Thursday, August 28, 2014

at the world's end in Gaspé

Tales from my family's cross-country road trip

a Supermoon over Gaspé

Our hotel

We arrived in Gaspé in time for the Festival Musique du bout du monde - the music festival at the end of the world. Gaspeg in Micmac means the land's end, or the end of the world, probably because it's at the end of the Gaspesie peninsula, and there is absolutely nothing beyond that point (except Newfoundland, but who cares).  The festival streets were decorated with al these pretty fish, which I called "fin" du monde fishies...Get it? Fin? Fish? End of the world?

For a town of some 15,000, Gaspé had come alive, and the main street was closed off, filled with crowds enjoying the live music, the delicious Quebec beer, the artisan vendors...

washboard man! talk about washboard abs!

We took in the sights, scarfing down chili nachos garnished with cilantros and hot dogs, which thankfully they advertised as "hot dogs" and not "chien chaud" like they do in Gatineau.

I enjoyed the evening excitement, drinking a Quebec microbrewery beer at the bistro bar Brise-Bise, and then headed to bed...

And tried to sleep.  The festival featured a "party de famille" which I had mistakenly translated as a party for the family but it turned out to clearly not be a family event, as it went on well past midnight. But what really kept us up was what sounded like the world' largest djembe jam session outside my hotel window. You know, what irritated me the most about the 3AM drum jam was that it was hippies keeping me awake. HIPPIES.

Gaspé surprsied me with its night life.

Djembe drum jam. HIPPIES.


In the morning, we visited Forillon National Park, and climbed up Mont St. Albans to its summit, with its magnificant view, where I remembered I was afraid of heights.

the beach at the start of the trail...maybe I should have stayed there?

Hiking up

And up....

view of the ocean between the trees

picnic break, eating sandwiches and vegetables from Mom's garden

gorgeous view from the mountain

View from the summit. Uncomfortably high.

After our long hike, we cooled off at Haldimand beach, where I swam in the Atlantic Ocean. I was slightly warmer than the Arctic ocean.

Mom and Dad

In the late afternoon, I went for a run through the town. I discovered the waterfront boardwalk, which was almost hidden from the road, tucked below the cliffs. I saw a young man perche don a cliff, writing poetry in his notebook. Some girls giggled while they waded into the water in their underwear. It was such a peaceful place.

We ate dinner at the whimsical Cafe des Artistes, decorated with a lot of topless mermaids. I ordered a croque monsieur, because you know, French food, followed by an espresso served with vanilla ice cream, which I find to be the perfect representation of a person pretending to be a grown up, but not really.

The djembe drum circle continued for the second night.