Saturday, 26 October 2013

Tobermory - The Grotto and Flowerpot Island

Just over a month ago (before things got really serious with Dad) I took a day trip to Tobermory, ON. This was quite the trek north, approximately 4 hours north-northwest from Maple. Beautiful drive, along the way there is a whole lotta country, wind fields and farms. There are parts of the drive that make you feel as though you're back in Nova Scotia. I had put a list together over the summer of all the fun things to do for day trips, obviously I haven't discovered all of the fun things, but I noted that Tobermory was one of the time places to visit in Ontario so I decided to check it out.

To the right is a shot of the wind turbines towards Owen Sound. There are almost 50 in the area, looks like more as you pass them because they're so large. Ontario has the most wind turbine farms of the provinces in Canada, not so much of a surprise with all of the open land as you drive further north. I am not an expert with wind energy so I don't have the specifics as to why Ontario has more, I bet most of it has to do with how many were approved by the county votes.

Once in Tobermory, there was a little bit of time before the boat tour to see the Flowerpot Island, and the shipwrecks in Lake Huron/Georgian Bay. They were truly beautiful sights. Grabbed lunch at place called the Crow's Nest in the harbour, their food was pretty good, definitely pub affair, reasonably priced. Below are some shots of Toberymory, the harbour, and the boats. There weren't too many people around as I was there when school season had begun, there were more adults then children. As you can see, there is always a spot in Canada for beavertails to fit the bill.

After touring around town, it was time for the glass-bottom boat tour. It wasn't quite what I expected, however it was really nice. The best parts hands down were seeing the shipwrecks and Flowerpot Island. I would like to go again next summer, hike around the island (you have the option to go in the morning and get off the boat and stay on the island for a few hours then get a ride back on the boat) and then come home. You can also camp on Flowerpot Island I believe. The waters were truly beautiful, they were so clear you could see seaweed and all of the beautiful rock formations through the shallow parts. Below is an example, these are some of the shots I took on the boat of the sunken ships, the island and the glass bottom so you get an idea of what it looks like (I expected a large glass floor :P).

After the few hours spent on the boat tour there was one other major highlight I had researched about Tobermory/Bruce Peninsula that I couldn't miss out on. This place is called The Grotto, it is within the Bruce Peninsula National Park, so there is an entrance fee to get in, however the trails are so beautifully maintained that it is very enjoyable to take this little trek through the woods to check out this splendor. On the way out I actually saw a bear in the woods but once it saw me it ran the other way, I consider myself lucky. This was my second encounter with a bear this summer/fall and this time I didn't have a whistle, bear spray, or a really brave cousin to help face it if it came closer. From now on in the latter of the summer and early fall I will hike prepared, I know about the dangers I just always say "if it's my day to die from a bear encounter than it's my day," not really smart eh?
You can camp at this park, it would be worth it, however when I was there, it seemed to be ruled by teenagers and an early 20s population who blasted EDM, techno and other music that is hard to be in the middle of the woods and want to listen to at 5PM, maybe later around the fire but not afternoon. Everything has it's place I guess.
The below shots conclude some of the time spent at the Grotto, honestly, one of Ontario's true Gems, the caves, the trails, the rock climbing, and the whole landscape is very dreamy.

When I first saw this there was a man inside who had climbed his way down through the rocks! Scary!

What would a day trip be without a beautiful sunset?
You'll have to forgive me for the next few busy months. I will continue to post as much as I can, however it is going to be a challenging period of time. Take care and enjoy what is left of this beautiful fall!

No comments:

Post a Comment