Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Port Rexton, NL - 02 Sep 2018

The morning did not start out as planned. I was awakened at 3 am by a group of drunk guys singing in the street below our room. I couldnt getback to sleep until almost 5:30 am. I was awakened again at 6:30 by the sounds of a young couple fighting in the street just up the block. It was your classic love story:
Her: “I can’t believe that you slept with my best friend!
Him: “I didnt do it!”
Her: “She told me you did!”
Him: “You’re both lying whores. I hope you die!”
Ah, young love...

Robin and I decided to then get an early start on the day. We walked downhill to The Bagel Cafe on Duckworth St, then walked a few blocks up the street before climbing back up the hill to our B&B. We squared up w/ Ann and said our thanks and farewell. We then began our 3.5 hr drive from St. John’s to Fishers’ Loft in Port Rexton.

The drive was beautiful. Labor Day and no traffic. The countryside was littered with kettle lakes, boreal forests, and moss-covered hillsides littered with glacial boulders.

Shortly after noon we arrived in Port Rexton and found our stay at Fishers’ Loft. This gorgeous getaway is situated at the top of a hill and provides a panoramic view of the ocean and port side. It would also be the only place we'd see a moose...

Our room was not ready, so we drove up the road to share a panini at The Two Whales coffee shop, then continued on Highway 230 to the town of Elliston. There, we had hoped to find more Atlantic Puffins.

Navigation in our Jeep failed to find the puffin reserve, so we just drove to where it ended at a Vietnam War Memorial next to a Puffin gift shop. The rocky islands along the shoreline appeared to be good puffin habitat, but were void of the birds. A pair of Great Black-backed Gulls provided some nice digiscoping opportunities while Robin browsed the gift shop.

I’m so glad she did, because she overheard the owner tell another couple that they needed to follow the dirt road behind the building to the actual Puffin Reserve about 2 km up the coast.

Sure enough, we arrived just in time to see hundreds of Atlantic Puffins perching and flying from their burrows on the edge of the large island that was only about 200 meters from shore. Where we stood the birds were close enough to see without binoculars. I’d spend my time switching between digiscoping and trying to capture birds in flight.

According to the guy at the gift shop these birds would all be within the next four days or so.

As we left we spent some time photographing the shoreline and the nearby islands. Elliston also seems to be the home of root cellars, they were everywhere.

We would return to the Two Whales for coffee and upside-down peach and cranberry pie. Then, back to Fishers’ Loft for a nap before dinner of Cod, Lamb, Red-pepper soup and carrot cake. Incidentally, our room is located at the top of a steep hill but with only two flights of stairs to climb. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. We’ll see...

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