Sunday, December 3, 2017

September 9, 2017 Rain, Cape St. Mary, More Rain, Surfing Newfies and the Irish Loop

We had breakfast at Phillips Cafe which is run by the same couple that owns the Rosedale Manor B&B we stayed at last night. This is why we love staying at small locally owned places when traveling. We had a wonderful and very interesting conversation about this area of Newfoundland while enjoying a tasty breakfast. Then Philip drew us this map of places to stop along our route today.

I'm not religious but I do love churches and graveyards.

It's been raining all morning long with heavy fog in some places. But Cape St. Mary's has been on our list of must visit places from the very beginning of planning this trip. 

So we put on our rain gear and put our cameras in plastic bags...

...and headed out to Bird Rock.

It was another beautiful hike along the cliffs, even in the rain and the fog just made it more mysterious.

There were birds flying above us but seeing the Bird Rock for the first time the amount of birds was impressive.

Back on the trail out to see the birds up close.

The rain was steady and at times we had to put the cameras away. We spent about an hour just taking pictures at Bird Rock. 

Looking back toward the visitor center.

Most of the birds were Northern Gannets which nest here at Cape St. Mary's.

The young birds are mostly gray or black.

Christy spotted this hawk or young eagle further out on the cliffs.

It is amazing to watch the interaction of so many birds.

A youngster with a parent. Both the males and females take care of their one offspring each season.

The pictures are only one aspect of being here. Hopefully this video helps show why we stood out here for about an hour in the rain. 

A bit more colorful shot of the cliffs looking back toward the visitor center.

There are so many birds that they occupy several "rocks" along the cliffs. 

My attempts to add some color to the pictures.

Looking down the cliff to see birds all the way down to the water.

Hiking back to the visitor center still searching to add color to a gray day.

We skipped the Point Lance beach due to the heavy rain. But we did have lunch here at The Loft above a gas station in Branch. I noticed the beach just past the harbor had good waves rolling in. I said those are the first waves I've seen in two weeks in Newfoundland that I could body surf on. After lunch we met a group of young men in the parking lot wearing wet suits. They were grabbing some snacks before going to surf those waves. I guess surfers can be found on any island in every ocean.
We backtracked about 15 km down a gravel road to stop here at Cataracts Provincial Park.

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey were now over Newfoundland and it rained all day long. 

We hiked down the short trail and wooden staircase to stretch our legs and take a few pictures.

I couldn't figure out how to rotate this video. But I love the sound of rushing water so I posted it anyway.

The rest of the day we drove across the Avalon Peninsula and then up the coast to St. John's. The heavy rains and fog kept us from hiking any segment of the East Coast Trail along that route. I guess we will have to come back here someday.
Of course I had to drive along this route.

We stopped here for some ice cream.

We had dinner at Portobello's on the waterfront in St. John's which was perfect since we spent the last two weeks traveling through Newfoundland along it's shores.
We spent a lot of time in harbours on this trip. Mostly because of my love for being on the water anywhere especially the ocean.

One last steamed mussel plate for Christy...
...and one last local beer for me. A toast to Newfoundland...thank you for two wonderful weeks and thank you for being being just as advertised...a place to unwind and forget about that chaotic world across the water...a unique and beautiful landscape with amazing hiking trails...and definitely the friendliest people we've ever met.