|Where we stayed in Rivière-du-Loup|
Our flight from Rimouski to Riviere-du-Loup was short and sweet, over enchanting scenery; the valley leading to St.-Fabien and the little harbour at Trois-Pistoles looked particularly appealing from the air.
We landed, found a motel (the one in this photo) and in the afternoon took a three hour whale watching cruise from the mouth of the Rivière to the other side of the St. Lawrence on a small boat accommodating a large party of Chinese tourists, so full that we didn't even get a seat. It was a perfect day for the experience though, the water, unusually, as smooth as silk.
Hungry when we came back on shore, we tried for a table at the pub on the headland, Au Boucaneux, but it was full––you need a reservation if you don't want to wait for a table for hours––so we had sandwiches and chips at the snack bar next door instead.
Next morning we were fog bound. It was raining too, with the cloud ceiling and visibility so low that we couldn't fly anywhere. Instead, after breakfast at Mike's we rented a car and, having made sure that PTN was still safely tied down at the airport, we went for a walk from the Parc des Chutes at the edge of the town. The notices encouraged us to "...Observez la chute de 33 mètres, du haut des deux passerelles surplombant la rivière du Loup" where there was an old, recently renovated hydro station and the gateway to a network of walking trails. In spite of the rain, we followed the longest, Path No. 1, keeping a look out for red squares on the trees. This route took us through an apple orchard where sculptures had been planted too. In fact the whole area was a park for experimental art. A curtain of eyes had been hung under the footbridge spanning the river.
At lunchtime we found a nice coffee shop on the main street on the hill, then made another visit to the airport again, still swathed in cloud. It was worth the detour, because an extraordinary sight met our eyes. A Junkers 52 had flown in, defying the clouds at a low altitude (skud running all the way from Toronto! We'd heard it flying in before we spotted it. "What's that?" we said.)
Being a groovy plane, the Junkers (built in Germany in 1939, but now Swiss owned) on this flight was being sponsored by Rimowa: "the luggage with the grooves." It wasn't just any old flight; the crew had taken the aircraft from Switzerland to California via the Faroes, Iceland, Greenland, etc. and were now on their way back home, a real adventure. The journey log is on their website. As a newly captured prisoner-of-war after the Battle of Crete, my father had once ridden in a 'plane like this: it was his first ever flight, in fact, in 1941. We walked all around the one at Rivière-du-Loup, and talked to its crew before they left for their supper in town.
Our supper was at Les Jardins de Lotus after we had checked into the Loupi once again.
The following day, August 10th, we flew home via Trois-Rivières, taking a half-way break there and breaking through the cloud there too.
Hey, I'm back at last. Now I can start writing about all the other experiences I have had since.