The Gaspesian Escape
By Travel Photographer, Julia Laffaille
“I was 13 when I took my first photograph and it’s been my passion ever since”
"The Gaspesian Escape" is a series of silver photographs that tells the story of a trip through the Gaspé Peninsula, to meet its landscapes and its inhabitants.
I left in October 2017 for two weeks with three friends, along the famous route 132 that runs along the coast of this mythical peninsula. Driving more than 800 kilometres of road by the sea, between forests, cliffs and traditional villages, I had long been drawn to Gaspésie. Huge spaces where small villages have settled, scattered here and there, asleep and often empty, like ghost villages. What I discovered was even more beautiful than in my imagination.
It reigns there a unique atmosphere, accompanied by a Quebec warmth that makes us forget everything. It feels like home. And then there is that air of end of the world, silent and isolated, a place which seems to have survived globalization. This desire to preserve traditions and move away from a lifestyle that is too modern may be the reasons for a decline in population in this region of Quebec. There, on windswept lands, nature is queen, enveloped in a soothing silence, and the human seems to no longer have exclusivity. Gaspésie is a timeless escape.
The road to Gaspésie really is incredible. And to see this incredible road you have ABSOLUTELY to go along the coast and stay on the road 132, it is this road that leads to the end of the world. Finally at the lighthouse of Cap Gaspé , the lighthouse of Bout du Monde.
Route 132 becomes more and more beautiful and roadside stops are mandatory. My camera is itching too much. The lighthouse represents all that one comes to look for in Gaspésie. The feeling of the end of the world, the waves crashing at the foot of the lighthouse, on the edge of the cliff, the wild beaches below and the icy wind whipping our faces violently. After visiting these places, it is impossible not to fall in love with them.
This peninsula attracts all lovers of nature, silence and authenticity. Lovers of an Edwardson or Indridarson thriller, of cold landscapes where waves hit cliffs covered with green grass, and fishing villages where locals gaze at the sea through their cozy houses surrounded by clothes flying in the wind. It is for all this, and more, that I escaped in Gaspésie.