Friday, May 25, 2012

Birds of the Seven Isles and Douanier's Path

When we got up, the area was shrouded in light fog, which created a golden light over the yacht basin.

The fog stayed around all day, making all distances hazy and lowering the contrast of the pics. Don't tell, but Photoshop has been used to blow away some of the fog from these pictures. WYSInot-quiteWYG.

After breakfast we did two things local to Perros-Guirec. First up, a boat ride to Les Sept Îles, the Seven Isles, a small archipelago about 10km off the coast, to look at sea birds. The primary and most spectacular of these was a colony of Gannets.

We saw a gannet colony once before, in New Zealand. Or, David did, because Marian was unwell and stayed behind.

This time we didn't get quite so close to the birds. But the colony is huge. Here's an early glimpse of it.

That white frosting on the right? That's birds.


And soon we are right under them.


These are not kin to the New Zealand birds. These migrate down the Atlantic to Africa. How about another gannet pic?

All right, just one more.

Note natural arch.

There were other birds out there too, but not in big numbers. Cormorants, for one.

Just up from a dive, shaking his wings dry.

Also saw razorbills, oyster catchers, and the two local kinds of gulls.

Back on shore we had a nice lunch and then went for a 90-minute ramble on Le Sentier du Douanier, the Customs' Officers' Path. Seems that this part of France was once a primary entry point for smuggled goods. No wonder, there are so many little bays and harbors. The Customs enforcers developed a path along the cliffs for their patrols, and it's a hiking trail now. The piece of it just here passes some spectacular pink-granite formations.

There were lots of people on this popular walking path.

Have we mentioned there are Monterey Cypress all over around here?

Note the matching layers suggesting these were once a single piece.

Eroded pieces trapped between others.

Hanging rock.

We dubbed this "the laughing dolphin."

There were flowers, too, and a checker-spotted bug.

Back at the hotel on the other side of this peninsula, we noted it was low tide which reveals the structure of the yacht basin. This wall is invisible at high tide.

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