Back from la Belle Province

We were standing on the path that wound along the oceanside, on our way to the lighthouse in Forillon National Park. Around us was a meadow of tall purple flowers that swayed and rustled in the breeze coming in off the ocean.

There was a small cove visible where we had paused, and we could hear a soft sussuration of waves on the pebbled shore.

I had just put the camera away when two kayakers came into view, about 50 meters off the shore. They sat easily on the slight chop, and their paddles moved with an easy grace. While we couldn't hear their words we could hear their voices carried on the wind as they conversed and paddled a few meters apart. One of them looked up and noticed us, and raised a paddle in a salute. As I raised my arm to wave back I noticed a ripple in the water 10-15 meters behind them and said "Keith, look!". As we watched, a minke whale surfaced for a brief moment before diving under the waves, utterly silent, and seen by only Keith and I.


The trip was amazing, and full of right-place-right-time moments like that one. The Gaspe Peninsula and the North Shore are spectacular and breathtaking.

I keep trying to describe it, but I either end up sounding like a twee travel brochure ("unspoiled", "charming", quaint") or am totally bereft of words other than "wow".

I'd have to say my favourite part was the the North Shore. From the time we got off the ferry in Forestville, the route was one great road filled with long curves and vistas so distracting I ran off the road. Two wheels meeting gravel at 100-ish km/h equals instant clench time, btw. Oh and remember my Motorcycle Rule #13 which states that unless you have a full fairing / huge windscreen on your motorcycle, it is advisable to make sure the cuffs of your jacket are cinched closed. This is what flew up my sleeve one afternoon when I forgot said rule:

A 4" bloody dragonfly!!!!! Scared the bejeesus out of me! Didn't do much for him either, poor creature.

We had our perfect day when we camped in Havre St Pierre, and took a boat trip to the Mingan Archipelago National Park. Being the only English speakers on the boat, we were exempt from traipsing after the park guides like sheep to listen to the french-only "interpretive activity" so we simply wandered around, took pseudo arty pictures and skipped stones. Once the boat docked back at the harbour, we went to a small restaurant called Chez Julie - man the place was jumping! We went with the owner's suggestion of the small seafood platter for two as we weren't that hungry. THIS is their definition of a small platter:

Crab, shrimp, cod, halibut steak, scallops, an amazing fish chowder, rice, and seven sad little baby carrots if we really insisted on a vegetable. Unbelievably good (not the carrots though- didn't bother with them).

And how could I talk about Quebec and food and not mention poutine, tarte du sucre (sugar pie, basically a big butter tart), and the fevres au lard (baked beans) they serve with just about every meal. And let's not forget the small packages of Cheez-Whiz and caramel spread that they give you along with the jams and peanut butter for your toast. Don't ask me how it's possible, but I came home weighing exactly the same as when I left.

You can see some of the pictures I took here. More's the pity you can't see the ones I didn't (or couldn't) take. Those were the ones that were vraiment fantastique, but they don't translate well to the small square of a camera viewfinder.


I'm having a hard time getting into the swing of poker at the moment. It's funny - two years ago I was running hand histories in my head while riding and reading a poker book when we stopped for the night. During last year's trip I listened to Phil Gordon's audio version of his Little Green Book, and ignored Keith's bad jokes about me pulling into Citgo gas stations because I thought they were SitnGo's.

This year I hardly thought about poker at all during the two weeks out. However I did think about my IFF's, and how lucky I am to have found this community of degenerates. Next trip is Vegas in December, bay-bee!

7 Responses to “Back from la Belle Province”

  1. # Blogger BrainMc

    Su-weeeet trip! I'm not much on the camping part, but the views looked awesome. I'll have to keep some of that in mind if we ever make it up that way. I'm glad you guys made it back safely.  

  2. # Blogger 23skidoo

    Very noice!!

    Great pics and write-up.

    That seafood platter has made me HUNGRY!!!  

  3. # Blogger pokertart

    Welcome back!

    Did you make it to your "i want to go here" spot?  

  4. # Blogger mookie99

    Those pictures are amazing!  

  5. # Blogger Irongirl01

    welcome back Kat.. Well catch up soon in girly chat!!!

    Great shots wish I could see more. What about uploading them to Flickr?  

  6. # Blogger Maudie

    Beautiful pics... so when's C-Vegas??  

  7. # Blogger CarmenSinCity

    WOW! It's beautiful there!  

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