Arriving in Quebec’s Picturesque Bas-Saint-Laurent
Our GPS is aptly named Jean-Francois after our two good Parisian friends John and Francois,
is flashing 4:40 pm as the designated arrival time at the southern entrance to the Gaspé Penninsula in Quebec.
Our destination is the quaint and tellement typique petit village de Saint-Flavie, Quebec, the ‘Gateway to the Gaspé’ in the picturesque Bas-Saint-Laurent. We left the sleeping city of Toronto early and on-time this morning at 5 am and have made good time in our drive, shaving almost 2 hours off the expected 13.5-hour trip. John spots a local L’Isle-Verte Seafood and Smoke Fish vendor Le Marché des 3 fumoirs, easily recognized from Route 132 by its three distinct and funky smokehouses, and we pull off the road to practice our Quebecois. We find an impressive selection of fresh, frozen, marinated, salted and smoked products alongside seasonal baked goods, jams, and preserves. We excitedly shop for some smoked salmon, trout, and haddock for our hosts Jim and Joanne during the Nova Scotia part of our Road Trip, arriving in Digby on Sunday.
Alas, we miss the initial picturesque sun-setting arrival views of this typical Quebec waterside town, nestled on the edge of the tidal St Lawrence. The temperature has dropped 13 degrees, and we are greeted by a thick, gray, low-hanging fog. Hopefully, this will burn off before sunset. Alcohol is called for, and John heads back to our motel bar and returns with a couple of chilled vodka tonics to take the edge off. Our overnight accommodations are at the Motel LE GASPÉSIAN, a seasonal, family run (down) motel, with tidal driftwood, moss-covered rock jut-outs and squawking seagulls just a sea stone throw away from our small, water-side patio on the foggy, brownish and strangely placid, mighty St. Lawrence. But for one night, it will do just fine. What the Motel lacks in ambiance, the bright and smiling staff make up for. John mentions that Sainte-Flavie has the same feel and smell of our time in Picardie, a couple of years ago.
foggy and gray motel
Room with a View
We head off to the hotel for a simple fried local haddock dinner and bottle of wine with the other, mostly Quebecois travelers and tourists and are rewarded with a spectacular Bas-Sainte-Laurent sunset.
We are in bed right after dinner, road-weary and eager for tomorrow.