Saturday, September 03, 2011

Gaspé Trip: Day 1 & 2

It was about 4 years ago when I visited the east coast of Canada. I had a lot of fun and had the chance to try new things, like whale watching and going to Prince Edward Island (aka PEI) for the first time.

I'll link all the articles of this trip on one page eventually. Edit: Here's the Gaspé Trip Round Up.

When I was asked if I wanted to go back to visit Percé, Quebec, and the east coast again, I jumped at the opportunity. But there weren’t any concrete plans for the road trip. Yay… … … I’m not a fan of this philosophy when traveling – as you can probably tell. My parents have ruined it for me unfortunately.


On the first morning of the road trip, nine other members of my family departed Ottawa and began to drive east. We stopped by Casselman, Ontario, for some breakfast. Casselman is our usual pit stop when we go to Montreal.


We usually go to Tim Hortons, but it was packed because it was a long weekend. Instead of waiting, we drove across the road and had our breakfast/break at McDonalds.

After everyone had eaten and gone to the bathroom, we had driven back onto the eastbound highway. While in the car, I decided to start writing about the trip in my journal/travel notebook. I felt carsick within an hour and had to stop writing. As I sat in the car, I couldn’t help but think about the symptoms of carsickness and how they progress into the end result of… you know.

Let me share my thoughts; let’s say there are 5 stages of car sickness/motion sickness, with 5 resulting in… how should I put this… a mess.

1st Stage: You begin to feel a bit disoriented.
2nd Stage: You get dizzy, but you aren’t nauseous yet.
3rd Stage: You start to feel warm and start perspiring a bit.
4th Stage: You get hotter and feel nauseous. Get a bag! If you smell anything gross, eat anything, or think about throwing up, you won’t be able to stop it from coming up.
5th Stage: You lose control and make a mess.

Is this pretty accurate? This is just what I usually experience. Anyway… getting back to the trip.

We dropped by my uncle’s family’s restaurant, Marché Kei Phat, for lunch. I swear I was fully cured, as soon as I had the bowl of Phnom Penh noodle soup in front of me. I think my family thinks that I was joking, or maybe they think it’s psychological, but the soup got rid of my motion sickness! Noodle soup is my medicine (even if it does have MSG). Sorry, there weren’t any pictures because I wasn’t exactly thinking about taking pictures of food while being car sick. Just go here to see a Marché Kei Phat’s bowl of Phnom Penh noodle soup.

I didn’t know it at the time, but my aunt and uncle had bought some fried rice and banh mi for our dinner. We had stopped for dinner at a lookout about half an hour outside Rimouski, Quebec.





My grandma also made something special.


Nope. It’s not yogurt.

It's the Cambodian dish, gapit pao! Made with ground pork, onions, shrimp paste, red curry paste, kaffir lime leaves, and coconut milk, this was one smelly yogurt container. People ate it with sliced cucumbers, steamed rice, and fried rice. I stuck to the banh mi, although EU and I shared a really spicy sub.

We took pictures at the lookout/picnic area in the cloudless blue sky. Afterwards, we drove to Rimouski, found a hotel, washed up, reserved two campsites at Forillon National Park, and went to bed.


In the morning, we loaded our coolers with the ice (from the ice machines at the hotel) before we met up at Tim Hortons for breakfast. I quite enjoyed my bacon and egg breakfast sandwich on a toasted cheddar bagel. Not only was it filling, but it didn’t make me feel sick afterwards… unlike some other breakfast sandwiches from another major fast food chain… *ahem*McDee’s (aka McDonalds)*ahem*

We left Rimouski, and within an hour, we had stopped to take pictures at a lookout. The scenery was beautiful, although there were a few clouds out.


We took advantage of the low tide and walked down to the shoreline.


There were little pools of water everywhere. Most of them held baby shrimps that hid amongst the seaweed. EU asked if we could scoop up a few and raise them until they’re plump and ready to eat. Cute, but no thanks. What a funny kid!

I could’ve spent a couple of hours just taking pictures, but since we had reserved two campsites at Forillon National Park, we needed to get there before it got to dark out.


On the way there, we stopped and had lunch at Parc Vue sur la Mer (Les Méchins, Quebec). We finished the rest of the banh mi.


But apparently the banh mi wasn't enough. My uncles added a Cambodian flare to the sub by adding gapit pao. It reminds me of the time Lucy made her double carb gapit pao sub.


After lunch, I went down to the beach and took a few shots. This is one of my favourite pictures from that day.

From there, we drove the longest leg of our trip to Forillon National Park. During our drive, the road snaked along the coastline and rolled up and down the mountains. We were following my uncle there, and unfortunately, they decided not to stop at the highest lookout. The car in front of them even pulled in! As we drove past the lookout and followed the road down the mountain, I cried on the inside.


We stopped at the lowest lookout instead. It’s still a nice view, but it would’ve looked cooler from the top! Everyone got out to stretch and snap a few photos for a few minutes. Then we hopped back into the vehicles and continued to Forillon National Park.


Having missed a chance to get amazing photos, I quietly sulked in the back seat and ate a Boston cream donut.

We set up camp, had dinner, and then went fishing for mackerels. The fish didn't like us. While we were there, two other fishermen on the other dock caught about 5 or 6 mackerels. I spotted a pair of seals near our fishing area. Maybe that's why we didn't catch any fish. Stupid cute seals.


To cheer us up, Mother Nature gave us a beautiful sunset (which I captured on my aunt's camera).

Forillon National Park was so pretty! It’s too bad I didn’t take any pictures of the campgrounds that evening. You’ll just have to go for yourself. Mhmm!

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