Posts filed under ‘Mont St-Joseph’

perfect morning in percé

One of the advantages of staying in the town of Percé was the opportunity to set an alarm for a few minutes before sunrise, roll out of bed when it went off, throw on a sweatshirt, and wander a few steps to the beach for photos of the rock.

Except it was foggy. Really foggy. This way, I got a sliver of sunrise colours, but the view down the beach the other way (in the direction of the rock) was basically just grey fog. I had dreams of finding the right angle to catch the sun coming up through the hole in the rock. I even had an idea of where to go, but it was so foggy, that the only place I went was straight back to bed for a few hours. Props to Christina and Jules for getting up and trotting down to the beach with me, though!

The girls had an early morning boat ride for whale viewing and close-ups of the rock, so we didn’t stay asleep too long. Finances prevented me from joining them, but I had a great morning on my own in Percé. Most of the fog had cleared by the time we ventured out, so I walked down towards the edge of town and crouched on rocks with a tripod for a while, working on different angles of the rock.


I also had a delightful French breakfast (croissant and café au lait) at a cheery café along the main road through town.


I still had a ton of time after that, so I decided to talk a walk a few blocks inland to scope out the church and the road up the mountain.

St-Michel was stunning, especially on a morning with such a great sky. The church was slightly uphill from the shore, and behind the church is a road that goes up, up, up! I was on foot at the point, so I didn’t venture any further. Plus, I knew the girls would be up for an aerial view once they got off the boat.

I walked back to the main part of town and poked in some of the shops. The night before, I’d really loved the Wazo boutique, so I went back to that shop, and then wandered in some of the more traditional souvenir shops. Before too long, I was welcoming the girls ashore.

Our next task was a bite, and somehow, we ended up going to a bakery in someone’s basement. It was a legit house on a legit neighbourhood street, and I guess we found the address online or something, but the bakery was in the basement. Great baguette, and yummy treats! We went back to our little beach at the hotel for a picnic and planned the rest of the day.

The rest of the day began with a drive up the mountain to take in Percé from above. We didn’t even go as high as we could have, because the dirt road that went straight up and the sign recommending that only 4-wheel-drive vehicles continue deterred us, but we were high enough! What a gorgeous day for a stunning view!

Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to Percé after that, since we still had a long drive planned for the day. Thanks for a wonderful time, Percé!

The southern part of the Gaspé peninsula is not as picturesque as the northern part, and the weather turned sour fairly quickly into the drive. I think this was the day that we had a hard time locating an ATM and, later, a washroom of any sort. We ended up being the least picky we have ever been and pulling into a very rustic, mosquito-riddled rest area late in the evening. Note to self: don’t drink a large iced coffee from T. Ho’s on a route that lacks modern facilities at regular intervals.

In the afternoon, we stopped at an Acadian Museum in Bonaventure, where I bought an Acadia coffee mug and fulfilled one of my souvenir goals for the trip. We also stopped at a farm where they advertised strawberry wine. It was sweet, but in a good way for summer.

Mount St-Joseph looms over Carleton-sur-Mer, and it is home to the Oratoire Notre Dame du Mont St-Joseph. Its breathtaking view was lauded in the guidebook, so we drove up the mountain. It was already getting late, and after a grueling uphill drive, we were shocked by the “tollbooth” style admission. Since we weren’t there in time to see the church anyway, instead of paying for the view, we turned around, found a scenic view from the road, and pulled over for some photos.

Not bad, but I don’t think that being a few feet higher would be worth $18 either, so I think we made the right choice.

Our final destination that evening was Campbellton, just over the border in New Brunswick. In searching for reasonable accommodations for that leg of the trip, we’d settled on a B&B in Campbellton. The purple house was huge and the hosts were friendly, but when we pulled up and went inside to check in, two older couples sat on the porch and stared at us. It was all very judgey, without anyone saying a word. Instead of lugging our suitcases upstairs, we unpacked what we needed in the driveway and transferred things to our room in handfuls and purses. And instead of hanging around and socializing on the porch, our host directed us to a pub a few blocks away. We ate, we drank, we listened to a band, and I’m sure the older foursome was relieved that we weren’t around the rest of the evening!


May 26, 2014 at 12:36 am Leave a comment


A serial road tripper chronicles her adventures.


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