Day 17 – Rivière-du-Loup to Phare Cap Madeleine

Woke up with a banging headache which wasn’t good. Showered and went down for the complimentary breakfast. It was pretty simple, I had a bowl of cereal and 2 slices of toast.Took the coast road North, it hugged the coast, gliding through picturesque seaside villages and rolling hills. The houses we droves past were so lovely, many were weekend holiday homes I expect but they were all painted in bright colours (lots of Quebec blue) and all were neat and tidy with white painted windows and nice mannequerd gardens. 

The town were lovely too, lots of artisan boutique stores, carved figurines outside, small ice cream shops and restaurants with terraces and sea views and lots of motels dotted along the road. The towns reminded me of the movies The Trueman Show and Me, Myself and Irene, both Jim Carry movies but also both filmed in little pretty towns like to ones along the Gaspiesie Peninsula. Just outside Pointe-au-Pere was the first lighthouse on our lighthouse map. It was one the lady at the tourist office outside Montreal had circled as it’s the tallest one on the Peninsula and is run by Parks Canada so was free to go up inside it! Waited for a while for the group inside to come down and another group of us climbed up the 100 plus stairs to the top where we I assume the guide told us about the lighthouse (she spoke in French so we had no idea what she was talking about!)There was also a museam about a sunken ship that had gone down in the area and one with a big submarine attached to it. We didn’t want to pay so didn’t go in. Looked around the lighthouse keepers house and garage before continuing on our way.  Saw another lighthouse in Matane but it was beside the road so didn’t stop. Passed through Cap-Chat where the Canada’s Largest windmill park is located. There are 133 wind turbines as well as the largest vertical axis windmill in the world. It’s quite a sight seeing all these huge white things spinning against the skyline. I bet the locals don’t, but I quite liked them. Stopped briefly at Phare de la Martre lighthouse. It is bright red which is unusual and is still a working lighthouse operated by the original clockwork system.The road from Sainte-Anne-des-Monts turned from flat shore hugging roads to sweeping valleys surrounded by cliffs, some had fallen victims to landslides and in parts it was quite daunting seeing the cliffs hanging above you. Still, the towns were very lovely and made you wonder if the people living here had any worries at all, the houses all seemed so perfect. 
We came across yet another lighthouse in Phare Cap Madeline around 7:30 and Fergus noticed you could camp there for $15 so we had a nosey about and decided to stay. Chose a nice spot over on the right of the lighthouse overlooking the bay. Set up our bed and watched the sun go down behind the lighthouse. Read for a while until it became too dark then watched the last 2 episodes of The Long Way Round.

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