Cap Chat, Quebec
Cap Chat is a village of fewer than 3,ooo people about midway up Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula. Judy and I spent five days there in early September.
Our choice of Cap Chat had a certain randomness to it. We knew it was small and located on the St. Lawrence Seaway. Also, that it was far enough from any large town to be somewhat remote. That’s about it. A lot of our travel decisions are based on this sort of lack of information. Although Judy would say they are based on a spirit of adventure.
Anyway, we found a comfortable cottage that was near the water. No wifi, which was a blessing, really. The cottage nestled against a low line of cliffs that ran parallel to the St. Lawrence.
We spent most of our time reading and taking walks, which was pretty idyllic.
This was the view from the front of the cottage. This was a rocky beach, good for long walks, hunting rocks, and collecting seashells. Also at low tide there were lots of tidal pools to explore, full of odd little critters.
To the west we could see the headland which is supposed to look like a cat, from which the village takes its name. Though I can’t really see the resemblance, can you?
Walking along the beach we could appreciate the late-blooming wildflowers, such as Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) and Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium maculatum). There was also a small waterfall spilling down the cliff at one spot.
We could have used a geologist to explain the horizontal stratification of this rock.
After a lazy morning (and early afternooon), we would take the car up a steep drive to the main road, then proceed to town. On the way in we would pass this field of grain.
The north shore of the Gaspé Peninsula consists of a narrow coastal road dotted with modest settlements. Turn inland and you quickly find yourself among mountains.
On top of a hill there is a small park from which you can view the town. Someone had left a hose to fill the fountain, then gone off to take care of other tasks.
Cap Chat is not a quaint village. The buildings are utilitarian and none seem to be very old. It is not a village primarily focused on tourism. However, the setting and central location assure that it has its share of vacation homes and guest houses.
It’s a good place for people who like fish, especially smoked fish. We saw this place from the road and pulled into the driveway. According to Judy, the name means “King of Snails”. We bought some excellent smoked trout and other fishy treats.
Cap Chat and several nearby villages seemed to have almost identical churches all built around the same time.
I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but Jesus seems to be a few bulbs short of a full halo.
From near the docks of Cap Chat you can see across the water to the nearby village of Sainte-Anne-des-Monts.
We usually drove into town in early evening to eat seafood. We returned just after the sun had set, when the sky was full of red, orange, and pink.
In our next post I’ll show you a couple of Cap Chat’s most notable and unique attractions: a maritime research station and one of the largest wind farms in the world.