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Down memory lane - Gaspé peninsula - Episode 3

Updated: Sep 9, 2023

Oh Philomène que tu t’étends longtemps ♫ (old French song)

Another wonderful day on the horizon. This morning, I have to retrace my steps to St-Alexandre des Lacs. It's the Philomène's waterfall that attracts me. Philomène was a widow, owner of this land and she was known to be very welcoming to travelers...

First impression when I stop my bike in Rang St-Louis… it is so calm. I only hear the song of the birds that inhabit the forest. In the undergrowth, I recognize the creeping dogwood flower, which give a small tasty fruit that reminds me of my childhood vacation in the forests of Bellechasse.



The suspended platform, which overlooks the waterfall, was installed by the region's Quad group so that everyone can enjoy this grandiose panorama.



The ballet of fishermen

A short stop at Causapscal to admire the salmon fishermen. Nothing has changed since I first saw them... 41 years ago. The gesture is so beautiful, almost poetic.



Memories are not always accurate

When I arrived in Causapscal, I was surprised. I remembered a very big city, let's say my memory was far from accurate. However, the memory that the valley of La Matapedia had imbued in me was very real. A route that would easily fit into Tolkien's “Shire”. To my right the Matapedia River, to my left a rock wall and, between the two, beautiful curves that I slip through one after the other.


Help

Halfway, I decide to make a detour to St-André de Restigouche to see Picot' waterfall. At the bend in the road, two mastiffs looking for fun, heard my motorcycle coming forward. As I pass their farm at 70 km/h, they appear in front of me all fangs out. Wow... that's what a counter-steer is for. I, who have no affinity with adrenaline, am served. I continue my way without finding the said waterfall but in exchange I find myself at the Cœur des Plateaux belvedere. Looks like I'm on top of the world. On the way back, the dogs remain hidden away… Good.



I arrive at the Chaleur Bay. It reveals itself to me at the turn of a curve. I never get tired of these great waterbody.


The King of Miguasha

Miguasha... this is the missing link. This is the best place in the world, for real, to learn about the Devonian, the Age of Fishes, the key period in evolution when vertebrates moved from water to land.

You know, before men, before monkeys, before dinosaurs, before reptiles... yes, yes, long before. In 2010, they even discovered an Elpistostege, a fish that has remnants of a femur, humerus, radius, tibia, and even fingers. In fact… it was our great-great-great-grandfather that they discovered.




What goes up must come down

I arrive in Carleton-sur-Mer. The weather is nice, the sea is nice and... vacationers have taken the place over. Let's say I prefer the quietness of nature to the hustle and bustle of the city. So, I direct my beast towards Mont St-Joseph. This site was a sacred place for the Mi'kmaq and it has become for the Catholics who built a charming chapel in 1938.

The mosaic of the Virgin is worth seeing. It consists of a triptych illustrating three representations of Mary. In the center, Mary Queen of the World, seated on a terrestrial globe, wears a crown and holds a scepter, symbols of her universal royalty. She is surrounded, on her right, by Our Lady of Guadeloupe, Empress of the Americas, and, on her left, by Notre-Dame du Cap, Queen of Canada.



From up there (555 meters), you can admire one of the most beautiful bay in the world, the Chaleur Bay. There are even geodomes where you can spend the night admiring the breathtaking view of the river and the stars.



The climb had been... interesting. Lots of bumps, holes, cracks, turns. The descent is even more so. I have to stay in first gear all the way in order to use compression. Otherwise, the brakes would not have stood up. Tonight, I'm sleeping in Maria, but it's St-Jean Baptiste day. So maybe I will join in the festivities after visiting the places proposed to me by a native rider from the place.


Follow me after the next curve ...


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