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.

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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.

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White cliffs as we made our way towards the Port au Port Peninsula. Limestone?

The first stop was “Hidden Falls” in Sheaves Cove. Perhaps we should’ve called ahead and got them to turn it on for us.

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There’s usually water cascading down over those rocks…

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Closer to Halifax than St. John’s!

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!

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The picnic table gives a reference for the size of the rocks

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The surface of the formations suggests that they were once underwater

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.

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I imagine that this is a beautiful, secluded beach, accessible only by boat…

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“A little more to your right…”

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.

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Tea by the Sea

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.

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Great gravel road. Much better condition than gravel roads on the Avalon.

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Heading into the community of Long Point

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.

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By the end of this trip I would become very proficient in the donning of rain gear.

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.

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Ahhhhhh luh…..

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There were goats as well

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.

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Posted on March 22, 2015, in Roads of Newfoundland and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Would be pretty comical every time someone asked, “where do you live?” “Oh, just up yonder in Jerry’s Nose.” Giggle.

    • Lots of strange place names around here Bob. Heart’s Delight, Heart’s Content, Heart’s Desire, Cupids, Witless Bay, Come By Change, Blow Me Down, Cow Head, Happy Adventure…and that’s just off the top of my head. Of course there’s also the town of Dildo (it’s named after part of a boat, I swear!).

      Thanks for reading 🙂

  2. Ashley Phillips

    Hi Krista,
    I’m glad that you enjoyed the Port au Port Peninsula. I grew up in Cape St George. Those white cliffs are gypsum with a bit of salt impurities. The reddish gravel is due to iron from the Carboniferous conglomerate deposits found peppered around the the coastline. Much of the area is composed of limestone with a bit of sandstone and shale.
    Come back anytime for another visit. Talk to some locals for more out-of-the-way scenic spots.
    Ashley

    • Hi Ashley, thanks for reading, and I really appreciate the info! I found the area very different geologically from the Avalon. I loved the Port au Port Peninsula, I’ll be back for sure.

  3. The water in “Hidden Falls” is still hiding. Was just there and can pee more than the water in the falls.

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