Okay. I suffer from this. As far as I can tell it’s incurable and the symptoms grow more pronounced as time passes. It comes from the German wandern (to hike) and lust (desire). I think I fall in the camp that has morphed the wandern part to mean travel rather than specifically to hike.
Without wanderlust I couldn’t find scenes like the one above from the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence, or the following one from the largest gannet colony in the world, which happens to be on St. Bonaventure Island off Perce, Quebec.
I think being curious about the world and what it has to offer is a common feeling. What’s a little more unusual is acting on that feeling and actually getting on the boat or train or plane and making the effort to see something beyond your tiny sphere of influence and comfort.
In September I took a trip to Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec. And although I was really looking forward to seeing where the St. Lawrence River leaves the confines of its banks and flows into the ocean, one of the biggest draws for me was the night train from Montreal to Gaspe. Trains have always held a fascination for me, drawing on some part deep inside that really wants to live in the 19th century (although I’m not so much of a sentimentalist that I don’t know that 19th century train travel also involved lots of soot and hard seats). (click here to read the rest of the piece . . .)
dawn on Gaspe Peninsula
On a recent trip to Gaspe Peninsula in eastern Quebec, I spent a day near Perce, a little touristy town on the eastern tip of the peninsula on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, due west of Newfoundland and Labrador. Perce Rock is a tall, narrow limestone formation that rises from the gulf . This Devonian-age island has sheer cliff faces and a flat top making it look something like a large wedge of swiss cheese. It is called Perce Rock because of the arch that goes all the way through the formation — it is pierced, hence the name.
Looking at Perce Rock from Bonaventure Island
Not far from Perce rock is a low-slung island — Bonaventure Island — that’s home to the largest gannet colony in the world. A ferry runs from the village of Perce to Bonaventure, which is a regional park. We hiked the Colonies Trail up and over the island’s mid-section and came upon the gannet colony. The stench was almost overpowering and the noise of over 100,000 seabirds was unbelievable. But what beauties they are with their sleek, streamlined look and the electric blue detailing around the eye. Quite stunning.