Percé Rock and Bonaventure Island
Sunday, September 2, 2018
Our hotel room is looking straight at the Percé Rock and the Bonaventure island. Together, they form the Parc national de l’île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé (Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé national Park). It is a beautiful sight!
The rock is a spectacular landmark. It is 433 meters long, 9 meters wide and 88 meters high. Of course, it is the arched “hole” in it that gives it so much character.
Since you can only visit both sites by boat, we dedicated our first day to the discovery of these two highly-acclaimed attractions.
Note to travellers:
- At this time of the year, advance booking of this day trip is not necessary. It would be wise, though, to enquire ahead of time if you are travelling in peak season.
- We bought our tickets from Les Bateliers de Percé, by the docks. The cost of the boat trip is $35.00/pp + $8.50/pp if you decide to stop at the island. The guided boat tour takes passengers to the Percé Rock (on both sides), then circles the Bonaventure Island, explaining rock formation and wildlife.
- Hiking the trails of the island is a must if you want to enjoy a close and personal encounter with the ten of thousands Northern gannets that have taken up residence there.
Now… this is the Gulf of Saint Lawrence we are talking about, not the tranquil waters of a peaceful river! I remembered my deep see fishing experience… So, I stayed on deck and focussed on the horizon… I still did not like the experience, but managed to be OK for the rest of the day.
Once on the island, there are four hiking trails you can take to meet the gannets. First, there is a murmur in the air, interrupting the stillness of the woods, but as you get closer to the cliffs, the murmur becomes a constant “cackling” sound that turns into a cacophony taking over sea and sky. As you watch them fly, feed their young or argue with each other, you cannot help being amazed by these beautiful birds!
We took Les Mousses trail to reach the cliffs, with spectacular views along the way. Coming back, we opted for an easier and wider trail called Les Colonies. An awesome visit!
Dinner at La Maison du Pêcheur, by the docks, know for their fish specialties. I decided to go with fresh tuna tartare, while Raymond had a wonderful piece of turbot. Ice cram next door…
Tomorrow, we will try to do… NOTHING! That should give are leg muscles a break!