Jo & Elliott's Huge Adventure

Monday, July 14, 2014

Newfoundland, St. John's and surrounding areas onto western NL and onto the ferry





June 23 Monday

We got an early start after running the girls a little bit and went into St. John’s where we saw a giant iceberg.  St. John’s didn’t grab us particularly but there is a lot to do in the area so we will be quite busy. We had a snack outdoors – it was 70 and sunny – and then headed to the Synagogue- Below is the Synagogue and random pics of our day in St. John's.
yup there is one though there are only about 450 Jews on Newfoundland and Labrador. We will hopefully go to Friday night services.




 




June 24 Tuesday

We had a wonderful day though the girls weren’t with us. We went on Molly Bawn to see the puffins at Witless Bay Ecological Reserve. We chose them because it was a small boat and it was much less than other tours. It was superb. Janeen, a marine biologist from Germany, talked with us the entire hour ++ and we saw amazing puffins diving, swimming, soaring and murres. We also saw a couple of eagles and sheep. It was a gorgeous sunny day.




Coastline of Whitless Bay

She suggested we eat in The Big R Restaurant in Goulds, a village of St. John’s and it was great. Elliott got a traditional Newfoundland meal and I got fish and chips.

This is a Jigs dinner.

We then went through Percy Harbor to Cape Spear, where there was a wonderful walk, gorgeous scenery and Elliott did the lighthouse tour.





Wednesday June 25, 2014

We decided we would drive the 200 miles Irish Loop. It was very pretty. Our first stop was the famous Ferryland lighthouse, which serves picnics and gosh do they do a huge business. We didn’t opt for this and I’m glad because eating with the girls on my lap is tricky especially on the rocky coast. We walked 2.5 miles ++ to get to the lighthouse. We wanted to walk but there is a parking lot about 2/3 rds or more of the way up. There is still a climb but people did it. Perhaps they didn’t know what was waiting for them because there were people with canes doing the walk. Good for them..I say!


Elliott went into Mistaken point and saw a video about 500 million year old videos. The girls and I stayed in the car and snoozed. 

Our other stop was at St. Vincent’s where WE SAW WHALES from the shore. Yes, every year they chase the capelin when the capelin are there and come very close to the shore. Unfortunately with the waves and my less than superb camera I couldn’t get a shot but it was exciting and very cold.


Thursday

Today we headed to Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve. It was a 2 hour drive each way but well worth it. One of two places in the world where gannets can be seen so close. The pictures I think do justice to what we saw. These birds were nesting, with their partners, there were millions of them! We also saw sheep, whales and seals but that was frosting on this amazing cake. We walked about 1 mile round trip down a path to get to this area. We also saw murres.




Sitting on nests. These birds mate for life! And come back to the same exact spot year after year.



WE SAW A MOOSE. I was looking at a map and Elliott started screaming. I swear I thought we were going to crash and get killed but instead there was a moose running across the road!! I got a picture through the window. By the time I rolled down the window he was gone but still he was looking right at me! 


Through the car window. He was gone by the time I rolled the window down. Magnificent!

Then we went to Salmonier Nature Park, which is free and has a gorgeous mile long boardwalk. It is a habitat for injured animals so the residents change. If they can’t be set free then they stay there as if they are hospitalized or in a nursing home. Amazing! 

Saturday

I am writing this on Saturday and catching up with Friday, which was a rainy, cold, yucky day. We went to the Rooms, which is supposed to be a must see museum. I did like one of the exhibits but other than that I wasn’t all that impresses and neither was Elliott. But with the AAA and senior discount it was worth $4.00 to get out of the rain.

We timed our day so next was Ches’s a restaurant that is suggested in literature. The food was excellent. No kidding, the batter on the fried cod was the best I ever tasted and for the first time I tried “gravy with stuffing,” which is just what it sounds like and it was yummy especially with the French fries.


From there we went to services. We don’t go at home very often but we do when we travel. This was a conservative/orthodox service meaning the entire hour was in Hebrew. A young couple who just moved here was there for the first time and there were a few regulars. There is no Rabbi, no school, and very few members but they stay alive for those who want to pray. 

Saturday:

Today was absolutely gorgeous. A perfect day – sunny – not too warm and not too cool. We got a late start and decided to do the Baccalieu loop. We stopped at Cupid’s Cove (yeah, these cutesy names for cute towns), which was pretty and stopped at a yard sale. We did a lot of driving through gorgeous scenery. I must have said gorgeous 100 times. The harbors and coves, and mountains are just breathtaking. 

Then we went to Brigus and took a walk to “the Tunnel” and walked back to the restaurant that was recommended by Claire at the Temple. We ate outside even though dogs aren’t allowed but they were so good and we kept them off the deck so it was ok. We got what they are famous for – fish chowder and a yummy biscuit and Elliott got it with blueberry pie and ice cream, which we shared. We stopped at the side of the road and got some touton dough, which we will make and some biscuits from a “bakery.” We first learned of toutons when we had one at Split Peas.


Toutons


Bay Roberts was so pretty. We took a short walk but it could have been a long hike. We let the girls loose for a minute. It was scary because the grass was high (ticks) and the cove edge close but they are so good!! If you are ever in this area this is a gorgeous hike. I have no idea how long it is but I think it isn’t short and it is considered moderate to difficult because of the hills.



We drove up to Carbonbear and drove over to Freshwater. It was beautiful. I have pictures, which tell the story better than I. We drove home via Heart’s Content where the cable to Europe was first laid, and drove through Heart’s Desire, Heart’s Delight and Dildo. Funny right??



Sunday
Well yard sales are always a good idea and we scored 8 DVDs. Given that our antenna isn’t working??? we have NO TV and there aren’t any Red Boxes so we are going nuts. Great find.

We went shopping in a great store that had great prices – Pipers- but the little things Elliott bought didn’t fix the antenna.

We did a lot of driving and stopped at Pouch Cove and walked a bit on the East Coast Trail.

We got the girls’ nails clipped!! At Petsmart.

View from the East Coast Trail

And went to middle and outer cove. Middle Cove is a not so great beach (there really aren’t any nice beaches so far) but the capelin are in so if you hit it right you see the tide pushing them onto the sand, the female lays eggs, the male impregnates them and then some go back to the water and some die so we saw lots of dead ones (:


We saw a whale right from shore and he was quite visible from outer cove. It is amazing to see whales right off the shore. Elliott went up to Cabot Tower, which we will do tomorrow when the visibility is better. 
 
Monday 

I decided to take the day off from any moving vehicle so I stayed home, read, sat outside with the girls and napped. Elliott hikes around Signal Hill/Cabot Tower for 1 ½ hrs. and then went to the. We watched one of the movies which we bought at the yard sales we went to yesterday and will watch one every night. I have a picture from yesterday when we went to see the tower. It was a very foggy day!!


Tuesday

This was a driving day and the only issue we had was getting to our campsite at Lockston Provincial Park just a bit away from Trinity. Today is Canada Day so it was so busy at the recreational center at the Park. We needed five people to get us through!
Our site at Logston

Wednesday, July 2

Elliott took a nice walk around the campground. It is buggy. We took the girls to a wide open area and Cloey ran and ran. Zoey not so much but there is Internet there so we checked our mail after the girls were done. 

The weather couldn’t be more beautiful than today and the next few days. Except for Hurricane Arthur, we couldn’t be happier on that end. We went into Trinity where we saw what is called the Rising Tide Pageant. This group puts on dinner theaters, plays and a couple of times a week this very unusual “theater” with actors who change costumes as they and we go from place to place – lots of history in Trinity – and learned about this area. Perfect for Plymouth! It was a 2 ¼ hour presentation and lots of manageable walking.


Thursday

Before I forget Elliott made the Toutons, one of the items I bought from the roadside. They were so delicious and easy – just fry even with spray. The picture of them at the theater is above.

Today we did Skerwink Trail, which has been called one of the most beautiful trails in North America. "Selected by Travel and Leisure Magazine as one of the top 35 trails in North America and Europe, the Skerwink Trail near Trinity East and Port Rexton lures outdoors enthusiasts from near and far."

 Depending where we read it was either easy/moderate or moderate/difficult. One thing I can say is that it was gorgeous. Perhaps trumping Acadia! Not only is the trail well kept (especially the first ½) but the views everywhere are breathtaking. We felt like we could touch the whales, we saw capelin being washed up from the ocean, an iceberg, rock stacks, coast and woods and flowers and beach! 

The last ½ had a lookout, which I found clumsy and should have skipped it and the last half, though it did have boardwalks with metal mesh, which Cloey hated, wasn’t cleared nicely like the first ½ so we encountered some gravel, rocks, roots but all in all 5 stars. This was 5.3 kilometer or 3.3 miles hike.





Cloey was tuckered out! 

Friday 

After much deliberating and watching the weather we decided that we would move to an unserviced site for one night (We knew we would have to.) and then leave tomorrow rather than Sunday, which is supposed to be stormy. The whole week in Rocky Harbor looks raining but that is par for the course at Gros Morne National Park. 

Today was glorious. We started our day in Elliston, the root capital of the world . There are hundreds of these things! It is also home to a puffin colony, which we were told about from other campers. They are very close to shore and an easy path took us to these cute little birds.

Gros Morne 



The puffins are little and black with orange feet.

From there we went to Dungeon Provincial Park, which doesn’t have much going for it except this sink hole with stone 500 million years old. This sinkhole has made two natural arches through which the water runs. Amazing. 


Our next stop was Cape Bonavista Lighthouse. They were doing work on it so it seemed we couldn’t go in but the show was the whales. OMG, far out but still easily seen, whales were playing and doing tricks. Closer there were so many we couldn’t count. I have never seen a line of 4 or 5 blowholes at one time.

Look toward the left and you can see the blowholes...lots!

Our last stop was food. We found a very cute restaurant that had beautiful outside seating and the girls were allowed. So Elliott got his cod tongues and was glad he ordered a platter, which also came with salmon and cod since he really didn’t like the cod tongues. It is very unusual for him not to like something exotic so these must have been really bad! He topped it off with a soft serve and we were on our way back to our motorhome for the night. 



Saturday

This was a driving day.  We arrived at Gros Morne RV Park and are in a parking lot site but it is quiet and gravel so the rain isn’t making it muddy! Thankfully, although it was windy Saturday night, it wasn’t that windy that we were concerned. 

Sunday

We drove around Rocky Harbor, went to the Gros Morne Visitor Center and we went out to eat at Earl’s. Elliott got a moose burger and my salad (Though I said I didn’t want the fish because of the pork it is cooked in.) was full of bacon (:

Monday

We got an early start and took a great 1.8 miles walk/hike to our boat which went on Western Brook Pond, which a landlocked lake and fjord. It was fascinating to see the 500 million year old mountains and water that is so clean you can drink it. It was a gorgeous morning but pricey for what turned out to be a very nice 2 ½ hour boat ride. Hiked back to the parking lot. The hike was really the best part.

We came home, spent time with the girls and went to what we were told was a must see show. Tip: Go early and have a great pub meal. This way you will get a good seat! Anchors Aweigh was super! The guys were talented, fun and for 3 hours we were totally enthralled and entertained. 

Tuesday

Today is a rainy day and I think we might just stay in! Well as it turned out the girls and I stayed in and Elliott went on two hikes so it all worked out. 

Wednesday, June 9

It isn’t raining!! We headed to Tablelands, which is in Gros Morne but about an hour away. We took a 2 ½ mile walk/hike through this amazing area. Tablelands are the result of two continents squeezing land from the bottom of the ocean 5 million years ago to the top and that is what you will see in the pictures. The walk was beautiful, lots of brooks, streams, waterfalls and pitcher plants, which didn’t grab my finger when I put it into the leaf.



From there we toured the area from Trout River to Woody Point where we had coffee and the girls could sit out on the deck on the waterfront. What a view!


Thursday was a blur for me because I woke up in the middle of the night with some weird thing going on and I felt sick all day. Since we had covered much of the area except for Norris Point and the Coastal Hike we decided that if we could get three nights back we would spend 4 nights at Grand Cordray and that is what happened so Friday we left, after seeing caribou and Arches Provincial Park and driving……and stopped at the grocery store and got an amazing site with sewer at Grand Cordray.

Grand Cordray site

Saturday

We followed the loop in the campground’s newsletter, which took us to the Wildlife Museum and another kind of Interpretive Center – nothing to write home about. We went into lots of little stores and visited lots of pretty villages. The Holy Trinity Anglican Church was pretty and the meal at The Silver Sands Restaurant was very good.

Sunday July 13

First of all the weather has been amazing. The drive today was much better than yesterday. We headed to Port Aux Basques, stopping at J.T. Cheeseman Provincial Park. The beach was gorgeous as was all the scenery – really (I am back to using the word) gorgeous. We had lunch on a trail called Harvey Trail. Truly one of the prettiest spots I could imagine seeing. Onto the Rose Blanche Lighthouse, into Port Aux Basque, did some shopping and headed home.

Rose Blanche lighthouse



View at Harvey's Trail
Cheeseman beach and view
Onto the ferry and we basically retraced our steps home; however, we went to our favorite place, Acadia National Park and stayed at a campground we had never been to called Timberland. It was in Trenton so it was a bit far but it was very nice. This was our 7th time in Acadia and I have written about it over the years so if there is anything you want to know, just ask. One treat was Thunderhole, which was roaring more than ever before!

Sorry for the video. I need a new camera.