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Ô Canada - Gaspé peninsula - Episode 1

Updated: Sep 9, 2023

This morning, it is cool and gray. I look at the weather forecast for Quebec City, Rimouski, Gaspé, and I decide to go. Surely I will manage to get around the bad weather. I'm leaving Quebec by the Pierre-Laporte bridge. This is how my journey through history begins. Pierre Laporte, assassinated, we do not really know why, by lawless bandits. I have a thought for this man, this son, this husband. Using the 20, I bypass Lévis and join the 132 from Beaumont.

I want to discover the Gaspé peninsula, step by step, to earn it. Using the 20 to go to Trois-Pistoles wouldn't have given me time to tame the object of my desire and... the Navigators route is so beautiful. Just like the Chemin du Roy which winds on both side of the 138, the Navigators route has fun with the 132. Obviously, that doubles the duration of the trip but, I have time and these multiples convolutions allow me such wonderful discoveries. Already, the old stone houses and the corn fields at the foot of the Appalachians bring me back to the colonization of Canada. My roots, my heritage.

Sous l'œil de Dieu, près du fleuve géant, Le Canadien grandit en espérant. Il est né d'une race fière, Béni fut son berceau.

Under the eye of God, near the giant river,

The Canadian grows hoping.

He was born of a proud race,

Blessed was his birthplace.

Our National anthem commissioned by a Quebecer, wich words and music were written by Quebecers, highlights our river, this immense river which, by itself, drains 25% of the planet’s freshwater reserves.

At every turn, at every village, a new surprise. In St-Michel de Bellechasse, the telephone poles serve as a library.

In St-Vallier, the municipal rest area offers a brush and a garden hose to clean the paws of dogs and their owner's boots after a hike to observe snow geese during migration.

In Berthier sur mer, the quirky little house reminds me of Agatha Christie's Crooked house. There is also this luthier, Les Guitares Boucher, internationally recognized for his exceptional work and through which Quebec shines. Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn, Beau Dommage, Stéphane Venne,... have made the works of this craftsman shine.

Along the way, I feel like I'm heading for the storm. In the east, the sky is getting grayer and grayer and I can even see curtains of rain in the distance.

In St-Jean Port Joli, the Trois Saumons river is unleashed. Yesterday's downpour has left its mark. However, when I sit down at OK Bistro, a ray of hope creeps through the clouds. The wind, left by the tail of the tornado that we had yesterday, carries the clouds with it.

I leave more confident. Finally I will avoid the rain except that... it's cold, colder and colder. First stop to add a windbreaker, it's not enough. Second stop, I add an insulating layer, warmer gloves and a neck warmer. Well, it's getting better. A rider had told me to beware of the cold. But I had planned it, no way the weather would prevent me from enjoying my trip.

In St-Roch des Aulnaies, I take a short detour to Le Havre du quai. An orientation stone allows me to recognize what is in front of my eyes. My gaze crosses the river to discover Baie St-Paul, Les Éboulements, La Malbaie, ...

In Ste-Anne de La Pocatière, the stopover offers a gazebo for the wiser and... an observation tower for the more energetic. How not to fall under the spell of the river?

My hike is starting to “get into my body”. It gets colder and colder and fatigue accumulates with the kilometers. I quickly pass in front of the first butter-factory-school in St-Denis de la Bouteillerie.

In St-Germain de Kamouraska, I have a thought for this other man, murdered at the age of 26 and found in the famous eponymous novel by Anne Hébert. As every time I cross this village, for a few seconds I find myself in Normandy. The mountains of St-Germain having the gift of reminding me of Mont St-Michel.

I had planned to sleep in Ste-Flavie but Rivière-du-Loup opens its arms to me and I no longer have the energy to continue my journey. So I spent the night at the Auberge de la Pointe, not without taking the time to enjoy an excellent meal which ended with an apple and caramel cheesecake, accompanied by an excellent port.

N.B. Can someone explain to me how sunsets manage to be so beautiful?

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