Yesterday’s uphill hike in the strong cold wind took more out of us than we realized and we woke up rather tired today. So we scrapped plans for a hike today to a glacial lake and decided to meander slowly toward Rivière-du-Loup. It would normally be about a 3-hour drive…it took us almost eight because of all the stops we made along the way!
We spent a good half hour in Ste-Anne-des-Monts parked along the pier, identifying birds and ducks. A new one for us was the black guillemot.
A little further along the road we spotted a large bird sitting on a pile of stones off shore. Initially we had high hopes it was a golden eagle since they have been seen nesting in nearby Gaspésie National Park but it was an immature bald eagle.
Our next stop was in Cap Chat to see the world’s tallest vertical wind turbine (it makes the other “regular” wind turbines look tiny by comparison). It was in operation from 1983-1992. The site is now open for guided tours.
The tide was out as we drove along the coast today which made for a far different experience from yesterday. There was no wind, we explored tidal flats, and unusual rock formations.
One of the biggest surprises happened in Matane. The river was covered in white birds…snow geese, as far as the eye could see. There must have been thousands of them. For birders like us, it was a big thrill!
In Ste-Flavie, we discovered the stunning sculpture art of Marcel Gagnon. It’s a gallery plus a restaurant and guesthouse but you can’t drive by without noticing. Here’s why.
We both kept seeing these odd rock shapes along the water’s edge. I tried to zero in with the binoculars but because we were driving I couldn’t get a good focus. The top of the rocks seemed to curve upward. I had a hunch but wasn’t sure until we found a spot to stop.
My hunch was right! There were seals resting on the top of rocks at low tide.
We also saw quite a few whales today when we stopped for our daily picnic lunch. Always exciting!
The Pointe-au-Père lighthouse was a surprise (unusual design) as was the submarine (the first Canadian submarine open to the public).
We learned at this stop that during WWII, German submarines came into the St. Lawrence. As a result, special radio transmission stations (Marconi once again) were set up along the shore and blackouts were established in all the coastal communities.
My favourite spot was definitely Bic National Park. We pulled into a small cove just off the highway and entered another world. Beauty in all directions, and so peaceful.
Tonight we’re in Rivière-du-Loup and the forecast is for 100 km/hour winds and heavy rain overnight. Happy to be inside, dry and warm. Hopefully, the storm will have blown over by morning.