My busy schedule often limits my opportunities to choose motorcycle destinations. More often than not, I can only free up a single day. To complicate matters further, occasional unpredictable weather can play the spoilsport.
It was on a beautiful Sunday in July that the perfect conditions finally aligned. After checking the weather forecast, I decided to embark on my Gaspésie adventure.
Weather-Conscious Route Planning: Dodging the Showers in Gaspésie
The temperature was nearly ideal, with localized rain chances along certain stretches of my route. Consequently, I adjusted my itinerary to steer clear of the expected precipitation.
The journey commenced in Sainte-Luce. In the initial leg, I hugged the St. Lawrence River until I reached Sainte-Anne-des-Monts. From there, I headed onto Route 299, crossing through the Gaspésie National Park to reach New Richmond in the Bay of Chaleur.
The return journey followed Route 132, passing through Carleton, Pointe-à-la-Croix, Matapédia, Causapscal, and Amqui. I looped back to Mont-Joli, ensuring I’d be home before sunset.
Route 132 – Mont-Joli to Sainte-Anne-des-Monts
During this first segment, I rode close to the St. Lawrence River. Despite the persistent mist, the air was refreshing, and I enjoyed various scenic viewpoints. Along the river, I spotted a few sailboats that added a unique charm to my journey. Given the tourist season, traffic was steady but flowing smoothly.
Route 299 – From Sainte-Anne-des-Monts to New Richmond: A Scenic Detour
As I refuelled, I gazed towards the mountains, hoping the mist had dissipated. Unfortunately, it persisted near the river, so I held onto the hope that it would clear as I distanced myself from it.
Indeed, Route 299 meandered alongside this mountainous formation and offered breathtaking views in fair weather. Along the way, I caught glimpses of the mountains here and there, and I also rode alongside the beautiful Sainte-Anne River.
The Allure of the Cascapédia River Along the Route
Midway through, I arrived at the Cache rest stop, where I took a break. At this location, one can find gas, dining services, and accommodations. I noticed that expansion work was in progress.
From there, the route followed the Cascapédia River, a splendid watercourse. While the landscape might not have been as grand as in Gaspésie National Park, it remained stunning. I felt truly immersed in the beauty of nature.
Route 132 – New Richmond to Matapédia
Now at the midway point and farthest from home, I discovered the charms of the Bay of Chaleur. The name suited it perfectly, as it was noticeably warmer on this side of the Gaspé Peninsula.
Throughout this segment, I passed through various municipalities, each with its distinct identity if you observed closely.
Regional Accents: A Unique Charm of the Bay of Chaleur
When conversing with locals in these towns, you’d immediately notice their distinct accents and expressions, a charming uniqueness.
Fishing is deeply rooted in the lives of Bay of Chaleur residents. Indeed, you can spot an array of fishing boats moored along the docks in several municipalities.
Route 132 – Matapédia to Mont-Joli
Once past Matapédia, the route closely followed the magnificent river of the same name. The road literally clung to the river’s banks, offering views of mountains on either side.
For approximately 50 minutes, you’re disconnected from the world. A cell phone is of no use as there’s no signal. It’s perfect for fully immersing yourself in the passing landscapes.
A Drastic Change of Scenery
We had just entered the Matapédia Valley, a region nestled between the Notre Dame Mountains and the Chic-Chocs. At the heart of this valley lie Salmon Lake, as well as Lake and River Matapédia.
From the road, you can see a blend of farmland and wooded lots.
My one-day journey covering approximately 565 kilometers concluded as I returned home.
Another Way to Discover Gaspésie
Gaspésie is a magnificent region waiting to be explored. If your schedule is too tight for a comprehensive visit, consider planning shorter, local loops lasting one or two days. This way, you can limit the distance traveled and focus on the attractions that most appeal to you.
For my part, I cherish fond memories of my brief Gaspésie tour and am already preparing for my next visit.
Wishing you a wonderful end to the season.