Tag Archives: drives

Gaspé, Quebec vacation

We’re well into fall and it’s raining today so what better time to start planning next summer’s vacation?

If you’re like me, you dream all winter of your next summer holiday. Will it be by the beach? How will you get there? What will you do there?

With the Canadian loonie so low compared to the American dollar and the political climate uncertain south of the border, the time is ripe to stay home and explore Canada.

Last summer, my family stayed in Quebec and travelled to the stunningly beautiful Gaspé Peninsula. The ultimate destination was the seaside town of Pérce at the very eastern tip of the province, famous for its monolith, Percé Rock, in the harbour.

The Gaspé is a region of Quebec along the south shore of the mighty St. Lawrence River. The peninsula extends to the Gulf of St. Lawrence and ends at the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean.

The journey is a 2,000 km return trip from Montreal to Percé on the achingly slow but gloriously panoramic Highway 132.

Six-day Gaspé itinerary

This is how we planned our 6-day trip:

  • Day 1: Montreal to Ste. Flavie. 575 km. 5h35 min. drive time plus breaks.
  • Day 2: Ste. Flavie to Gaspé National Park. 293 km. 2h25 min. drive time.
  • Day 3: Gaspé National Park
  • Day 4: Gaspé National Park to Percé. 300 km. 4h drive plus lunch break.
  • Day 5: Percé
  • Day 6: Percé to Montreal. 975 km, ouch! 10h25 min. drive plus breaks.

The rest-stops on the highway are far between but they’re clean and decent. They’re not modern like Ontario’s ONroute chain of pit stops, but you can get sandwiches and chips at most of them. We brought our own food.

There’s one breathtakingly beautiful town between Quebec City and the start of the Gaspé region in Mont. Joli. Kamuraska sits on the south coast of the St. Lawrence River next to vast mud flats that attract a variety of birds. These flats have been painted by thousands of artists over the years. A lunch-stop here includes a nip into the old-time general store, visiting art galleries and a peek at the restored town church.

In my next blogs, I’ll highlight the accommodations and restaurants that were hits and misses and of course, the attractions. There’s lots to do in Gaspé and most of it is weather-dependent, so bring rain gear and a good attitude. You’re in for quite a trip.

Awesome Bridges

Following up my awesome drives post, there are awesome bridges that add up to spectacular drives.

The most incredible drive I’ve made on a bridge is the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. On a sunny day, the view is glorious. Second is the Bixby Bridge on Highway 1 in California. It’s short but it spans a craggy chasm on the edge of the ocean and on a windy and rainy day, it will steal your breath. Thankfully, it doesn’t swing.

Closer to home, the Confederation Bridge to P.E.I. has to be the most challenging bridge to drive and is nothing short of an engineering wonder. I haven’t driven that span yet but I have my sights set on it in 2016.

What are your favourite bridges?

Image from Shutterstock

Image from Shutterstock, Bixby Bridge

 

Thinglink image

Thinglink image, Golden Gate Bridge

Selfie on the bridge

Selfie on the bridge

Even in cloudy weather, the Golden gate Bridge is beautiful

Even in cloudy weather, the Golden Gate Bridge is beautiful

confederationbridge.com

confederationbridge.com