Gaspé Peninsula — Between hotelier Evelyn Pouliot of “Saint-Maxime Petit Hotel” and I, we’ve worked out the literal translation for her restaurant recommendation here in Mont-Louis – “The Foam on the Bang.” Some things sound better in the original we decide, “La Broue dans l’Toupet” is one. Figuratively, it’s a restaurant term for freakishly busy, probably better put as “the sweat on the brow.” Not hugely appetizing either way.
In reality you could devote an entire tour to the Gaspe Peninsula to eateries; while other bits of Canada have tourist trails like the Viking, the Acadian, or Blue Heron, the peninsula has the Gaspésie Gourmande… A foodie trail, that I’m coincidentally following by motorcycle, along stunning vistas of a sun dappled Saint Lawrence as the peninsula arcs you eastwards to views of the Gulf. The trail’s guide lays out some 100 stops, and how tempting is that?
Noshe at a fraction of those eateries, cantines, and fromageries, and overloaded the Ducati Multistrada would be calling out for fresh suspension mid-trip after buckling under my growing mass. Luckily, the ride is more about taking in the scenery than calories.
I nearly pass through Mont-Louis, the late evening light of a modestly warm day luring me to ride onwards. The Buell motorcycle gear, cut through by the evening’s chill, encourages me otherwise. Out of the corner of my eye I sight “, “Saint-Maxime Petit Hotel”, a clean looking, comfortable, and judging from the guys casually having a drink on the front deck, friendly place.
Before I’m off the bike Evelyn has greeted me, and showing me around the hotel my fly-by observation is proved right on all counts.
Dinner at La Broue dans l’Toupet is “C’est bon.” The fish slightly over cooked and the cream sauce overly sweet, conflicting with the gentle crusting of salt. The next morning, Evelyn is suppressed, “It was not manifique?”
Sometimes, “bon” is enough. For example in the case of motorcycle gear I’d settle for “bon” for this ride, because there is a huge difference between “bon” and “terrible”. In either language the latter is a sugarcoated assessment of the Buell gear.
The magnetic clasps closing the pant’s vents are in close proximity to the pockets, I’ve already wiped clean a gas card and multiple hotel room keys thanks to those. The zippers for the removable vent strips allow cold air and, in the rain, water easy entry. So, in an attempt to stay warm I undertake drastic actions before riding out in the morning; duct tape and lots of it, covering the overzealous venting on both pants and jacket. The end product looks like Red Green’s version of a Star-Trek space suit.
I am warmer, but it is not some of my best work. Duct tape it seems is speed rated to approximately 130kph, beyond which I become a flapping tangled mass. There is a reason they didn’t use streamers of duct tape in the aria scene of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.