We'd been warned that things started shutting down in Gaspésie after Labor Day. Since this is an area that is sparsely populated to begin with, that could be significant. Fortunately, that has not been a problem for us. Until now.
Yesterday's afternoon rain prompted us to begin looking for a motel earlier than usual. We'd picked out a couple of towns as potential targets for the night, but if anything came up sooner, we were prepared to take it. We had no such luck, so we were relieved to finally get to the first town where there were a few lodging options. We located them easily enough, but not one answered the door. Three appeared to be either closed for the season or shut down for good. The fourth left a note saying they'd be back at 4:30, but we were not interested in hanging around in the rain for another hour and a half. While we'd kept warm enough while cycling, traipsing up and down the main street knocking on doors had left us cold and wet.
The next target town was another nine miles down the road. We weren't too excited about getting back on our bikes again, but had no choice at that point. So we were very pleased to round the next cape after only a couple of miles and find several motels and restaurants at our disposal! Hallelujah! A tired motel room never looked so good, and a hot shower felt heavenly. Even the skies rewarded us with a beautiful sunset somewhere behind the mountains, glowing around the headland that evening.
To get an early start the next morning, we passed up a sure thing for breakfast and put our bets on finding a restaurant down the road. Our waitress at dinner had recommended one, but we arrived to find it closed. Same thing for the little convenience store. The next option was 15 miles down the road, so out came our reserves. Bagels and peanut butter. You'd be surprised how good they taste when it's the only food in town. By noon we finally found a proper breakfast at our favorite kind of place to stop – a simple homey cafe with good plain food. It was worth the extra journey.
Despite our trials, we still took in the sights along the way. Today's lighthouse is one that I'd read about months ago, and was eager to see. It was a cold and dismal morning when we arrived, and I took refuge in the souvenir shop as long as I could to try and thaw my frosty toes. What surprises me most about the lighthouses we've see in just how small they are. But they are on such high land, that they needn't be tall in order to be high enough to be seen by the ships. This one at La Martre has been in continuous operation since 1906. Indeed it's light was rotating when we were there.
Not all sights are impressive or historic. Rich took rather a liking to this mermaid in Sainte-Anne-des-Monts. He dubbed it a Purple Cow.
It seemed we were chasing that slim line of blue sky on the horizon all day. It was always just a few miles beyond our reach. The best I could do was to capture it in a calm pool when the tide was out.
We've been on our bicycles for five weeks now. And we've proven that we can rise above cold, rain, hunger and bad luck. We just keep on cycling, knowing it will all work out in the end.