Heading back to Saint Simeon this morning to catch the ferry across the St. Lawrence to Riviere du Loop. On arrival we find out the ferry is running late and, 4 hours later (it’s a 65-minute passage), we finally board the ferry. We spend the entire trip across out on the deck scanning the horizon and are rewarded just before our voyage ends by seeing not one but two different pods of belugas (7 whales in total).

We overnight in the Walmart with more than 50 other RVs!!

Up the next morning, we head out on a scenic drive towards the Gaspesie peninsula. Our first stop of the day is in Rimouski to view the Pointe-au-Pere lighthouse. We climb the 128 stairs to the top and listen as our guide explains how the lighthouse operated. The operator had to climb the tower twice a night to crank up the weight that caused the light to rotate, as well as polish the lens coated by soot from the kerosene lamps commonly used until they were electrified in the early 1900’s and totally fazed out with automation and GPS as the standard for navigation. After our tour, we walk around the site checking out the submarine, as well as the exhibit on the wreck of the Empress of Ireland. |Our final stop of the day is at a nearby park to view 10 large sculptures of people swimming and dancing.

More sculpture sighting marching into the sea at Saint Flavie on August 1.  We spend a number of hours at Cap-Chat at Le Nordais windmill park.  The Eole is located here and one can visit.  This is the tallest vertical windmill in the world at 96m.  It is no longer working as its eggbeater design was not as efficient as the traditional three-bladed version.  Also, it was prone to breakdowns and collapse!  The first model built closeby actually ended up vertical on the ground during the night when the technician went home and did not stop the blades from turning.

We have a tour of the Eole and learn all about the history of it and the mechanics.  The brave can climb up the inside of the Eole using a straight-up vertical ladder – this takes about 90 minutes to get to the top and back down.  Surrounding the Eole are 133 traditional windmills here and in nearby Matane.  These windmills are not owned by the Quebec power company as they are very expensive to maintain.  Even managed to sneak in an FPV flight with my drone in the area among the windmills!

August 2 finds us at Forillon National Park where we do some hiking.  The Mont Salban hike includes a 3.6 km round trip up a very steep cliff, but the 360-degree view is worth all the sweat!  We also hike to a pretty waterfall and in a rare taiga forest.  This forest is common in the tundra and is not supposed to be this far south.  We find a beautiful boondocking spot at the beach and spot a double rainbow and enjoy a beautiful sunset.

August 3 finds us exploring the iconic Perce Rock with its large hole. It is low tide and one can walk out to the rock or take a boat cruise, but the best view of the rock with its hole is actually 1 km outside town at the rest area.  We wonder the town with lots of other tourists before heading further along the Gaspesie peninsula.

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