This day gave me the whole package, and with that I mean the whole range of possible weather and the corresponding moods, as well as all the timely intervals in a day of a town.
I arrived super early in the morning, with the fog embracing the main street, neighbouring hills and the coast, so much I hardly saw anything: the sea was mysteriously covered, the mountain tops non-existent and the street far less long than it really was. Plus, it was cold and drizzling. After the first couple of minutes, I already had enough of it. Still, I had to take breakfast first and luckily the nice little place of a bakery I chose (Boulangerie le Fournand) had good coffee – even better it almost took me back to Paris for half an hour with that bleuets pastry and a warm, dry chair. In the first horrible half of all-inclusive day, I walked to the each end of the street, probably spent an hour or two just sitting on different benches to let time pass by, trying to read, but mostly couldn’t, because the wind got to my brain. I even checked out the souvenir shops, which I had completely ignored since tasting maple syrup on my first day in Montreal. (It is to their coziness of the moment my family can thank for bringing something back home.) I was waiting, basically.
Until I had enough, picked some lunch (a very decent pizza in Resto du Village) and much-needed second coffee, and took off for the hikes. Via Mont St-Anne. What can I say, nature’s a healer. As soon as I started my walk, I got my explorer’s motivation back and soon enough, the clouds were beginning to clear away, too. Little by little, the fog lifted and the sun rays pierced through. Going up, I had a view of a covered town, no sign of the houses or famous rocher, let alone the island across. Going down, it was half present, the streets in sight, but just the tip of the rock and only a small portion of the sea. It was due to my stubborness, going up one more time two hours later (taking advantage of the last hour of the park being open), I got the view below. Oh well, now it all seemed worth it and the day transformed into one of my favourites of the journey.
What I did during those two hours? I finally looked at the rocher up close and then took the boat trip around it and the magnificient Île-Bonaventure which I definitely recommend. Because I waited for the sun (which I don’t regret, by the way), I took the last afternoon one which unfortunately meant I couldn’t go down to the island… Yet, what I saw already amazed me. So many birds! and such a beautiful coastline. From smiles of the people getting off the island, I suspect it has much in store inland, too. Plus, it was almost a private tour, because all in all we were only three tourists with three guides, explaining everything they had to in such a relaxed way, face to face and not in the mike, showing us photos of fish they had caught and eaten the day before, inviting us to dinner the following day which we couldn’t join, leaving the same evening… All that was left for me now was taking another pathway, to the peaceful meditation/prayer spot, La Grotte, and then watching the sunset of the so-appreciated clear skies. Soupe à l’oignon to warm me up for dinner, before a night promenade and late bus drive back to Gaspé.
The most intensive day ended up being the worst and the best in one.