Friday, August 31, 2018
What a glorious day to reach Gaspésie! The temperature was perfect (19-22 degrees Celsius) and the sky, wonderfully blue!
We were happy to leave the hotel after breakfast (definitely not recommending the place). The day’s journey started with a long stop at the historic site of Pointe-au-Père, where you can witness the last voyage of the Empress of Ireland. Built in 1906, the steamship belonged to the Canadian Pacific Steamship Company. It used to transport thousands of travelers, workers and immigrants between Quebec City and Liverpool, before its tragic end off the shore of Pointe-au-Père on the night of May 29, 1914. It sank in 14 minutes, and remains to this day the greatest maritime tragedy in Canadian history. Of the 1477 passengers on board, 1022 perished in the tragedy. Artifacts collected from numerous diving expeditions are displayed at the museum and a 20-minute visual re-enactement of the event is extremely well done.
The second attraction of the site is Canada’s first publicly accessible submarine, the Onondaga. Small groups are taken inside this beast to learn what life was like for the 70 men aboard the 90-metre vessel that travelled back and forth the North Atlantic from 1967 to 2000.
Last but not least: the lighthouse. Constructed in 1909, it played a key role in the history of navigation on the St. Lawrence River. I tried to climb the 128 steps of Canada’s second-highest lighthouse (33 m), but failed to reach the top… I started to feel claustrophobic in the concrete shaft and decided to go down for fresh air… Looked better from the outside!
Overall, a very interesting visit, worth the stop!
Back on the road (very scenic and meandering along the body of water known as Baie-des-Chaleurs, that separate the Gaspé Peninsula from New-Brunswick)) until we reached our next rest stop: Carleton-Sur-Mer. What a lovely place! We had selected to spend the night at the Manoir Belle Plage, and LOVED IT! This one I can highly recommend! It sits just across from the leisurely paved walk along the water.
With the dining room fully booked by a large group of tourists, we had dinner on the terrace next-door, at the Hostellerie Baie Bleue. I had a delicious creamy fish chowder and Raymond, seafood pasta. We really enjoyed our meal but a loud group near us made our experience less pleasant, making our conversation more difficult. What can I say… everyone needs to have fun!
Time to relax… Bonne nuit!