Gaspe Peninsula or Cape Breton

Old Aug 5th, 2006, 07:47 PM
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Gaspe Peninsula or Cape Breton

If you could only make one trip would you choose the Gaspe Peninsula or Cape Breton-Cabot Trail and why? Thanks for your comments.
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Old Aug 6th, 2006, 03:13 AM
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I'm from the maritimes, have done the trail lots of times and love it. You can do it in a day.(without exploring) The Gaspe Peninsula is similar in look but on a larger scale. It feels more remote, a bit wilder.... On one side of the peninsula its more anglo, the other side francophone. Both are beautiful. Where are you coming from and how much time?
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Old Aug 6th, 2006, 11:36 AM
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I visited both last year, and found each to be stunningly beautiful. If natural scenery is your ONLY consideration, then either will be fine. I recommend the Cabot Trail because it has more opportunity for --

1) cultural experiences, like Scottish or Acadian.
2)wildlife viewing (we saw four moose, a bear, and some dolphins).

As Faithie noted, Gaspe is more isolated and has less development, which is a plus or a minus depending on what you are looking for.
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Old Aug 6th, 2006, 03:53 PM
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Thanks for your comments. We plan about 2wks, spending a few days on the Maine coast and then head for the Gaspe, NS, Cape Breton. What about lodging along the Gaspe?
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Old Aug 6th, 2006, 06:28 PM
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I think you can find lodging along the south shore, Baie de Chaleur. Places like New Richmond and New Carlisle have some English speaking people there. The cities were populated with British loyalists run out of the colonies during the American Revolution.

The North Shore along the Bay of St. Lawrence has many places to stop, all of which are of minor interest as far as I am concerned.

We spent two nights along the way driving from Quebec City to New Brunswick, and we should have allowed one more day. The road is slow and, if you are going to do it justice after making the effort to get there, you need more time. Three nights would have been much better.

Also, along the south shore, many of the places we would have been interested in visiting were closing (or closed) down in early September.

I found that very few people along the north shore spoke English. We stayed at a motel in Ste. Anne du Mont. A friend of mine who is native French made the reservation. Thanks heavens she did because I am not sure I could have managed the chore with my highly limited knowledge of French.

There were several funny incidences because of my lack of French. At one store, we wanted to buy ice cubes. My phrase book lacked that term.

Fortunately when we entered Quebec from Vermont, I had bought a bi-lingual bag of ice. It was still in my ice chest, althugh it was by then a dripping bag of water. At least it had the magic word for ice cubes on it.

I fished the bag out, shook it good to remove the excess water, and took it inside the store, and pointed. We got a block of ice large enough to fill a refrigerator. I had to knock off a chunk to fit it in, but that is what jack handles are for. Not too precise, but I subdivided the block with a few whacks. I think the store keeper thought I was a strange beast. Here I buy a block of ice, and then beat on it.
I am quite sure they would have sold me more, but one was sufficient.

One thing I could not find was a laundramat along the route. I asked in New Carlisle where we spent the night, and got the good word from a big bar patron: No laudramat.

It was the only motel I ever checked into where the receptionist desk clerk for the motel served as the bar tender. The motel office and the bar were manned from the same space.

If you are going to make the drive, I urge you to consult the Quebec tourism website and try to get your hands on the tourist guide for the Gaspé. Without it, I think you will miss a lot of the little places that drew us in.

I do regret not allowing the extra day for the trip, but the experience was not dramatic enough to draw us back. My curiosity about the Gaspé was satisfied, and other parts of Canada are more to my interest. (I missed Alberta this year.

The road is not high speed. You pass through most little towns and some of the hills up and down are quite steep. I remember some short grades at 17%. Fortunately they soon bottomed out, but the car was really rolling when I reached the upgrade. Oh well, if you want steep, try that 28% grade in Switzerland on the road to Griesalp from Kiental.

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