Our first stop after Levis was Rimouski. The RV site we had was quite high up a hill and had a beautiful view of the St. Lawrence River. The sun was actually out too so we were treated to beautiful sunsets the two nights we were there. There were a lot of bugs here. We were able to sit outside for a short while each night to watch the sun go down but our bug "tasers" were very busy when we came inside.
On the 5th we stopped at the Info Centre in town and met a nice lady who was very helpful (in English). She told us she has a sister that lives in Maple Ridge. We got a really good book on Gaspesie that was in English and had attractions and campgrounds listed in it. We then decided to look for a sushi place for lunch. We went into two different ones. Rather than have a list of rolls as we do at home they had assortments already selected and they were upwards to $18 each! We continued to drive up the coast a bit with the car and came across a little village called Ste. Luce. It had a huge church and an incredible cemetary. We stopped for lunch at a Cantine right on the St. Lawrence River and had a very greasy but good burger. We found an interesting loaf of bread at an IGA Extra - half white, half brown - and it was actually baked that way.
On the 6th we left Rimouski and had planned to stop at Ste-Anne-des-Monts for the night. We were unable to find a campground that could accommodate us so we continued. The drive was beautiful right along the river. We came across many little villages almost in a continual line. Each village seemed to have similar characteristics. A river, a church and a quaint single storey motel. The houses were painted in pastel colours and were in quite good condition with huge well-kept lawns and lots of flowers. There were also lots of wind turbines and farms. And of course it rained off and on all day. We ended up staying at Ste-Maxime-du-Mont-Louis Camping. It was on a little neck of land just past Mont-Louis.
On the 7th we headed for Gaspe. Just when we thought our day would be a nice drive along the river, the mountains began. At first the cliffs to our right grew in height and were quite intimidating. Then we turned away from the river and began to climb. We'd climb then drop. In BC, the down grades on the Coquihalla are between 6% and 8%. We were surprised when the down grades here were 11%, 14% and 15%. They weren't very long, maybe a kilometer in length. There was also lots of "Travaux" - road work. Sometimes whole bridges were being replaced. The road was quite rough in spots. When we arrived in Gaspe, we stopped at the Info Centre and unhooked the car. We drove to the couple of campgrounds we had on our list and they couldn't accommodate us. We then made lunch and went to the Info Centre. They were quite helpful or so we thought. We hooked the car back up and went back the way we came a ways. We went into a campground and were assigned a site. The site was big enough but there had been so much rain the night before that we started to sink and could not get level. The tires were spinning as we tried to get out. We were finally successful and headed back down the road, bypassing Gaspe and heading for Perce. The road down into Perce was the steepest yet at 17%. After trying another couple of sites, we finally ended up at Camping Du Phare. The man was out front waving us in. Turns out it is a Passport America park so you get two nights for the price of one. That helps.
On the 8th we took a boat cruise out to Perce Rock and Bonaventure Island. It was great. The day was beautiful, not a cloud in the sky. We saw many birds and seals and were even lucky enough to see two humpback whales. The young woman who lead the tour works for Parks Canada so is totally bilingual. She was very informative. We spent a leisurely afternoon then had happy hour with a couple from PEI - the only other English-speaking people there! The fog rolled in and out as we were sitting there.
The 9th began cloudy of course and we saw some quite rainy bits along the way. We were aiming for Bathurst. The day started with Maureen realizing that she had left the awning hook (which is very helpful with pulling the wood out from under the jacks) back at the site where we were sinking. So we'll have to find another one. We finished with Gaspesie and we crossed over the Baie de Chaleurs into Campbellton, New Brunswick. There is someone watching over us there because as we came across the bridge we were heading straight through town when a couple of guys started waving and yelling at us. We had not seen the sign saying the height of the railway overpass was only 3.6 metres. Apparently they have to fish RV's out from under it many times. It would have torn the air conditioners and vents off the roof! We were able to turn around and one of the guys gave us directions to Highway 11 to Bathurst. When we arrived in Bathurst we checked out a number of campgrounds but they were packed in pretty tight. So here we are at Wal-Mart. They are so nice to let us stay.
Anyway it's nice to hear some English and the signs don't have to be translated anymore!