trans Canadian Journey had begun. But on Martina’s advice, we still chose to make a “small” detour of about 500 kilometers, instead of taking the direct road to Quebec, we would take the detour via the Gaspé Peninsula.

On the way to the peninsula, we took another small break and walk in the Kouchibouguac National Park. In the mud we could clearly see fresh tracks of moose. Unfortunately, we were again driven completely crazy by the mosquitoes and no moose showed up.

Via Dalhousie we left the province of New Brunswick and in the town of Campelton we crossed the bridge to the third province, Quebec. We knew that Quebec is the French speaking province in Canada. Where in New Brunswick the information is still given on signs in two languages, in Quebec they make no effort to show their English speaking countrymen the way. It is only French that counts. Also at the ‘tourist information’ they only speak “a little bit” English.

We turned right and began 400 kilometers of coastal road around the Gaspé Peninsula. Some stretches reminded us of the Cabot Trail, an up-and-down road past steep cliffs and a constant view over the water. In touristy Percé, a small table mountain rises out of the water directly off the coast. The large hole on one side of the rock makes it a popular photo motif. The large colony of Gannets hiding on nearby Bonaventure Island also showed up in large numbers, literally crowding into the water during their diving flights in search of food.

After spending the night at a skilift parking lot in the town of Gaspé, we continued our journey along the coastal road counterclockwise and soon arrived in Forillon National Park. The green wooded hills stop at the shores of Gaspé Bay. Where the forest is home to moose, whales feel at home in the waters of the bay. Today was our lucky day. During our walk to the Gaspé lighthouse at the end of the peninsula, we saw several whales occasionally gasping for air. After our breakfast, we briefly dove into the freezing water ourselves and were rewarded with our first moose just before we drove out of the national park.

Where the south side of the Gaspé Peninsula is more like the French Riviera, the north side is more of a rugged roller coaster along Saint Lawrence Bay. We passed the highest lighthouse in the country at Cap-des-Rosiers. By now it was raining heavily and the fog created a fairy tale ruggedness over the area. It didn’t dry up during the night and the situation didn’t get any better the next morning either. So we decided not to go to the Gaspé National Park for a hike.

We only did the necessary housekeeping on the way and in Sainte Felicite the “Auberge Manoir des Sapins” offered us a nice shower. After showering, we ordered a crepe with a chocolat chaud and tucked away on the couch in the corner we enjoyed this lunch. We continued our way through the rain and finally found a place to sleep in a beautifully landscaped park in Rimourski.

The sun was finally back and the next day was a beautiful day in the Park National du Bic. A nature reserve located on the coast, where partly due to the tidal difference, especially waterfowl feels at home. During our walks we could also watch harbor seals with our binocular. A number of pups just received swimming lessons from their parents.

A white tailed deer quietly ate his vegetarian meal and the bald eagle ate his piece of meat in a distance on the banks of the retreating water. In terms of wildlife, this was a successful day and a wonderful conclusion to our visit to Gaspé Peninsula.

Eddy and Romy van Es © 2020, All Rights Reserved.

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