West Coast Trip Part VI: Port Au Port Peninsula
At this point in time I’m very glad that I had the foresight to keep a journal while we were on tour last summer. If it wasn’t for the fact that I spent each evening scribbling down the day’s events there’s no way I’d be able to recall many details of our trip seven months later.
The morning of August 8 was sunny, but the forecast called for a chance of thunder showers. With the Marble Mountain radar station non-functional we couldn’t see where the showers were, but this particular day would be our only chance to see the peninsula so we took the chance and set off around the loop in a clockwise direction.
The Port Au Port Peninsula is an interesting area with some spectacular scenery. It’s connected to the rest of the island by an isthmus so narrow that it seems like you could disconnect it with a pickaxe and a couple of hour’s labour.
The first stop was “Hidden Falls” in Sheaves Cove. Perhaps we should’ve called ahead and got them to turn it on for us.
Less than impressed with the falls, we wandered around the coastline and found something much more intriguing – the rock formations. I’m no geologist, but they look as though they were formed by lava bubbling up from an underwater volcano millions of years ago…quite interesting to think about!
After clamouring around the rocks for awhile we continued on our way. The next stop we made was at Cape St. George, right at the south-western tip of the peninsula. The dirt road was a strange reddish-brown colour, and the cliff formations made you feel like you were at the very edge of the world.
Cape St. George seemed to be a popular spot with picnic-ers, but we failed to pack a lunch and were getting hungry. Off we went to find something to eat. What we found was “Tea by the Sea”, a cafe in the town of Mainland. The soup was delish, coffee was great and the homemade cinnamon buns were just plain sinful. There are no chain restaurants in areas like this, and that’s the way is should be. The food in these tiny establishments is top notch, you can tell that care was taken in the preparation of everything.
With our bellies full we were ready to do some exploring. I had taken it in my head that I wanted to go to Long Point, at the north east tip of the peninsula. Neither of us had any idea what was out there – or if anything was actually out there – but the 12km (7.5 miles) of graded gravel road went towards justifying my purchase of Shinko 705’s.
As we reached Long Point the sky was getting darker, we could see it was raining over the water and thunder was rolling in the distance. We stopped on the wharf to put on our rain gear and beat a hasty retreat back over the gravel road…I wanted to be on pavement if the sky decided to opened up.
By a strange stroke of luck the showers missed us almost completely, with only a few sprinkles here and there. We had a great ride around the rest of the loop and made sure to stop in and visit the alpaca farm in Felix Cove that we passed on the way out. Alpacas are beautiful animals, and they look so cuddly…but I kept my distance figuring alpaca spittle is sure to stain a textile motorcycle jacket.
The craft shop was pretty awesome, with almost anything you can think of made from alpaca wool. I learned that alpaca wool is soft as cashmere and warmer, stronger and lighter than sheep’s wool. I bought a pair of red alpaca wool gloves, and Mark bought an alpaca hide (imported from South America and taken from an animal that died of natural causes) to put on the seat of his bike.
We got back to the camper in Kippens just in time for “happy hour”, with thunder still rolling in the distance. I know that we missed out on a lot of sights on the Port Au Port Peninsula. I’ve since heard about the rock formations in Jerry’s Nose (yes, that’s the actual name of the town) and the beach in Piccadilly, and we didn’t venture to the eastern shore at all. No one seems to believe me when I say that we won’t live long enough to see everything there is to see in Newfoundland, but it’s true. I look forward to returning to the Port au Port Peninsula for a longer stay.
Posted on March 22, 2015, in Roads of Newfoundland and tagged adv, alpacas, cape st. george, geology, Kawasaki Versys, long point, motorcycle, motorcycle travel, Newfoundland tourism, newfoundland travel, port au port, sheaves cove, Suzuki Vstrom. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.