Forillon

It was nice to wake up knowing we didn’t have to go anywhere today. I think a month of constant driving and hiking and biking and exploring has left me somewhat drained. Its been great but I needed a day off. The weather report was less than promising so that also gave us an excuse to lope about and not do too much. Tom and Philippa went for a swim in the sea after breakfast because apparently they were born without nerve endings. I chose the warmer option of washing up and welcomed them back a short time later. Philippa was bright red and in the last stages of lockjaw while Tom, wrapped in a towel and walking slowly, simply looked as if he had been gravely mislead.

Once restored to normal core temperature T and I buried our noses in books for the rest of the morning, but Philippa was clearly itching to get out into Forillon. So after a lunch of shrimp sandwiches we drove a few miles down the coast to Cap de Bon Ami and set out on the track to the lookout tower on the ridge above.

It was a long steep climb through sparse woodland with breathtaking views along the coast and little yellow plums to keep us going. Everybody we met on the trail nodded, smiled and bonjoured us. I thought I saw a bear footprint in a mud patch, P said it was a dog or something. She thought she heard a bear crashing through the trees; I said only if it had wings. The clouds kept threatening to rain on us but never did and an hour later we were at the foot of a tall wooden lookout tower. Tom has been counting the number of stair-type steps we have climbed since Quebec City and reached two thousand on the second flight of stairs up the tower. We thought that was probably a good point at which to stop the counting game…

The tower is perched quite precariously on top of a narrow ridge and it feels like climbing into a cloud. The view is 360 degrees: along the north coast, round the tip of the penisula and then back along the south coast of Gaspe where we will head over the next few days. Harvey looked like a seventies matchbox model several hundred feet below.

Going down was easier and we passed a couple of Ruffled Grouse on the way down. We had stranded them on separate sides of the path and they were very ruffled, calling rather pathetically to each other. Eventually one bridged the vast divide, walking like a chicken, and harmony was restored.

At the start of the walk was a grassy area where you could watch the birds flying from the cliffs and big doggy seal-heads periscoping up through the waves, which we did for a bit. We were all pretty much exhausted though and dragged ourselves back to Harv and the campsite. As Philippa put it; “I am ready for either tea or beer”. Eventually we had both.

Author: Richard Lister

Chasing horizons...

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