Thursday, July 25, 2013

Perce' on the Gaspe Peninsula/ Adventure Caravans Days 9 & 10

The Gaspe' Peninsula is a region of Quebec Provence. It is French speaking, French culture, and gorgeous! The towns of Gaspe and Perce are on the tip of the peninsula but about 50 miles apart. 

Gaspe Peninsula is where the "A" is. It is part of Quebec. It sits above New Brunswick.
Maine and Vermont can be seen at the bottom left. The road we took from Quebec City to Gaspe village and the to Perce follows the coast tightly. Above the A is the St. Lawrence Seaway. Below it is the Gulf of Gaspe. Below that is Bathhurst, New Brunswick which we will be visiting later.

Just before we left Gaspe we met this woman, Lynn, who looked like our friend, Karla, more at a distance than close up.

The drive from Gaspe village to Perce was entirely alone the ocean. There were so many wonderful opportunities for photographs that we would still be on the road if we stopped for everyone.

Our group went for a visit to the museum and watched a film about the Perce Rock and Bonaventure island.

Touristy, I know, but I couldn't resist.

Waiting to get on the ferry. You can see part of Gaspe Rock on the left. Bonaventure Island is straight ahead.

A view back to Perce from the ferry.

Mark & Evelyn

The Quebecc flag flies over the bow. Behind us is Perce Rock.

Perce Rock getting close. This "rock," Bonaventure Island, and the Gaspe Peninsula itself are all
part of the same geological events. The rock loses 100,000 tons of sone a year,
a mere fraction of its' size but once it was connected to the Bonaventure Island.

A hole in the rock.

We have now come around the rock. The town of Gaspe is behind this rock.

Looking back to Perce. The road that can be seen in the center of this photo was the road we came down to get into Perce. 17% downgrade. Diva took it well with the Expedition in 1st gear the whole way.

The other side of the hole.

Some seals rest on a small rock off of Bonaventure Island

Bonaventure Island. You can see gannets flying against the cliff.
Above this cliff is a shelf where these graceful birds nest and roost. We will see photos of that later.

A lone gannet flies on the horizon.

Some fellow travelers on the ferry.

Bonaventure Island was inhabited until 1971 when the remaining 35 families were evicted by the state. The island and the rock became part of a National Park of Canada and is a migratory bird sanctuary. 

All of these buildings are part of the National Park of Bonaventure and the Perce Rock

Our fearless leader, Dan, and a park ranger.

The trail from the ferry landing to the top of the cliff where the gannets roost is approximately 2 miles mostly uphill.

Approximately 60,000 nesting pairs spend the spring and summer on Bonaventure Island. After the chicks are grown and ready to leave in the late fall they all head to South Carolina  and Florida for the winter, like many other Quebecois.

The gannets with the black feathers are the young birds after they have lost all of their down.

Gannets mate for life. A pair will return every year to the same place, even the exact same nest. As one of the pair flies out to fish the other guards the single offspring. Sometimes, if the chick is lost, the pair will try again disasterous results. The new chick will not be developed enough in the fall to make the long trip to South Carolina.

When the mate returns to the nest he or she is greeted with a flirtatious display.

Here you can see some very young chicks which still have all their down. They might not survive.

Gannets are spectacular high speed divers.
They glide gracefully looking to the sea to spot their prey and then go straight down.

This bird and I got to know each other quite well.

My own mate-for-life.

A beautiful view to the rock on the way back to the ferry.


Our friends, Evelyn and Sam

Bob and Jan were celebrating a wedding anniversary. I's glad we didn't have any birthdays or anniversaries or we would have had to wear the crowns.

So we have visited Quebec Provence from Quebec City to Perce at the tip of Gaspe peninsula. Next stop New Brunswick. See you there!

Ciao, Frank

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