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Posted By Robin & Jim

Continuing our exploration of the Cabot Trail, we spent a day exploring up the east (Atlantic) side.  Near Ingonish we hiked out to a large promontory that separates two bays, and the views were gorgeous. 

north bay ingonish

The east side is a bit different from the west side - the coastline is more rugged and vertical on the ocean side, and the culture is much more Celtic where the west side is predominantly French Acadian. 
The shoreline is craggy with lots of pink granite, sometimes streaked with feldspar and quartz and other types of rock.  This is similar to what we saw at Acadia National Park in Maine, but the lines of other rock in the granite was more pronounced up here.

pink granite

We stopped at the very photogenic Neil's Harbour where the huge rock jetty has been constructed from the pink granite.  It's very much a working harbor, but is quiet in the summer because lobster season is closed in Nova Scotia in July and August. 

neils harbor

Later in the day we traveled down to St. Ann's Bay to catch a bird-watching boat tour out to the Bird Islands - a pair of high, rocky cliff islands about 6 miles off the coast.  We had to take the cable ferry across the narrow part of the bay - about 200 yards...

st. ann bay

...and the late afternoon sun on the rocky red cliffs was just a stunning sight.  But the best are the birds that we saw... to be continued in the next blog entry.

st. ann cliffs

 
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