Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday 18 August - Reford Gardens and Rimouski

The weather really closed in as we left the hotel and the morning was spent in rain, heavy at times, and with dense fog patches. The ride through Gaspe and along the coast was not very pleasant because of the weather. Lunch was at a greasy spoon in Ste. Anne des Monts where service was slow but it had Murphy's stout. The sun came out and we had a pleasant ride along the northern Gaspe coast to Reford Gardens. Although they have a micro climate this only brings them equivalent to Montreal. The gardens were great and our guide was able to fill in the historical details. The area along the stream was the most interesting so far as I was concerned.
Reford Garden Web Site

 Click here to see all pictures taken at Reford Gardens
We stopped briefly at Pointe-au-Pere where a museum commemorates the sinking of the Empress of Ireland.
We watched this heron catch and gulp down a fish at Pointe-au-Pere
The hotel was good but the restaurant service was abominable.
Click here to see all pictures taken at Reford Gardens

Click here to see all pictures taken on this trip 

Sunday 17 August - Perce

Today started out fine but the cloud closed in during breakfast and there was heavy rain and poor visibility on the way to the dock. There was a possibility that the boat would be cancelled but they decided to go despite the poor visibility.

The boat took us first to the rock.  Two types of cormorant live here, one high up and the other lower down. The top ones were silhouetted against the sky.

We went around Bonaventure Island to see the gannets nesting in the rock strata. It seems there are some 200,000 in this colony. They are really graceful as they glide through the air. There were two seals in the water just off shore. Apart from gannets, there were many other sea birds, gulls, kittiwakes and a few shore waders etc.
 We landed on the island where the Parks Canada Manager, Carol, gave an excellent, humorous, presentation on the Gannet and how Parks Canada manages this park.
By this time the weather had improved considerably and we decided to walk across to see the gannet colony. The walk took 45 minutes starting up a fairly steep climb through thick forest with some burnt areas and several streams. The colony was amazing. The birds are very close together and the noise was very loud. It stank a bit. We could get very close.  Many of the chicks seem to have been abandoned. Several birds were fighting, in some cases to the death.

By this time the sun had come out and the return walk, although mainly downhill, was quite hot. We saw a fox walking in the undergrowth.
The boat back was uneventful but pleasant in good sun.
I am sure everyone took too many pictures of this famous rock but it is impressive
We had a drink in the pub, a heavily hopped IPA was excellent, and then went on a short tour of Perce.
Dinner this evening was at an excellent fish restaurant with scallops. Walking back we enjoyed watching the gannets diving into the water in a feeding frenzy very close to shore.

Click here to see all pictures taken along the Baie des Chaleurs, Perce and Bonaventure Island

Click here to see all pictures taken on this trip