Day Twenty: Percé, Québec

We started and ended today in the fog. The drive began in Bathurst, New Brunswick which I am sure is beautiful in the sunshine and the summer.

As we drove to Campbellton, the colours in the trees were stunning in spite of the foggy conditions.

IMG_20181012_103606_1

We crossed the bridge at Campbellton and arrived in a new province and a new time zone.

IMG_20181012_102359.jpg

IMG_20181012_102457

As the day progressed, we travelled through history once again. This mural, in the shape of a Canada goose, captures the life of people in the Carleton-sur-mer region and celebrates the 250th anniversary of the community.

IMG_20181012_110727.jpg

The fog finally lifted for a while and we were able to get some spectacular views of the surrounding countryside as we headed east along the Gaspe Peninsula.

IMG_20181012_111742

We climbed Mont Saint-Joseph in the hope of getting a better view. Instead, we found snow and entered an even thicker fog bank.

 

IMG_20181012_113557

IMG_20181012_113530

In Bonaventure, we stopped at the Quebec Acadian Museum to see a display of work by two local rughooking artists. Unfortunately the museum was closed for lunch. So I took this photo instead.

IMG_20181012_121115.jpg

A little further along the coast in Paspébiac, we came upon a series of buildings that had been built between 1783 and 1900 by fishing companies from Jersey.

IMG_20181012_124452.jpg

Paspébiac was Quebec’s first cod fishing port. It has Basque roots and the residents’ accent is different from the rest of the region.

In Chandler, we took a walk along the beach to stretch our legs and enjoy the crashing of the waves along the shore.

IMG_20181012_135817.jpg

And tonight we’re in Percé. Although we can’t actually see the Rock because of the fog. Since it’s past the tourist season, very few restaurants are open. We went to one that was recommended but we were turned away because it was fully booked by a large group. We went to a pub that only offered drinks, no food (although we were told we could go to the grocery store next door and bring some food back to the pub).

We ended up at a small bistro where we were the only customers. The menu was limited to four items (end of season) but it was just what we needed.

Here’s hoping for clear skies tomorrow!

 

Advertisements

Day Eleven: L’Anse-aux-Meadows

L’Anse-aux-Meadows was the destination of this trip from the start. It’s the location at the northern tip of Newfoundland where an archeological site showed beyond any doubt that the Norse established a settlement around the year 1000.

It was fascinating to travel back in time and see the remaining grass-covered mounds of the foundations of their homes and workshops. The reconstructed buildings further along were warm inside in spite of the blustery wind.

IMG_20181003_105802.jpg

The walls were constructed at least 6 feet deep in peat moss and the roof was layers of peat, birch bark, more peat, and then living grass.

IMG_20181003_112308.jpg

With recognizable navigation marks nearby, easy access to the ocean and its food sources, a fresh water stream and plenty of wood nearby, it is understandable why they chose this area.

The rest of our day was spent driving around, visiting coastal villages, hiking and taking photos that seem to tell stories all their own.

IMG_20181003_150549.jpg

The moratorium on the Northern cod fishery in 1992 was a turning point in the Island’s life, culture and history. The closure ended almost 500 years of fishing in Newfoundland and Labrador. It is still a part of current conversation and its impact was evident everywhere we went.

IMG_20181003_151517.jpg

The smaller communities are losing their younger generations and, as a result, the future of many coastal villages is time limited.

IMG_20181003_172909.jpg

Even where we’re staying, the government offered a buy-out program if the few remaining residents would move away. They would still own their homes and could return when they wanted, but within a year, there would be no services like hydro. A 98% agreement was required among the residents and three didn’t want to move, so no one could go.

We read about such situations but it takes on new meaning when you meet people for whom this is their daily reality.

Tomorrow we start to head south toward Port-au-Choix.