On the Port au Port Peninsula, ‘la route de mon grand-père’ (trail of my grandfather) connects the towns of Mainland and Cape St. George, climbing up and over the towering cliffs and limestone barrens between them and offering unforgettable sights to those who seek out the edge.

During our recent stay on the Port au Port, my mom and I walked a small part of this trail. To avoid a long climb on the Mainland side we parked our car about halfway between the two towns and used a well-used access trail to reach the coast.

While the day started out cool and hazy, the sun soon broke out and pushed the temperature to an unexpected 26 degrees Celsius. Yes, I know 26 degrees isn’t exactly ‘hot’, but for a spring day in Newfoundland it was bizarre and it even gave me a sunburn.

Here are some photos from the hike:

Hazy start to our day – Route de mon grand-père

View towards Boutte du Cap – Route de mon grand-père

When I reached the coast I looked down to the beach and for a moment it took my breath away:

Towering cliffs – Route de mon grand-père

While the scenery is obviously spectacular, it was the act of looking down that took my breath away. After nearly 3 years in BC and PEI I just wasn’t used to these heights anymore; my GPS informed me I was looking down from 158 m above sea level.

Emerald beach – Route de mon grand-père

Looking down from tall cliffs is good for more than scenery of course, and soon enough I spotted a whale swimming below me:

Minke whale – Route de mon grand-père

From this height I was easily able to follow the whale even below the water surface for a while, until it dove down too deep.

Further out at sea I saw big groups of harp seals, still surfacing and diving as a team, just as they did the day before. Here they are swimming in formation again, all on their backs this time:

Harp seals in formation – Route de mon grand-père

After watching this live wildlife show for a while we returned the way we came, reaching our parked car 3 hours after we started. If you ever find yourself on the Port au Port Peninsula, give this trail a go, I highly recommend it!