Our Sunday was long – lo-o-ong – and eventful. We got up at 6:00, and our host, David Girard, at Gite des Oiseaux Migrateurs, made us crepes with homemade jam and local maple syrup for breakfast – plus some of the best coffee I’ve had on this trip. Fortified, we started out for what Google told us would be nine hours of driving to get around the Gaspe peninsula and on to Rivier-du-Loup.
We had talked about seeing puffins on this trip, although we knew it was unlikely to find them on the mainland. David also kept asking, “Any seals? Any whales?”, to which my reply was always, “No, sorry – no seals, no whales.”
We stopped once to walk on a beach and pick up rocks and sea glass, and for David to stick his toes in the Atlantic, but when we reached the next town, we realized that we were way behind where Google said we should be. We began to understand why our host at the B&B had said, “You’re going to drive it in one day?”
Still, it was a beautiful drive. We stopped a few more times for pictures and for lunch and tea. We were late anyway, right? We had been finding crab shells (casts from when they grow and shed) on almost every beach, but we actually saw a live crab.
We also saw guillemots, which are in the same family as puffins, and then, while we drove along the coast, we spotted – yes – whales. We watched them for about 15 minutes. There seemed to be three – one would surface and blow, then a second one a few seconds later, then a third one a few minutes after that and they’d start over.
They were rather far out, but definitely visible. When we looked them up later, it seemed they were either fin whales or, more likely, minke whales.
Finally we moved along. But we weren’t done yet. David put on the brakes about twenty minutes later and out in the water, perched on a rock, was a seal!
I’m just grateful he hadn’t asked to see a mermaid!
We arrived back in Riviere du Loup about 11:30 p.m. The next day we drove to Ottawa to stay with our friends Jennifer and Henry and have a visit. After that, we’ll be on our way home.