The Gaspe Peninsula: Part 4. June 2013

Day 20: Amqui to Lac Malcolm 55km
Saturday, June 22.
Sunny, not a cloud in sight. Stiff west wind. 25C.

We left the motel in Amqui just after 9am and took a narrow path through the woods to the Beausejour covered bridge. We tried taking a photo with the self timer but a man and his son took a much better one for us.

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We followed a road through a residential area before reconnecting with the 132. The sun was out in full force and seemed to be getting hotter all the time. There was a strong breeze that helped to keep us cool. The pedaling seemed easy as there were relatively few hills. At the Parc des Bois & Berges we stopped for a snack. It was a lovley spot shaded by trees overlooking Lake Matapedia.

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Farmland predominates this part of the Valley and their were some impressive vistas.

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Also some curious locals…
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Sayabec wasn’t far after that and we stopped at a gas station to ask for directions to our Auberge. Through the translation I got something about 4km, something about a big hill and on the right. Sure enough after a few kilometers there was a sign on the right indicating that the Auberge du Lac Malcom was 5km and it pointed up a big hill. Well, half way up the big hill we were able to see the rest of the hill. It just kept going up and up and then it turned and still went up.

Somehow we were able to climb it and then down again, but it led to another hill and then another. Sure enough, 5km later we made it. The Auberge also has a camp ground full of RVs and is situated around a small lake. Its quite beautiful and thankfully there is a restaurant here too. We failed to pick up groceries passing through Sayabec figuring we would be staying close to town. After checking in we took a walk through the grounds trying to locate the restaurant.

Turns out they closed the restaurant a year ago. This means we are going 10km back into town and then back up 10km into the hills. What choice do we have? It’s one of the highlights of biking: eating. So down we go, with the wind and we reach the marche in no time. We fill our bags trying to keep it light, as in not heavy, and then buckle down for our second climb. Again, it us into the wind and up. After about an hour we are at Lac Malcolm again and our appetites are in high gear.

Another delicious spread and we are all satisfied. With the sun setting we can hear the distant murmur of 100 RVs and their inhabitants and the nearly full moon is rising in the east. There were fireworks coming from the campground, but we can barely keep our eyes open to watch the hockey game.

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Tomorrow should be our last full day of pedaling. After we arrive in Mont Joli again we will hang out there over the holiday (St Jean Batiste) and then catch the train from there to Quebec City.

Day 21: Lac Malcolm to Sainte Flavie 59km
Sunday, June 23.
Clear but hazey and humid. 25C.

Breakfast was included with our stay last night so we indulged in their fruit, cereals and croissants. It was a nice change from porridge, but a little heavier than we’ve been used to. We navigated back to the 132 and made good time with very little wind. We stopped for a quick snack in a gravel lot and the black flies got us moving again in minutes. The next 20km went by fairly effortlessly as we seemed to have crested the high point of the peninsula. There were a few hills to go up but the descents far outweighed them.

There was one last hill climb coming into Mont Joli and once we were at the top we could see down through the town all the way to the St Lawrence. Sainte Flavie, our destination today, is 5km beyond Mont Joli right on the river. Before our final descent we made a couple of stops for supplies and then coasted down to Motel Rita, our home for the next two nights. This is the motel where we left our cheese two weeks ago. We got room number 10 again, but alas our cheese was gone.

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After lunch we took a stroll and checked out some of the local shops and tourist boutiques. Had a nice walk along the beach and passed our favourite restaurant Le Rose de la Vent. We took the bikes back up the hill to Mont Joli to do some more grocery shopping as all the stores are closed tomorrow for the big holiday. It was a pleasure riding without all of our luggage and it was neat to retrace some of our steps from two weeks ago. We knew where the bike path was, through the enchanted forest. We also scouted out the train station where we will be departing from Tuesday night. The downtown looks quite interesting with many murals and we plan on seeing them more indepth during our stay.

After getting back to our room and putting our shopping away, it was time to go to Rose’s for supper. It was just as good as we remembered and our server recognized us too. The sun was setting by the time we finished eating and we watched another incredible sunset. It is a short walk home and we are relaxing in bed, catching up on our journals and discussing how to pass the time tomorrow. Visit the Jardins Metis? A day at the beach? Only time will tell…

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Day 22: Sainte Flavie / Mont Jolie 13km
Monday, June 24. St Jean Baptiste Day.
Sunny, cloudy, windy, hot and cool. 25C.

We woke up today wondering what to do. Started with a walk down the beach before breakfast during a low spring tide.

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Later, we saw the high spring tide…

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After breakfast, a plethora of fruit and our usual oatmeal, we rode up the hill to Mont Joli. We toured the town center in search of the 20 murals they have and found 17 of them in a couple hours. It was quite hot up there and after an ice cream we were eager to get back down into Sainte Flavie where it was almost 10 degrees cooler. Heading back for lunch in our room we noticed a bunch of kites flying around over the water.

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There where a dozen kite surfers out around the wharf zipping past and catching some pretty big air. We watched them for at least an hour before we ate lunch and afterwards we walked back across the road to watch them again. It was fascinating to watch and quite hypnotic as well. Pretty soon the day was spent and it was time for supper.

Another visit to Rose’s and another great meal. Seafood poutine, consider me converted. It was 9 o’clock by the time we got back to our room and the sunset tonight was subdued by clouds. There will be a huge bonfire later that we may go see. That is if we don’t fall asleep first.

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