In this. This beautiful Nissan Versa.
We left the trappings of the very European Quebec City behind us and headed East on the Trans-Canada Highway (or the Autoroute Jean-Lesage if you are French Canadian). This 400km segment of the journey was pretty heavy going as the holiday weekend traffic built up over the hours and the rain came pouring down (it's the same as home, mention a holiday and it automatically rains). With the promised costal view fairly restricted we entered Matane and ran in to the lovely Auberge La Seigneurie and checked into our very comfortable room (our only complaint was the shared bathroom). We had booked dinner at Cargo, known for it's fantastic views of the St. Lawrence River. Annoyingly the weather and darkness had other ideas and the views became similar to a gloomy day on the Clyde! That theme continued when we came back to our room and, one wine Katy, tripped on the plastic recycling box (that statements seems like an oxymoron) and put her foot through it causing the first injury of the trip. We did however get to test the first aid kit (it worked)!
The next morning Craig could barely contain his excitement as our next stop was a trip to the Chic-Choc mountains in Gaspésie national park which included a hike up Mont Olivine. Sadly, the rain that had plagued us yesterday had forgotten to stop overnight but we stoically waded our way to the top. On the way back down, almost at the car park, we stumbled upon two moose (Craig insists the plural should be either mooses or mice!) grazing at the river bank, quite non-plussed about our presence. This was absolutely the highlight of the hike and something which was so humbling to witness.
Sunday nights accommodation was the Auberge L'Amarré in Mont-Louis. This time our picture perfect seaside town was in full glorious sunshine and we had some fantastic views across the St. Lawrence from both our room and dinner that evening.
Holiday Monday and our last full day on the Gaspé Peninsula. It started off with, surprisingly, a long drive down to the beautiful seaside town of Percé that reminded Katy of Elie, on the East Coast of Fife. We parked up and headed to the lookout for Percé Rock that is attached to the mainland via a causeway. Unfortunately, we were apprehended by a young gentleman in a kiosk who demanded (in French) that we pay €1 each to walk the 50m up to the lookout as it is a historic site (Katy did mutter something about North Americans wouldn't know what historic was if it bit them, Craig didn't catch the rest...!) In all fairness we did have fantastic views of both Percé Rock and Île-Bonaventure. We headed into town and enjoyed our walk along the promenade.
Due to a quirk of planning, we then drove back the way we had come for 45 minutes to the town of Gaspé, where we were staying in the Auberge sous les Arbres hotel. When we arrived we were warmly welcomed by our utterly fantastic hostess Mimi - with a brilliant sense of humour she told us we would require a key to get back in to the hotel after dinner because "at 9 o'clock Mimi go night night"! With a few hours of sunshine left (and too much rain over the last 2 days) we headed down to the river to walk along the promenade and we arrived at the Birthplace of Canada. Here we learned about the early French colonisers in the area and the early meetings with the First Nations. It was full of fascinating information although we felt it had become a bit of a tourist trap.
When we had checked in earlier in the day, Mimi had recommended Brise Bise for dinner as it did good food, good beer and well, it was across the road! We decided to head over without a reservation at 19:30 however this was an error as the restaurant had lines out of both doors and the waiting list was already over an hour! We decided to cut our losses and ventured to TÉTÛ Taverne Gaspésienne instead which we are sure was just as nice!
We woke up on the Tuesday knowing this was the big travelling day, it was a 9 hour journey down to Moncton, however this did include a lunch pit-stop in Campbellton! We checked in to the Rodd Moncton Hotel, to one of the motel style rooms, that was definitely quieter than the main hotel. After a quick dinner trip to the brewpub, Pump House we crashed out in bed as we were exhausted!