Thursday, September 3, 2015

Whale Tails, Starfish, Surf and Sand, Gaspé, Quebec

Humpback Whale, Bay of Gaspé, Quebec.
Starfish, Forillon National Park, Quebec, Des Rosiers Beach/Campground
Forillon National Park, Quebec, Des Rosiers Beach/Campground
Forillon National Park, Quebec, Cap Bon Ami Beach (yes, that tiny blob on the cliff is an adult human for scale compared to the incoming wave (I did not go swimming here on this day)).
I just don’t know where to begin, so I’ll just jump right in with one photograph each for Whale Tales, Starfish, Surf and Sand.  For this year’s holiday, we headed north east to Land’s End aka Gaspé, go much further and you fall off the ends of the earth, or at least into the vast Gulf of St. Lawrence.  It is a pocket ocean, by which I mean that it has everything I ever dreamed of finding on an ocean holiday all within the park.  Whales (up close on a cruise, and at a distance from the hiking trails), surf, lots, some of it battled, some of it body surfed, and some watched with trepidation from a safe distance), starfish (just one, found while I was swimming, obligingly remained until I could swim back to where I’d stashed my camera—yes I did return it to the ocean after the photo-shoot), salty swims daily (water temps where anything from barely tolerable to warm depending on the beach and the day (we were in the midst of a heat-wave)), seals, seals, seals everywhere (they people-watch, especially beach-combers and swimmers), live crabs tooling about on the ocean floor (probably not a big deal, but a first for me, and no, they don’t bite your toes and you don’t need shoes to swim), lighthouses, beautiful well-kept in-use lighthouses, and cliffs, and hiking trails, and friendly people, and….
on to the friendly people. My husband and I don’t know a lick of French (barring that gleaned from bilingual cereal boxes) and where a little nervous about travelling in Quebec with Anglais only.  But….everyone was very nice about it, very friendly, we said Bonjour, and Merci a lot, and were made to feel very welcome. Hopefully next time (and we plan on going back) we will have a few more conversational phrases to squeak out.
We stayed for 11 nights, which for some strange reason, surprised everyone. Most people stay two days, which is just enough time to visit the obvious hi-lights but nowhere near enough to explore, absorb and immerse.
There is so so so much more to tell. This trip was overwhelming and wonderful, but for now, I leave you with a page from my sketch, inspired by the sea.


Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

I'm jealous you saw whales in the wild :) yeah after 9 years of French I don't remember much besides the very basics lol should probably try to relearn the language

always told as a kid that the crabs or fish would nibble our toes if we went too deep into the water :p

kaslkaos said...

I had one lady repeatedly offer me shoes to wear so I stood in the water and watched a crab crawl onto my toe--nope, no nibble.
Yes, seeing the whales free in the big blue was awesome.

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

The only fish I was afraid would bite when I was a kid were Pike, they can have impressive teeth :p did get bit in the finger by one while fishing but not while swimming :p

I've seen killer whales, but Marine Land doesnt count as being wild and really just ended up making me sad even as a kid :/ lots of dolphin sightings in one of the rivers near here, keep forgetting to try to go see them tho :p

Michelle B. Hendry said...

Wow! The photos are beautiful. What a great experience... And the sketch drawing - I love it!!
It's a shame they don't teach conversational french in school in the elementary grades. My grandmother sang to me in French as a child, so that's all I remember! Frere Jacques!

kaslkaos said...

Michelle, thanks! And yes, so regretting the french. Imagine all the extra culture, books and movies we could imbibe if we knew an extra language.


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