Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New to my blog? Welcome!

Hi there! If you saw the link on a friend's page and you're new to "An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel", it is a blog started in November, 2009, hoping to become a book one of these days. Chapters 1-18 have been posted here, starting in November '09, along with a great many pictures from the unfittie's latest adventure traveling alone from the Rockies to the Atlantic coast of Canada on 5 trains, 5 buses and in 4 rental cars. The point of the whole thing is... if I can do it with aches and pains in all of my parts, there's no reason you can't do it, too. It started with me being dragged around the world by my husband (that part isn't over yet) and has evolved to include some solo adventures which, though maybe not wildly intelligent of me, I have managed to survive and photograph. Come along for the ride and let me know what you think. Comments are always welcome, and so are check-marks below the blog posts if you find anything funny, interesting, or helpful.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cousins of the birds below

The sky-pointing Northern Gannets nesting on Bonaventure Island, off the eastern coast of Quebec (see blog post below), are related to blue-footed boobies in the Galapagos Islands. However, the blue-foots allowed me to photograph them up close and personal, whereas I have to resort to public pictures for close-ups of their Northern Gannet cousins. Sky-pointing is a feature they have in common, along with their 5- to 6-ft. wing-span, huge webbed feet and fascinating long-beaked faces. Gannets outweigh blue-foots, however, and, of course, gannets' feet are not blue, but black.

Gaspésie, Roche Percé, Bonaventure Island again

Above, the landward side of Bonaventure Island used to have human settlers, but is now parkland for the protection of the wildlife. However, visitors can walk the trail over to the viewing point to see the gannets "up close" -- too long a walk for the unfittie, however.

The cliffs on the seaward side of Bonaventure Island appear almost white with nesting gannets and gulls.
We passed two very fat seals when I was on deck and in a position to photograph them.
Below, the seaward side of Roche Percé with the last of the morning fog floating around it.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Beautiful Baddeck, Nova Scotia

Above, I stayed at a beautiful hotel (the upstairs sitting room; picture in my room; my things on the veranda), and, below, a stroll around the Bras d'Or Lake waterfront.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Blog comments welcome. A reminder.

Hi, this is the unfittie here, back from The Mysterious East (of Canada, that is) and pretty much rested up.
Don't forget, I really want your comments on my blog. Tell me if you like the pictures I'm posting this month. Tell me if you like the first 18 chapters I've posted so far. If you aren't a blogger yourself, that's okay. Click on the number of comments (mostly 0 so far, hint hint) shown at the bottom of each blog post. If you don't meet one of the criteria shown after you've clicked, you can sign in as anonymous, then sign your name within your comment, or not, as you prefer.
It's easy and it is very helpful to me.
Thanks -- K
PS -- In a comment below, Raymond says he clicked on "Name/URL" and just used a name, as no URL was needed. So, it's even easier than I thought.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Gaspé Peninsula, a jewel in beautiful Québec

In search of the Northern Gannet

The markings and colors on the head of the Northern Gannet are beautiful.
Gannets swimming alongside Roche Percé near the Gaspé Peninsula town of Percé.
Just past the rock, the sky begins to fill with gannets.
Soon they're everywhere, except close enough to the boat to be photographed.
Smaller birds, black and white murres, share the rocks of Bonaventure Island with the gannets. Below, my favorite gannet picture is this shot I got of one "running" across the water to take off. I wish I'd been able to take a photo of a murre skipping across the water prior to taking off. TOO cute.

Because I'd so enjoyed "meeting" red-footed and blue-footed boobies in the Galapagos Islands, I decided my Great Canadian Adventure should include Bonaventure Island, where thousands of the boobies' cousins, the Northern Gannets, nest every year. The island is located off the Gaspé Peninsula in eastern Quebec, near the famous "pierced rock" or "Roche Percé" which is included in the boat tour from the town of Percé. I saw hundreds, maybe thousands, of Northern Gannets, but none up close. Unlike their Galapagos relatives, they want nothing to do with humanity. (Knowing what I know about humanity, I suspect they might often be right.) I had to find a public-domain photo online (top picture) to show you why I was so eager to see these beautiful birds.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Halifax and Peggy's Cove

Overlooking the harbor in Halifax.
"The Old Burying Ground" (1749-1844) in Halifax.
Church spire, across from the Old Burying Ground in Halifax.
Government House, residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia. Next 6 photos, Peggy's Cove.

Above, pictures like these I took of Peggy's Cove have long been readily recognized ...people all over Canada and in many other parts of the world immediately associate them with the province of Nova Scotia. However, the city of Halifax (top and below) has many beautiful buildings of a different sort. Having lived all my life in western Canada, I found myself constantly delighted by the architecture of older, long-settled parts of this vast country.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Three of Canada's Maritime Provinces

Above and below, just off the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

Above, even a low Bay of Fundy tide can be seen rushing upriver in Truro, Nova Scotia. Below, the lovely, peaceful river before the tidal bore caused it to flow upstream.

Above, the College of Piping and Celtic Peforming Arts in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. Below, the unfittie is about to enjoy her first PEI lobster.
Below, the Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick, sculpted by wind and water. People (not the unfittie) can walk out to the rocks at low tide if they are careful not to get stranded when the famous Bay of Fundy tide comes roaring in.
Below, I tried to set the hotel alarm clock when staying in Moncton, New Brunswick, but didn't do something right, because I overslept by a few minutes and missed seeing the tidal bore at the foot of King Street. There's always something to photograph in the Maritimes, however. Now that I've almost finished "doing" NB, PEI and NS, it's back home soon to nag my husband about going to Newfoundland together, not this year, but maybe next.