Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bas St-Laurent vacation pics

Pointe aux Peres lighthouse - about to climb up to the top for the tour!

A few ride and destination photos of our family-speed trip to the bas St-Laurent, This is the southern coast of the Saint-Laurence river area Gaspe - east of Quebec city and before the river becomes the Gulf and ais the Gaspe region.

We stayed in Trois Pistoles, in the Les Basques area. Stayed means camped, and we did that at camping plage de trois pistoles.

Day One: Monday we drove there with a lunch and scenic stop in jardins Domaine Joly de Lotbiniere gardens near Quebec.

Day Two: we visited the (Reford) Jardins des Grands M├ętis, 29 different gardens, and 12 of these are part of an annual gardfen competition - think art installation/garden. We had late day activities in Rimouski such as visiting the Point aux Peres lighthouse, cycling the water's-edge boardwalk of Rimouski, and a supper at ardoise restaurant.

Day Three: old-stuff museum in Trois Pistoles (saw a 1906 bicycle identical to todays bikes except for wooden wheel rims. Here was also a Chryser Airflow car, the first aerodynamic car and a very historically-important car. Then on to our real destination: to visit the island of Ile Verte. We found out that the ferry and taxi-boats were high-tide-only! So we explored the village until high tide and took the boat over to the island around 2 pm. We had about 9o minutes on island before boat returned, we had time for a bike ride over the spine of the island to the light house on north shore. The fields were full of red and white wild roses. This was the first light house built on the St-Laurence river, in 1809 and is directly across from the Saguenay river. It is possible that there are NO services on the island.

Day Four: Visit the Parc National de Bic. We parked the car for the day and rode bikes from the visitor centre to Cap aux Originals, Ferme Rioux, Point aux Epinettes (there are seals here at high tide) and it's 97-step staircase lookout (amazing!). Then we went over to St-Fabien sur la Mer, and Point aux Flacons for another of the best views in the parc, and frankly, anywhere! Here we helped a sea kayaker carry his boat up to his car. He had paddled from this beach east to Rimouski and then back - the return trip was against the wind and took 6 hours. This spot was hyper-scenic.

Day five: Eat breakfast at L'essentiel in Trois Pistoles and drive back and explore the slower and more scenic road of Rt 138 through all the villages- from Cacouna west to L'Islet. We stopped at the miniature boat museum in Riviere du Loup, St-Denis sur Mer, lunch in St-Andre (we were speaking french but the waitress asked us to speak english so she could practice!!!), then jams and pickles (and sheep and goats and rabbits and chickens and a duck) at the round house in St-Germain, art symposium and bakery in Kamouraska, wood carving in Port Joli, and outside the maritime museum in Islet - home of the wierdest fastest ship ever built, a hydrofoil-equipped navy boat. Then it was casse-croute and the 20 back to Montreal, where the forecasted rain final started - conveniently waiting until we were done our sight-seeing!

Impressionistic scene at Reford Gardens.

Uber-historique Chrysler Airflow - first aero car.

Villa Estevan at Reford Gardins, and the only lawn in the place!

Plant reproduction in action

Climbing around Cap d'Orignal in Parc Bic

Lookout at Point aux Epinettes, this is one of best views in Bic, seals too!

Potato Garden - potatoes make electricity, and then sounds.

Outside of Potato Garden: potatoes growing outside.

child-swing-powered seeder above tosses seed on to sculpture-islands

Big beautiful Iris flower

Rimouski riverside bike path boardwalk and soon.. supper!

L'ile Verte lighthouse, the first one of the St-Laurence in 1809. Now a Gite.

Boat (and bike) Taxi to Ile Verte - it runs at high tide only.

Parc National de Bic - riding through fields of flowers

Conclusion: Excellent destination, near perfect weather, a great vacation.


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