Road Trip in a Hyundai Santa Fe – part 2

By Marc Bouchard | Thursday 13 August 2020 | BlogOn the road

After crossing Bas Saint-Laurent and the Baie-des-Chaleurs region with the Kumho Crugen Premium KL33 (if you haven’t yet read the beginning of my adventure… (read it here), we’re finally ready to discover the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula and, of course, come back home.

From the grandiose landscapes of the Gaspé Peninsula and its mythical Percé Rock to the historic charm of Old Quebec, let’s travel together the last few kilometres of my trip on the 132.

The Peninsula

Of course, when you go to the Gaspé Peninsula, one attraction is a must: the famous Percé Rock. Located near Baie-des-Chaleurs, the town of Percé is by far the most touristy town in the area.

On the main street, which is very busy at this time of year, you can see many families and couples enjoying a homemade gelato or sipping a beer from a local microbrewery. From the road, you can easily observe the Rock and Bonaventure Island.

After a short picnic stop and a few pictures, it’s time to move us to Gaspé, where we will spend the night. Between these two towns, the road is steep and sometimes in poor condition. It must be said that we are practically on a mountainside, almost at the eastern end of the Appalachian Mountains.

Still, the ride is very stable, even in corners, and with little vibration. In fact, the Kuhmo tires support the weight of the occupants and luggage well, without being too reluctant. It’s unclear whether it’s the road or the tires themselves, but you have to admit that they’re a little noisy.

That evening, our supper consisted of a feast of local pub food: dried and salted cod, home-smoked bacon and beer bread, homemade too, of course. That’s what discovering a region is all about!

Matane

The route between Gaspé and Quebec City being rather long, a stopover in Matane was well deserved. Even though it is one of the largest cities in its region with its 15,000 inhabitants, its location on the riverside once again offers us unforgettable scenery: on one side, the St. Lawrence shoreline, and on the other, the rocky hills lined with wind turbines.

Its city centre, this time more animated by locals than by visitors, also offers its share of local surprises: beer, of course, but also a number of craftsmen and producers. Our stopover was only for the night, however, and it was after a seafood meal (you have to eat shrimps in Matane…) that we returned to our room for a penultimate night on the road.

Le Petit-Champlain

Our last stop: the city of Levis. Although it is probably full of amazing tourist attractions, we were mainly attracted to it for its ferry, which brings straight to the heart of the Lower Town while offering a breathtaking view of Cap Diamant and the Château Frontenac.

Even though some of us may come here often, Old Quebec is always a pleasure. In the maze of narrow streets of the Petit-Champlain, you never know what you’ll find. That evening, after dinner in a slightly more upscale restaurant, a stroll through the streets of this neighbourhood all the way to the Upper Town is a must. For our last evening of vacation, what better than the historic streets and the movement of the city?

Unfortunately, this is the end of our week-long trip on the roads of eastern Quebec in Santa Fe. On these several hundred kilometres of steeply-sloping roads, our comfort certainly reminded us of the importance of having quality tires before leaving on vacation. Where will the road lead us next?

About the Author

Marc Bouchard is passionate about cars... and many other things. He started out as a general journalist and has been working on cars for the past twenty years. We see him on TV, hear him on the radio and read about him everywhere. Often called upon as an expert analyst.

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