| TRIP # 001: Gaspésie - Part one...

Hoo shit what an old fart!!! now i still remember the big party in Madagascar that my parents threw for my dad's 40th birthday, i was just a kid back then and now it's my turn, how weird? Anyway we are finally in Gaspésie after our very first long road trip and this is how it started...

Day #1: Départ Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu

Gifts, food and joy are the key elements for a stereotyped good Xmas' night isn't it? And it worked out pretty much like this for once, I have to admit that I usually don't like this period of the year as it is an awful reminder of a cultural paradox and an outrageous Ode to consumption (what crisis?). My family is in France and I couldn't go visit them this year (je vous aime <3) and we started our quest to finding useful gifts for Nhu's family.
We decided to sleep in their driveway despite the cold and tried to plug the van for the 1st time using our brand new 30 Amp locking powercord, it worked like a charm and it comes with a light indicator to let you know if things are running well or not.
It's only late in the afternoon that we left St-Jean-sur-Richelieu after a lovely family meal. Our first idea was to go celebrate New Year's Eve in St-John, New-Brunswick, but they have been badly hit by an ice storm yesterday and it seems like the aftermath party is not so fun,
The city is still recovering and many houses don't have electricity yet. On top of that they are announcing a snow storm for tomorrow so forget it, let's find another goal and Gaspésie it will be. Anyway we drove past Québec city and i decided to keep driving until it was time to refill the tank as well as our stomachs. We don't want to drive too much during one day because there is no hurry right!
When I was too tired we stopped at the Normandin truck stop near Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, there are a few restaurants and a gas station, but above all some showers (even a spa) hOoo yes! Now I have to change my Garmin GPS for a truck/RV version because these stops are life savers, especially in winter.

Day #2: Saint-Jean-Port-Joli to Matane

It was a good night and the van was pretty warm in the morning, We packed our stuff, took a shower and then hit the highway. The shower cost was high at 5$ (+5$ deposit) but it was comfortable, spacious and not limited in time like in the National Parks, let's say it was worth it :)
We arrived at Rimouski at night for a short stop, it seems to be a vibrant and exciting city with a beautiful promenade along the river, As you can see in the photos below, the St-Laurent is frozen and it looks like a large white field with messy ice blocks all over.
Our first overnight stay at a Walmart parking yey, now we are officially stamped "American RVers" i guess. The RV area is located in the Eastern part of the parking lot, right near the Tim Hortons (open 24/7). You have the choice between TH and WM's Wifi hotspots there so it's pretty convenient.
Matane is a really small town and in winter there isn't much things to do to be honest except maybe if you are in the wind turbine business, We woke up, got a breakfast at TH and went shopping at WM for the Boxing day, we needed a blender and found one at a great price and now we are all set :)
Now it's time to leave this quiet port and keep rolling.

- Note: It's easy to find internet at local cofee shops or chains like Mc Do and Tim Hortons along the way but concerning cellular's coverage it is a dead zone for me, as of December 2013 Fido does not cover the Gaspesian peninsula at all, I lost contact past Rimouski, dude it sucks! So if you guys want to join me, please use emails or I'll read your messages later.

Day #3: Matane to Gaspé

The road 132 from Matane to l'Anse-Pleureuse is following the coast and it is breathtaking, honestly the landscapes are amazing with steep cliffs plunging in an ocean of ice and snow, frozen waterfalls and charming villages, it is a no-brainer and you have to see it for yourself. It's beautiful and this must be also true for all seasons.
Moving forward we saw a dramatic scene in the horizon with a giant dramatic cloud pissing over the mountains and 30mn later we drove right under it just to discover it was actually a snow storm which covered the road in no time and it became dangerously slippery, The locals apparently not bothered by the event keep driving really fast and, as most Quebecois, don't understand the use of blinkers (f****ing annoying to say the least), guys this is not an option!
Ok here we are *target achieved* and i'm writing this from my Surface tablet at the Café des Artistes in Gaspé. A cosy, artsy café with nice people, we thought it was probably the only place we would hang out if we were students here, the town seems so small though.

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