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La Renommée - Gaspe peninsula - Episode 5

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

In Gaspé, it's a beauty from times gone by that welcomes my dreams. Wakeham House is a Victorian style mansion, built in 1842. They even have a royal bedroom but... no queen. This room was created for Queen Elizabeth II's visit to Gaspé in 1959 but... the queen decided to sleep on board her yacht.


It is 5 o'clock, it rained last night. The weather is grey. I wanted to see the sunrise but it is already too late and, with this cloudy weather, it surely would have been less impressive.

Morning walk through town, breakfast and I'm ready for a fresh start. This morning I'm heading for Cap-des-Rosiers, located at the tip of Parc Forillon. A park for which around a hundred people from Gaspé, who have lived there for several generations, have been expropriated.

I imagine their sadness when they were driven from their land, from this corner of paradise. In Cap-des-Rosiers, there is the lighthouse. You remember, the tallest lighthouse in Gaspé peninsula but also... in Canada. But it's not the lighthouse that appeals to me, I don't really like oversized objects. Rather, it is the opportunity to observe whales and seals. But the weather is gray and hazy, it would take Superman's laser vision to see anything there. However, the walk on the trails, the nearby marsh, the squabbling red-winged blackbirds, the view of the lighthouse... leave me with the desire to come back.

The road is appealing ... L’Anse aux griffons Rivière au renard Petite Rivière au renard St-Maurice de l’Échouerie

La Renommée

At the bend of a curve, a sign: Historic site of Pointe-à-la-Renommée (Fame point), so let's take a look. 8 km of gravel on steep hills and turns. The more I go, the more I wonder if the game worth the fight. And worst, I'll have to go back to the 132.

Finally, I arrive in front of a small lighthouse, on a well-maintained site, but still... This is when fate is once again generous with me. I end up with a guide all to myself, and not just any guide. Pierre Legault is an enthusiastic and passionate man. He introduces me to HIS lighthouse.

I learn that ...

-It was built in 1879 for the sum of $ 5,571.24.

-It is a travelling lighthouse. It was moved to Quebec, near Boulevard Champlain, to the delight of lazy tourists , but the mobilization of the citizens of Anse-à-Valleau allowed it to be repatriated after 20 years of exile.

It is a travelling lighthouse. It was moved to Quebec, near Boulevard Champlain, to the delight of lazy tourists , but the mobilization of the citizens of Anse-à-Valleau allowed it to be repatriated after 20 years of exile.

-In 1904, the internet were installed at Pointe-à-la-Renommée as the first Marconi station installed in Canada. It was from there that the first radio telegraph signals in America and the first land-sea signals in the world were transmitted.

-In 1914, when the Titanic sank, the station received SOS all night long but, at the time, the radio operators only worked during the day, so it was not until the morning that they heard the news.

-The station was used during the WWII, when German submarines came to sink OUR ships in OUR river.

I learned all of this and more.

Two hours later, I have to leave... if I want to return home one day ... I had promised myself to pick up the pace a bit, but from a slug I went to an earthworm.

I cross the Madeleines, a series of hills that remind me of the Mauricie Park. Happiness on two wheels. In Cloridorme, I take a detour via the quay where the Fisherman's Canteen is located. Like all canteens, there are the great classics. Hot-dogs, hamburgers, poutines, but... we are in Gaspé peninsula, so the menu also offers these classics with lobster, crab or shrimp. I ate a crab roll... real, not pollock and, satisfied, I continue my journey.

From Manche d'épée (Sword handle), the road runs along the cliff face and gives a breathtaking view of the sea.

I arrive at Mont St-Pierre. It is true that this mountain is beautiful. Nearby, at Ruisseau-à-rebours, it can be admired from the Pierre-Drapeau belvedere. The perfect place for a picnic.

One of my goals, during my tour of Gaspé peninsula, is the La Martre lighthouse. This lighthouse, still in operation, uses a mercury basin. A specificity that I want to see up close. Unfortunately it is under renovation so... it will be for next time.

I finally arrive in Matane. Several calls are needed to find a bed for the night and... I am unable to make a reservation at a restaurant. I pick up a lunch and sit on a swing at my hotel to watch the sunset while eating. Life is Beautiful…

The day has been long, very long and tomorrow the weather forecast announces rain... everywhere. What will I do? I never "really" rode in the rain ...

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