Fingerbanging along the Gaspé peninsula PART THREE: Rimouski to Percé

We are officially less than 48 hours away from boarding our plane to Helsinki. Our house is in shambles and my uterus is doing that foreboding pre-bleed flexing. (At least i’ll be traveling with a non-menstruater so there is no chance of second period on this trip). My romantic affiliate was up til all hours of the night doing last minute packing, so I was up obscenely early to write this blog post do other important things.

BUT. I need to finish my first story before I go on to the next one.

Okay. Up until this point the ground was pretty flat and we made good time. In my memory, the moment we passed Rimouski, the ground shot up into the heavens and I spent the next several days cycling in a gravity defying vertical line. Without the adequate gearing, I was forced to stand up on my bike and push down with my legs for a solid 30 second stretch at a time while Jon shot up into the sky. (He would inevitably always reach the top before me, and then send me encouraging texts while I stared dismayed at the next bend wondering if it was finally over).

 

IMG_20150913_185415
Beach camping

Aside from the hills, our route was easy -we just followed the 132-Ouest and kept the water on our left side. We stayed with some friends in Matane and actually took a motel in St.Anne-des-Monts (because we do not bike in the rain if we can help it), but aside from that we slept on beaches (and once drunkenly in a pit) all the way to Gaspe.

IMG_20150915_112516
This is LITERALLY what we were staring at 90% of the time. Gah.

We eventually made it to Gaspé and stayed two nights with a lovely host from Warm Showers who lived at the top of a steep hill (obviously). While this was originally our final destination, I was admittedly underwhelmed and we still had a week before we needed to be home. So, we made the executive decision to keep on biking all the way to Percé.

You may recognize its big rock:

IMG_20150921_153546
The big rock of Percé

To get there, we took this hilarious shortcut and walked/cycled over an abandoned(?) railway track. That night we slept on our own private beach and were visited by a curious seal. Itwassomagical.

IMG_20150920_164009
RIGHT.

Once in Percé we did the classy thing of pitching our tent in a closed-for-the-season campground behind a micro-brewery and definitely overstaying our welcome. It’s a cute tourist town, definitely worth the off-season stay.

Upon learning we could not catch a bus from this clearly on-the-map tourist town (camon Quebec), we biked another 45km to a small town, bought bus tickets and camped behind a gas station dumpster in order to be sure we would catch the 7:00am bus. (We did, barely). And then we sat, grumpy as fuck, watching our 3 week bike tour go by in the span of 8 hours.

Oh, also at some point Jon became the leader.

20150918_151053-1
“Mal, I found a conch. I’m the leader now.”
Advertisements

Fingerbanging along the Gaspé peninsula PART TWO: Some things we did on the way to Rimouski, IN PICTURES!

Pssst, guys.

Wanna hear a bike touring secret?

I had no idea until this last trip, but if you tour in the fall everything belongs to you.

I shit you not. We had our own private beaches. Our own private no-charge camp site behind a microbrewery (on multiple occasions). Our own private parks. Sometimes even our own private roads.

IMG_20150907_174817
My own private meat counter.

So yes. We very stylishly left Quebec City in a boat which delivered us back to the south shore of the St. Laurent. Here we jumped on and off the TransCanada until about Rimouski, about another 300km.

It was not uneventful. For instance, we met this man, who is old enough to be my grandfather, yet disappeared over the horizon while we very much did not disappear over the horizon.

img_20150907_105313.jpg

 

We also found this thing. Omen or artwork, we weren’t sure. But it spun okay.

20150907_111726

 

And we took shelter from the rain in this barn.

IMG_20150907_173246

 

We were assholes in Trois-Pistoles.

20150909_172638

 

And we watched seals in Le Bic

IMG_20150910_140430

 

Oh, also I walked my bike up this mean hill.

IMG_20150910_145244

And then, 300ishkm later, ta-da RIMOUSKI.

If memory serves me correctly, Rimouski was the last place I remember before the hills  really started. It’s a cute enough town by the water. We visited a local microbrewery, stayed in the ‘burbs with our lovely warmshowers host and terrorized the local Walmart (because by this point we were feral cycletourists and you couldn’t take us anywhere).

We will return to the past in my next post, BUT GUESS WHAT. We are presently gearing up for a three month tour through Scandinavia and northern Europe. Quit our jobs? Check. Buy new rain gear? Check. Dehydrate EVERYTHING? Check.

For the first time EVER I am going to attempt to keep this blog updated in real-time. So you (is anyone out there?) can bare witness to our flats and sunburns and stroopwafles. Fingers and toes crossed.