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28 November 2011

Cross Canada and Back, Part 30

Bonaventure to Rocher Percé to Tête d'Indian, Québec. Canada

It's July 27th and day 73 or our Cross Canada Trip. We take an early morning hike along the sea walk, listening to the church bells ringing. We see a sign on the church, the building is  dating back to 1790. Later we break camp and head in direction of Percé and Tête d'Indian.

Wonderful Country Side along the Bay of Chaleur

Fishing village
We drive through some beautiful country side with lots of small quaint villages which are all called Percé ... something. Sure wish my French was a little better.


View Bonaventure - Percé - Tete d'Indian, Québec. Canada in a larger map

We stop at one of the small villages and pick up some local salted air-dried cod... Wow this stuff is salty, more on this later.

Drying racks for salted cod

Slab of dry salted Cod
As we drive north-eastward the fog is rolling in and it gets pretty thick in places. Driving through Percé it is hard to make out anything but the road. Percé is located on the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.

The fog is getting thicker

Rocher Percé coming out of the fog.
Eventually we arrive at Tête d'Indian Campground. It is OK but not exactly what we were hoping for. Some of the campsites up on the hill side will have nice views of the Gulf of St Lawrence. We do have full service which is nice.

Wish we had one of  these sites.

Liz is very impressed with the Cod :)
With enough Mayo it should be OK?
Once we get set up we try some of this famous salted air dried Cod. One is supposed to have it with beer. Just so you know, you will need more then beer!!! Eventually after a few tries of savoring this salt mine, we give up and cook supper. It's been a long day and the bed looks pretty good.

When we wake in the early morning of the 28th of July, day 74 of our journey, we are greeted with wonderful sunshine, not a cloud in the sky and calm seas. This is a good day for taking a boat tour past Rocher Percé and to circumnavigate Parc National de I'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé.

Rocher Percé and Parc National de I'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé in the distance.

Windy road back to Percé
We get into our truck and drive the windy road back to Percé. We find a nice young man guarding a make-shift parking lot. $10.00 for the day is the price, and since we are the first people there, we have a look at where the sun is and where there will be shade. We get a nice spot. It will be very hot today.

Anders in Percé

Percé
We wander the streets, there is really only one main street. We find one of the several boat tour companies that offers us a ticket for the next sailing. Before you know, we are on the "tug" and heading out direction Rocher Percé. These boat tours are only available from May to October.

Liz with Rocher Percé in the back drop.

On our way out.... The weather could not be better.

The famous rock with its arch

Rocher Percé or Percé Rock is a huge sheer rock formation off Percé Bay. Percé Rock looks like a ship under sail from a long distance. This rock formation is just over 1km long, 90 meters wide, 88 meters high with a 20 meter arch.




It is one of the world's largest natural arch located in water. It is further considered a natural icon of Québec and a major attraction. If the weather is good, don't miss it.

Liz at Percé Rock

The arch

Rocher Percé
Our cameras are working overtime, I'm sure we have over 300 pictures of this rock and half an hour of video. We will have to do some serious selecting when back in camp.

Next we circumnavigate Parc National de I'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé. The park was created in 1985 to protect the large migratory bird sanctuary found on Bonaventure Island, as well as nearby Percé Rock. The park's area covers 5.8 km², only a small portion is located on the mainland.

Approaching Parc National de I'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé.

Liz at Parc National de I'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé.

Northern Gannets on Parc National de I'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé.
The island Parc National de I'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé features five incredible hiking trails. Park wardens and naturalists also offer guided bird, fossil and geology walks.

60,000 pairs nest here

They are everywhere

This is where my favourite birds "The Northern Gannet" hang out. There are about 60,000 couples that make the Island their nesting ground. This is the larges colony in the world.

Gannet pairs may remain together over several breeding seasons. They perform incredible greeting rituals at the nest.  They stretch their bills and necks toward the sky and gently tapping bills together.

Northern Gannets diving

Northern Gannets

Northern Gannets
The Northern Gannets are spectacular divers, plunging into the ocean at very high speed. Before striking the water they completely  straightened out like an arrow. It is really something to watch. If a fish is taken during the dive, the Gannet usually swallow the fish underwater.  

The weather and seas could not be better

What a day!

Why did everyone leave me?
As we approach the island I find myself standing at the bow by myself, where did the crowds go? The ship's horn is blowing, I enjoy the sights and look for some kayakers or something, the horn continues to blow. Eventually I look back and everyone is starring at me.... I see Liz waving me back, I guess I'm in the road, and it was announced over the loud speaker to move back.... Well it's all French to me :)

Lunch and shopping is on the agenda when we return to Percé. 

Bakery.... Yes!

Where is my Latte?


After a great lunch we go for a hike, do some more shopping and then back to camp. Tomorrow we are off to Forillon National Park of Canada.

Liz and Anders


For more pictures of this part of our trip click the image below, or go directly to the slide show here.

Rocher Perce, Perce, QC

Cheers, 

Anders and Liz

Here are some shortcuts to all the blogs from our Cross Canada Trip. Just hover over the number to see where it will take you

 1,    2,    3,     4,    5,    6,    7,    8,    9,   10

11,   12,  13,  14,  15,  16,  17,  18,  19,  20

21,   22,  23,  24,  25,  26,  27,  28,  29,  29b

30,   31,  32,  33,  34,  35,  36,  37,  38,  39,

40,   41,  42,  43,  44,  45,  46,  47,  48,  49,

50,   51,  52,  53,  54,  55,  56,  57,  58,  59,

60,   61,  62,  63,  64,  65.


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13 November 2011

Cross Canada and Back, Part 29


Val Comeau NB to Bonaventure, Province of Québec


On our 72th day of our journey, July 26th 2011, we were traveling from Val Comeau north to Caraquet, which is unofficially called the Acadian capital by its residents.


View Val Comeau, NB to Bonaventure, QC in a larger map 

After the expulsion of the Acadians in southern New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in 1755, some Acadians settled here on the Acadian Peninsula, and specially here in Caracet. Driving along the highways here, the Acadian flag is accompanying us all the way. In August the Acadians celebrate Tintamarre, a noisy celebration at the Acadian Festival.

The Acadian flag is present everywhere.

Just past Caracet is the Village Historique Acadien . Here you can see and feel why throughout the Maritime provinces the Acadians are quietly, but fiercely proud of their heritage. See also our blog of Grand Pre National Historic Site.

Continuing along the north coast of the Acadian Peninsula we pass through Bathurst. The drive along the Baie des Chaleurs looks cold and grey today. This large bay off the Gulf of St.Lawrence is known for its warm salt water beaches. We find that the region looks remote, and not as well off as the coasts further south.

Drive along Chaleur Bay
A dairy farmer just before Campellton has a message on a big lawn sign for us:
"Get High on Milk, Our Cows are on Grass!"

Welcome to Campbellton

Just outside Campellton we drive over the green bridge at the mouth of Restigouche River into the province of Québec. We assume that New Brunswick does not have sex shops, because right after the bridge we are welcomed by various colourful shops.

Bridge from New Brunswick to Québec

Bridge from New Brunswick to Québec

Bridge from New Brunswick to Québec
"Bienvenue au Québec", here all signs and information are only in French. We stop in at the Tourist information, and a nice young man ( with very limited English, which is not a problem, I need lots of practice to rejuvenate my French), gives us good information for the Gaspé Peninsula.

The Québec side of the Baie des Chaleurs (or Chaleur Bay) is very pretty. The towns are well maintained, and Highway 132 is in good shape. The landscape with its hills, valleys, and the ocean make our trip very interesting and pleasant.

Coastline of the Gaspé Peninsula

Coastline of the Gaspé Peninsula
We drive all the way to Bonaventure to Camping Plage Beaubassin. This is a very large RV place offering anything from a playground, beaches, marina, coffee-shop, theater, etc. Our site is a pull through and adequate.

Camping Plage Beaubassin is a very large campground and right on the water.

Camping Plage Beaubassin

Waterfont and beach of Camping Plage Beaubassin
The town of Bonaventure is very nice. Cycling and walking trails along the water front are very nice. Many permanent residents are of Acadian descent. The stately Bonaventure church built in 1790 dominates the downtown vista.

Bonaventure, Québec

Walkways and bike trails along the water in Bonaventure, QC.
Strawberries are in season. They are for sale all over. Close to our campground, a young woman is selling farm products from La Ferme Bourdages. We bought Strawberry Wine, Strawberry Tartinade, tarts, jams, relish.....  I think Anders even bought a Strawberry Port?  Everything tasted great!

As we found out  during our trip through the province of Québec, the Québecois are all excellent of promoting local and Québec produce, products and inventions.

For supper we picked up some local white fish at the Poissonnerie de la Baie. Anders cooked it on foil with lots of leek, butter and a splash of white wine. Excellent!

For more pictures of this part of our trip click the image below or you can go directly to the slide show here.

Cheers,
New Brunswick to Gaspésie QC

Liz & Anders

Here are some shortcuts to all the blogs from our Cross Canada Trip. Just hover over the number to see where it will take you

 1,    2,    3,     4,    5,    6,    7,    8,    9,   10

11,   12,  13,  14,  15,  16,  17,  18,  19,  20

21,   22,  23,  24,  25,  26,  27,  28,  29,  29b

30,   31,  32,  33,  34,  35,  36,  37,  38,  39,

40,   41,  42,  43,  44,  45,  46,  47,  48,  49,

50,   51,  52,  53,  54,  55,  56,  57,  58,  59,

60,   61,  62,  63,  64,  65.


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