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Discoveries - Gaspé peninsula - Episode 4

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

Since I like to have a drink in the evening, I always organize in such a way that I can have dinner in or near where I'm going to sleep, so that I don't drive around mildly inebriated. Yesterday, I slept at the Auberge du Marchand and they have a restaurant. So why not have dinner there. I expected simple cuisine... and even... bland. Well, they surprised me. They are fortunate to have a talented and passionate chef, Mathieu Kelly. A daring chef whose works have delighted my taste buds.

In the morning, a good coffee and I leave on on adventure. First stop, the Pointe-Verte park, rue des Tournepierres, very close to the Mam’zelle Maria snack bar. This park is a protected area and a privileged place to observe flora and fauna. It really is a beautiful place. I had promised myself to cover more kilometres today but... I take the time to soak up the tranquility of the place before leaving again.

In Gesgapegiag - Anse Ste-Hélène, I admire the tepees. They remind me that this place has been occupied for a long time by the Mi'kmaq.

In New Richmond, compulsory stop at the rest area. The view is beautiful.

À la claire fontaine ♫ (old french song)

I arrive in Bonaventure and... it smells of the sea. That smell of my childhood vacation. I take a deep breath and the memories resurface. The small trailer that I shared with my parents and my three sisters, the charcoal hibachi (火 鉢, “fire bowl” in Japanese), the discoveries on the beach ...


A magnificent heron welcomes me at the Bonaventure rest area

A sign catches my eye, "Rapide Le Malin"... let's go and see. This rapid on the Bonaventure River is... very small. But this place is much more than that. Its pebble beach and clear water remind me of the rivers whose water comes from the glaciers of the Julian Alps... and it is as icy.

In Pasbébiac, I have my favorite of the day. The municipality has dotted its streets with bicycles of all colors, decorated with flowers and baskets filled with balloons and beach shovels, what a great idea.

As I pass, I admire the stone wharf of Shigawake.

In Port-Daniel, the town hall strikes me with wonder. The LeGrand house, a beautiful centenary, is a jewel with its Second Empire architecture.

Newport beach

Dancing goats

Legend has it that a shepherd discovered the magical properties of coffee when he saw his tired goats dance after eating wild berries. In Grande Rivière, I meet a fervent, Mathieu. He is a proven globetrotter who has a strong weakness, for Robusta. He started by roasting his coffee which he sells on internet and… he has just taken the plunge and now has a storefront in Grande Rivière, Les chèvres dansantes. His cappuccino is just gorgous. And, while tasting his divine beverage, do not hesitate to discuss any subject with him. We talked about spirituality, neurosciences, psychology, travel… Perhaps you now understand why I am moving at a snail's pace on my tour of the Gaspé peninsula.

The pearl of the Gaspé peninsula

From Cap d'Espoir I watch every turn, every hill, with... hope. I was warned that I would be surprised when I finally saw it appear in front of me. Well... I really was. However, I had been preparing for this revelation for three days. It was at the top of the aptly named Surprise Hill that it suddenly appeared.

''Tis a rock!... a peak!... a cape! --

A cape, forsooth! 'Tis a peninsular!'

Just for this vision, it was worth taking this trip. The Rocher Percé is finally in front of my eyes.

Who would have thought that a hole could attract so much. A rider had noticed that my lyrics flirted somewhat with eroticism. I would like to point out to you that it was men, not me, who built the tallest lighthouse in Gaspé (Cap-aux-Rosiers) not very far from this hole. The height is not important, except that ...

I leave and pass quickly through Percé. I feel like I'm on Old Orchard Pier with all the tourists, their promotional t-shirts and the ubiquitous shops. So I continue towards Gaspé, with the wind blowing great guns, where I will spend the night. On my way, I stop at St-Georges de Malbaie from where we can see the hole... from the back... and the Indian Head.

“Legend has it that white men from Europe on a tall ship once anchored in a nearby cove. As they went to the shore, to stock up on fresh water and wild fruits, they saw a young Indian princess in the forest. Men from elsewhere captured her and took her to their faraway land. This sad face, whose gaze is riveted to the cliff, is that of her lover who tirelessly awaits her return, determined in his sorrow to turn his back on the sea as long as it does not bring his beloved back to him.

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