We woke up later this morning (around 7am) because we could! We got everything together, then hit the road for Gaspe, which was only 30km away. We only stopped once to see a lookout of sorts. Turns out, it wasn’t much of a lookout, but it was an old fort used during the war, which was really cool! There was also a plaque dedicated to those who died during the wars, which was really nicely put. It was my favourite plaque I’ve read across Canada. I’ll quote it, instead of butchering the paraphrasing. “They will never know the beauty of this place, see the seasons change, enjoy nature’s chorus. All we enjoy we owe to them, men and women who lie buried in the earth of foreign lands and in the seven seas. Dedicated to the memory of Canadians who died overseas in the service of their country and so preserved our heritage.” I thought it was really nicely phrased, and really moving, and sad. Especially during a trip like this, where we really get to see how beautiful this country is, I really liked reading it! I don’t know how to explain further without sounding sappy, so I’ll leave it at that.
Our plan, one we got into Gaspe, was to eat second breakfast there, do some laundry, and go to a bike shop! When we arrived, we went to the Cegep (where Yvonne stays when she vacations) and put in a load of laundry. The woman who was working behind the desk was extremely nice and let keep our bikes in a locked room in the building while we went for breakfast/lunch across the street.
We went to Motel Adams for breakfast because that was the first place we were hitting on the list of places Yvonne recommended eating. She said the food was good and cheap, and she was right! Michael and I both had the breakfast special (pretty generic scrambled eggs, toast, bacon, tea) and the total (for both of us after tip and tax) was under $13! It was sweet!
We then went back and put the wash in the dryer, and as we waited went on the internet for a bit, and I called home and Philippe. The clothes actually took quite a while to dry, unfortunately, so we only left the Cegep around 3pm or so.
Our next stop was the bike shop. The mechanic was just finishing someone else’s bike, so while I waited we went grocery shopping and had lunch/dinner (so we could cycle straight out without having to stop again for food!). They were really nice and quick at Inter Sport, and it was really cheap! He fixed my bike (which was clicking and grinding), or so I thought. Turns out it was running smoother, but the clicking and grinding was still there. Gutted! But it still works, so we'll keep trugging away until it breaks on me! But while my bike was being fixed, Michael and I went and bought groceries, and met another touring cyclist who told us a bit about her trip, and who recommended staying on the beach in Barachois, because apparently you're allowed to camp there for free! That was good to know because that's where we were aiming for tonight!
On our way out of town, we took the green route. It was really enjoyable! It was well paved, and very scenic (significantly more scenic than the highway would have been!). We followed it all the way until Haldimand beach and then it seemed to end. We decided to turn back to the main highway (which was conveniently very close). We cycled down the 132 for a kilometre or so before we stopped to ask a woman walking down the street if we were going in the right direction (since we were joining the highway from the green route, we weren't 100% sure we were in fact traveling east (technically south, but the signs were labelled east and west), or if we were accidentally heading back up to Gaspe (although we were pretty sure we were going the right way). Turns out, bad directions are what Quebecois do best! She was very nice (as is consistent with our Quebec experience), but her directions were horrible! We asked if we were headed in the right direction towards Perce, and she kept telling us we could go either way to get through Gaspe. We kept asking about Perce and south etc, and she kept talking about how both roads lead to Gaspe. Finally we gave up and kept going until we saw a sign confirming our direction! This will be the last time we ask for directions in Quebec! This keeps my love hate relationship with Quebec going strong!
The ride on the 132 was very nice and pleasant! The route was fairly flat, with some very nice, enjoyable ups and downs. Since time wasn't on our side, we thought we would see how far we could get. We passed through some very cute towns (one town was VERY Irish. Everyone's house had an Irish flag in front of it, and the church was painted white with green and orange trim. It probably looked more Irish in this small town than the whole of Ireland! But Michael was saying there are pockets of non-french settlements in the Gaspe, so I guess this is an Irish one!). We made it all the way to Barachois, ready for our waffles in the morning!!! (Yvonne recommended we get waffles with fruit from Cafe Couleurs, which was unfortunately closed by the time we got into town). It was getting dark (actually, dusk set in just as we cycled into town. We really got there in the nick of time! Not too bad since we only left the bike shop around 4-5pm!), so we quickly cycled to the cafe to see what time they open tomorrow, then quickly set up our tents on the water! It was wicked! Unfortunately, there was a group of obnoxious people on the other side of the water who had a bonfire going, were really loud, and started setting off fireworks! Not cool! But finally we got to bed and had an amazing sleep!