We drove into Wiarton early in the morning….(see The Blonde’s Blog Post “Canada’s Prognosticating Groundhog”)…we stopped in the park to witness all that was great and good about “Wiarton Willie”…I was suitably underwhelmed by the whole experience, but The Blonde seemed interested, hence her separate blog on the subject.
From here we made our way north heading towards the tip of the peninsula at Tobermory. Tiny Tobermory is a just a little bit hippy, a nature lover’s paradise which just happens to boast some of Ontario’s most stunning scenery and sunsets. The village centers on the harbor area known as Little Tub, which is really a quite busy center during ferry season (runs from May to late October). Some of the best wreck-diving in North America exists in these brilliant blue waters. with over 22 separate wrecks, some dating back to the 1800s, but the water is “usually about 1 degree short of an ice bath”.
We had decided we would spend a couple of nights here and booked into a local campground as the National Park Campgrounds were both full. It was very busy! But Tobermory is a great little center and good for a promenade, there are some great little craft shops and some pretty tacky ones as well, and one or two nice places to get some reasonable food away from the fast food joints. The weather had changed and it was literally howling a gale, so bad that the ferry that day across to the other side of the lake had been cancelled as it was so rough.
The Blonde Hiker....on Bruce Peninsula Trail and with new hiking buddy.
We went out to the main visitors center at the National Park HQ….great venue…great interactive area and loads of history on the peninsula plus info on what to do, where to hike, bike and canoe/kayak. Outside there were a number of volunteers who alongside a couple of Rangers were lecturing on the Monarch butterflies and their amazing migration path (A Blonde post to follow on this!).
We took a hike out from the center around a 3 mile circular track through the pine forest and down to the waters edge, which then looped back to the center, where we climbed the lookout tower to get a better view over Tobermory as far as the ferry terminal.
On top of the lookout tower at Park HQ....it became a very bad hair day!
Following morning the wind had abated and we set off to the charmingly named Halfway Log Dump. This is a meeting area/car park inside the park where you can access several trails and also go to the pretty beach. Our purpose was to undertake the hike with rangers to Cave Point. We had been told that depending on the water levels this could prove to be a “difficult” grade hike as there was a number of points where you needed to do some boulder hopping and rock scrambling, plus, a bit of wading as well….as so it proved to be.It was a spectacular morning and the hike, though hard, was enriched by beautiful views and an amazing Indian family, Mum, Dad and two daughters who joined the hike at the very last minute, were totally unequipped but hung in there and made it the whole way….we were in awe of their tenacity.
At the start of our coast "rock and roll" hike...emphasis on rock...!!
Tide was in.......
It got a little more tricky....
Finally made it to the cave....
At the end of the guided walk we decided to hang back on the beach and catch some rays…it was a great spot on a beautiful day.
Time to relax after a strenuous hike..plus, the "first aid/repair kit" for my knees..G & T and Ibuprofen plus a pack of frozen peas!
The weekend was done and now it was time to go and visit with our dear friends Al & Wanda. They kind of live off the grid…well certainly as far as power is concerned, an amazing set up Al has built with his solar “farm”…and what a fantastic location…we loved their house, Al had built it all himself. To a degree it reminded us of what we could have done with our little bunkhouse which was equally as remote on the south west coast of Western Australia.
Al and Wanda were amazing hosts…we had a great deal of catching up to do on all our travel and family news, it was nearly 18 months since we had last seen them back in New Mexico. We also made time, somehow stealing ourselves away from their wonderful outdoor deck area, to do some touring around the area.
Great totem ploes around the area, and of course lighthouses!
One afternoon we were treated to the most amazing display of humming birds….what a treat it was to sit out on the deck and watch them come into feed.
After three nights with our gracious hosts and a certain amount of merrymaking, it was time to move on…fond farewells, until the next time our paths cross…and now? Niagara Falls here come The EarthRoamers!
Our very special travel buddies, Al & Wanda...and with The Blonde... and Bruce and Sheila....and Big Henry of course!