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In Search of Lost Time - Gaspé peninsula - Episode 2

Updated: Sep 9, 2023

I open my eyes. The sun is flooding my room, the day starts well. After the preparations for my departure, which take me forever (I have not yet established the most efficient process), I finally start... to stop a hundred meters further on at the Anse au Persil observatory. The low tide makes me discover the hidden side of the river.

Off I go and my mind start wandering...

One of the pleasant aspects of riding a motorcycle is stimulating our sense of smell. I remember a recent evening in Quebec, it was hot and the lilacs were fragrant. I was just a nose on two wheels cruising through town. Unfortunately, Lego's curfew had ended this perfect evening too soon.

Today, it is the freshly mown fields that tickle my nostrils... until I pass, for a few hundred meters, a truck containing rotting animal carcasses. I didn't see them but... I smelled them. Well, one does not go without the other and the smell of hay deserves this consideration.

A short stop at the Ile Verte where I admire my favorite flower, the giant hogweed. Highly toxic but... so pretty.

Quebec is also our religious heritage. Within each new village I admire, going trough, its church. They often seem disproportionate to me compared to the small population. So much effort, so much money, has gone into the construction of these monuments. I must admit that my preferences go to simpler chapels, closer to its population, like the Church of Notre-Dame des Neiges, built in 1906.

A small road presents itself to my left. Curious, I decide to go see what is hidden at the end. Well... it's just my new favorite place in Quebec, St-Fabien-sur-Mer. I would live there, I would dream there...

On leaving, a new small road to my left. I find myself at the Raoul-Roy belvedere, from where we get a breathtaking view of the river and the surrounding area. Another detour that was worth it. At this rate, I ride about 6 hours a day and I managed to do a big 200 km. I could go around the Gaspé peninsula in two days, but I prefer to take my time and discover these wonderful places.

I drive to Ste-Luce and settle down on the beach promenade at Anse-aux-Coques. I unpack my lunch. Today, I'm going to taste a beer rubbed cheese and smoked sturgeon bought from the Fromagerie des Basques. I add a beer from the Octant microbrewery and take in the views. What more …

I get moving again. I decided to discover the Gaspé peninsula through its right flank. I want to quietly approach my goal, while caressing the road beyond to discover all of its hidden treasures. Thus, from Carleton-sur-Mer, I will always have the sea very close to my right, and I will have the pleasure of discovering the Rocher Percé as if by accident, when it appears in front of me at the bend of a curve, instead of seeing it in the distance for hours before getting there if I went clockwise.

It is therefore in Ste-Flavie, the gateway to the peninsula, that everything is decided. I turn right. Mont-Joli and its flock of sculpted sheep appeal to me. A quick photo and I continue.

The villages follow one another. Ste-Angèle de Mérici, Saint-Moïse, Sayabec where I was shocked when I saw a huge lake appear before my eyes. It is the majestic Lake Matapedia, the jewel of the valley. The Val-Brillant belvedere gives me an even more striking view.

The landscapes of the Matapedia Valley are very different from those of the seaside. Country and hilly landscapes, quieter, bucolic. I must admit, however, that I like the road less. The traffic is faster, denser, more in a hurry. It is that, from Quebec to Ste-Flavie, those "in a hurry" take the 20 and leave the 132 to vacationers. But here ... there is only one road to be shared between "in a hurry" and vacationers. So, regularly, I pull over to the aisle and let pass these people who remind me of the businessman in The Little Prince.

I prefer to enjoy, slowly, the view, the life...

The temperature that was so good is starting to cool down and I'm tired. So, stopover at Causapscal for the night. I already have my plan for tomorrow morning. I can't wait to share it with you….

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