Friday, June 16, 2017

Day 27 - Iles de la Madeleine (QC)

0 km - Total so far 1,836.40 km

RWGPS: (done on scooters)
Relive: No relive today

The plan for this first day of our vacation (within our vacation) was to pick-up two scooters and ride as much as we could of the two south islands. After a quick run through of the two scooter, the owner watched us as we practiced in the parking lot before heading out on our own. It was recommended that we ride side roads to get comfortable before we get on Hwy 199.

Waiting to leave to pickup the scooters. Far behind me is l'Ile d'Entrée

We quickly became comfortable riding the scooters in the traffic and headed West on Hwy 199 South towards L'Étang-du-Nord. There we spotted 'Le Flâneur' an art gallery that had been recommended to us by Hélène's sister, Jocelyne. The ad for 'gâteau au chocolat et poire' caught my eye. You walk up to the gallery through a garden inhabited by interesting characters. We entered through the tea room entrance and were met by the owner and artist 'Arthure' (aka Pierrette Molaison). She gave us a talking tour of her gallery and we were left with bated breath. The place is filled with large to life sized fabricated fantasist dolls. A must see.

The lady doll in the picture is 'Germaine' who marries often
 but has yet to keep a husband. 
As we were watching the action in the wharf, Arthure was describing what was happening to other customers, She pointed out that all of the 'bots' (pronounced same in french as they would be in english) are backed in and not tied side by side. It was amazing to see how quickly those bots can be backed in.
A view of the wharf from the tea room.  
From L'Étang-du-Nord, we headed south towards l'Ile du Havre Aubert. As you can tell from the RWGPS, the islands' are not flat. Had it not been for those scooters, we would never have been able to see as much of the islands'.

Hélène rides the red scooter. In the distance, a lighthouse (Cap-Alright) on
the southern tip of l'Ile du Havre Aubert

 Following Hwy 199 to its southern end, we came upon 'La Grave' a historical site. It has little shops with artisans and a few places to eat. Just about everywhere you gaze aux iles could be the subject for an incredible post card. 

La Grave with an ocean view

La Grave with a store front view

Yet another view of La Grave

We found many surprises along the route today. In the picture below, you can see a catapult. A catapult was used in ancient times to launch rocks at an enemy. A very large catapult could be used to launch big rocks with the aim of damaging/breaching castle fortifications (siege weapon). Across the street from the catapult is a counterpoise trébuchet. Much like a catapult, this is also used as a siege weapon. There was an ad and a phone number on the trébuchet if you are interested in hiring it. It has reportedly launched a rock 939 feet which is pretty impressive.

A well built catapult and as best as I can gather, still in working condition.

Just past the yellow sign is the panel indicating the end of
Hwy 199 South
We saw quite a few cyclists pedaling on the route with us. Had we driven here that is something we would most certainly have done. Anyone who bicycles here has to sooner or later deal with serious headwinds. The winds are forecasted to be steady at 38 kp/h tomorrow. According to the locals that is just a breeze. 

Hélène was asked when we checked in at the campground office, where our car was: 'Well, it is at home in the garage!' 

We are so much taken by les Iles de la Madeleine with its incredible scenery and very warm and friendly people. We understand that the Madelinots can tell when speaking to each other from which of the islands' they are from. I think that is pretty amazing considering the size of the place.

The forecast for tomorrow is nasty so we will conclude our tour of the islands in a rental car. We should be able to show you the road sign indicating the end of Hwy 199 North in our next blog.

0 miles - Total so far 1,141.68 miles


  1. Giving your bikes a bit of a rest? I wouldn't want them to get jealous of the cute little scooters. While you're out there, will you be travelling to the French territory, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon?

  2. Happy Fathers Day!

  3. J'ai que de beaux souvenirs de ma visite aux Iles de la Madeleine. On avait eu du soleil tout le temps. Plein d'artistes!!!
    Pauline Pigeon