Newfoundland Trip – June 30th- July 13th, 2015
Quote: “There are things we will never see, unless we walk to them.” ~ Thomas A Clark
This quote was posted on the East Coast Trail Head located at La Manche Village Path.
Four photographers – Maureen Littlewood (myself), Toni Wallachy, Pam Richards, and Chris Borcsok began our journey early in the morning as our flight to St. John’s Nfld was at 6:45am. Needless to say we were up at 4:00am. The life of a Photographer up early to catch that fabulous golden light. Except this time it was a plane ride to a very fabulous vacation of two weeks in Nfld.
We arrived safely in St. John’s Nfld for 11:30am. Picked up our Red Dodge Grand Caravan. We proudly named it “Lobster Rolls”. We headed for our Salt Shaker Cottage on a hill with a glorious view of the harbour.
After picking our beds and rooms we were greeted by the caretaker of the home who welcomed us graciously and hoped we had a great stay. She let us know of a few attractions in the area and where to get groceries for our meals. Even had some maps of the area available to take along with us.
We headed into town to check out downtown St. John’s on foot. We explored a few stores, got a bite to eat at a local restaurant with an open window and some nice tables. Maureen being adventurous with new foods decided to try out the Cod tongues, with some Scruncheons, and Parmesean fries. Very delicious and tasty. Everyone was brave and also had a piece to taste. This is a very popular Nfld dish. Another is the Cod Cheeks.
We were off to Check out the famous George Street. With it being the day before Canada Day it was bustling with live bands and music, as well as many bars along the strip. Bar fridges were outside on the patios and every few bars there was an ATM machine. Sure didn’t need to go to far and you’d find another ATM down the street. We spotted many ATM machine in our travels. Some outside Convenience stores, especially since many were also stocked with local booze.
On our way back Chris found some dogs in the back of a truck and had to say hello. We explored the boats in the harbour and some of the local history. Of course Maureen found a few lighthouse to start of the collection. There was a Skeleton Lighthouse (#1) in the harbour with some historical info about it and a past Lighthouse too. Even found a building which was converted into another business in the traditional Nfld style of Lighthouses (#2).
Even found to “foxy ladies” both dressed in a red and white fox costume. I got them to pose for me. We then headed out to the grocery store and the liquor store was right next door attached. However it was closed on our way out. Then back to the cottage to cook up some food for dinner. Off to bed we went.
Happy Canada Day! Newfoundland is the first Province to greet the day!
Toni who was up to do her cardio walk did a bit of exploring in the Battery and a short walk towards Signal Hill. We made our breakfast and started off on our hike to the top of Signal Hill. We headed down into the battery through a series of pathways through the cottages and homes. Many times it looked like you were walking into someone’s backyard. There were signs directing you to go this way. All the locals were very friendly and assured us this was the way to Signal Hill. Checked out a few shops and even an old fishing shack. This guy had been collecting memorabilia for decades of the family and odds and ends of anything and everything and it was displayed on the walls, ceiling and tables everywhere. He regaled us with some stories and we took a few pictures of the place too. He had some replicas of a few boats too.
Off we were following the trail again. We reached the Chain Rock. Where Toni had turned around and headed back to join us for Breakfast. Chain Rock has chains attached into the rock face and a swinging chain you can hold onto as you walk across the narrow passage of a rock cliff below you. Maybe about 1 1/2 – 2 feet in width. It had only 2 steps that were a bit scary but definitely only room for one person to travel across.
The trail up to Signal Hill followed along the coastline with some really spectacular views of the harbour and shoreline. The walk was a steady upward climb. With many sets of stairs all numbered of course until you got to the top. Many of the steps were in sets of twos. Except for the last set of steps that actually were the longest but was in four set of steps. The locals referred each set of steps as a “step” as we later found out. Couldn’t find an exact number of officials steps but it must have been close to a 1000 steps for sure.
A view of the Chain Rock Light (#3) This was where a chain ran across t harbor to stop the u-boats from entering the harbour. Now stands a small Lighthouse marker known as Chain Rock to warn the ships. At the mouth of the harbour was Fort Amhearst Lighthouse (#4) this could be seen along the trail.
We stopped at many vantage points to take in the breath taking view of the landscapes, shoreline and even large boulders placed there from the time of the Glaciers. As well a many photographic moments.
Even some Minkie whales were spotted out on the ocean where a few boats with some whale watchers were getting a real show. Looking back towards where we came off in the distance you could see the green glow of Cape Spear Lighthouse. We are now up to 5 Lighthouses.
Before Pam and myself (Maureen) ascended the last four sets of steps we both decided it was time for a snack which we both had in our back packs. However none of us thought about packing a lunch when setting off early in the morning. We were not sure of the length of the trail at all. I think we all thought we’d be back for a late lunch. Lesson learned always plan for food – lunch and snack on any trip. You never know how long you’ll be out.
Finally at the top of the Signal Hill, the building was all under construction and you couldn’t go in. Though the view looking over the city in all directions was marvelous. Toni wanted to head down the other way and check out the fishing villages in Quidi Vidi (pronounced Kiddie Viddie).
On the way through Ladies Lookout we met a guy with some powerful astrological binoculars pointed at two of our first Icebergs. You could just see the two white specs off in the distance. They were certainly brought into view through the binoculars. There were 7 in total. However the locals said there was 2 but the other pieces were smaller pieces broken off of the larger icebergs.
Downward we ventured where we stumbled upon an eagle at the base on the cliff. Further down was the nest with 2 baby Eagles awaiting and calling for their mother.
Once reaching the bottom Toni and Chris headed into the Brewery where Chris grabbed a 6 pack of the local Quidi Vidi sampler pack. However you were not allowed to consume the beer inside. However they did suggest taking the beer outside to the dock where picnic tables were provided for your pleasure. It was sure nice and refreshing when Pam and I reached the bottom too.
We inquired from the locals of a place to eat. They suggested Linda’s if it was open. We also knew of a Café called Gracie Joes closer to town. We headed off to Linda’s. The sign read: “Stories, Beer and Wood Burning Stoves”. Oh I got excited about the wood burning stoves. Chris however said “No as it would be too hot”. We walked into the Bar which was fairly dark, and noone was inside. Linda met us with, as we asked about food we were told “there’s no food until Monday” we asked about using the bathroom since having drank the Beer . She had no staff and everyone was taking the weekend off too. Linda then regailed us for sometime with many stories of her life, some locals and many other things. She had is stitches with laughter and almost in tears over a very sad story too. We bid her a fair adue and were off to find food.
Gracie Joes was a lovely cafe where we enjoyed a small snack – perhaps a very late lunch. Myself and Pam decided to try out the fish cakes. They were very tasty.
Back at the cabin Toni told us we had just hiked 10 KM. Thought it was Mostly ALL up hill and stair climbing. The walk down was a much shorter walk. Again at the bottom was a hill and stairs again to the cottage. Time for dinner and prepping of lunch for tomorrow.
Today we decided that we would get up early for a sunrise at Cape Spear Lighthouse. This is the most easterly point of Canada, North America and also the start of the National Parks. Lunch and snacks packed for an adventurous day of travel down the Avalon Loop.
While at Cape Spear we had a glorious sunrise which was met with the fog rolling in and out at various times. We got to photograph both the Old Lighthouse and the New Lighthouse (#6 & 7) with the green glowing lantern. Again we got to hear and see some more whales along the shoreline. We explored the Battery and cannon and we’re blasted with the fog horn various times. Sometime the fog was so thick you couldn’t see the lighthouse except for the green glow of the lantern.
Off we were exploring some many fishing villages along the way. One stop at a convenience store for cash, bathrooms and coffee we also grabbed some Local wine all before breakfast! Needless to say we were not the only ones. Though the clerk did say it might have been the hair of the dog for a few of the locals. Lol!
One small town we stopped to shoot the reflections in the water, we parked on some dirt right up close to the waters edge. The GPS registered “Mudholes” we all laughed and had to get a shot of that. We also got regaled with some interesting stories by one of the locals from the village.
Off exploring we went. We hiked into LA Manche where we see the ruins of an old village and crossed the suspended bridge. We were even greeted with a small waterfall along the side of the rock cliffs. The path down seems to take a route through what looked like an old river bed full of boulders and rocks. Though the bolted down sign pointed that way.
Many fishing villages later and some lunch at a local restaurant with a view of the water. Time for some Fish Chowder. Yummy!
Off to the final stop of the day Ferryland. Well actually Ferryland Lighthouse (8th lighthouses). A short drive into the parking lot and a walk along the rolling hills with water on both sides up to the Lighthouse. If you preorder you can have a gourmet lunch of sandwiches and a dessert from a select list of items. A bit on the pricey side. As we were arriving the Lighthouse ladies were just leaving. We ventured around all side of the Lighthouse. Checked out the rocky shores and even watched and listened to some whales playing along the shoreline. There were small signs stating Danger Cliffs Drop Off Beyond This Point. Yes we did venture out past the signs carefully, but not all the way to where yes the Cliffs do drop off to some very jagged rocky shoreline. This is however something not recommended without extreme caution.
Our original plan was to try and venture down as far as Cape Race Lighthouse should time permit, but also anticipated that Ferryland would be the final destination for the day as it was. With the time now nearing the 14 hour mark from the 4:30am departure. The drive home to the cottage was just over an hour long. Yes it took us all day to go about a 100km and we did walk / hike about 8 KM.
Our final day in St. John’s we took a walking tour of Jellybean Alley. Where all the homes are all tall and skinny and beautifully colored with the colors of Jelly Beans. We were told they were so vibrantly colored to spread some cheer and happiness since most of the time the weather is either foggy, wet, icy or cold. I took a walk up to the Bascillica and took a few pictures. I crossed over to get closer for a few shots but realized I needed to be in the middle of the road to get the whole place in. One local noticed me trying to get a shot but having to keep moving back to the sidewalk quickly. Stopped his car and also stopped traffic the other way and said there you go grab your picture. Take your time. Wow what hospitality. I thanked him greatly and he said glad to be of help. I had been admiring the colorful building also up on the top of the hill from our cottage right beside the Bascillica. The Rooms – a local museum of cultural art. The backside however was the best vantage point and most colorful.
A quick stop for some cash, a stop at Henry’s, a bite to eat at Tim Horton’s we were on our way to Grandfall-Windsor in Central Nfld. It was one of the days with the long drive across the transcontinental highway. What a difference from Ontario the road had little to no traffic anytime we were on it. However it is the only road across the Province.
In Grandfall-Windsor we stayed at the Robin Hood Hotel. They had a continental breakfast provided for us. The clerk was very informative of where to eat and even suggested a few spots for us to check out for tomorrow. Off to dinner at Jungle Jim’s. They had a menu item called the Kitchen Sink. Enough to fill a growing boy. Yes needless to say I sent the photo of the Menu item and description to my son who said it sounded good!
At breakfast the clerk showed us a picture of an iceberg with blue ice we should check out on our way over to the Gros Morne. He also gave us directions to a waterfall called Thunder Brook. A hidden and off the beaten path. Met a local walking her dogs with several children who had gone for a quick morning swim. One of the dogs thought he’d even jump in our van instead of hers. She offered us a few dabs of tetrie oil to ward off the bugs on the trail and warned us the trail to the upper falls would be boggy and wet and was unsure we’d get there. We stopped and photographed both the upper and lower falls. The upper falls was were many of the local kids all jumped off the falls into the pool below. We all thought the lower falls was much more photographic.
Off to explore some fishing villages, in search of Icebergs and Glassy Beach.
We stopped at a Tim Horton’s to pick up some lunch to enjoy on the shore of Glassy Beach in Springdale Nfld. The glass has been washing up here for years after an old glass company closed and dumped all the glass into the Ocean. The glass tumbles over time breaking and becoming smooth. There was even signs asking people to not remove the glass from the beach. They were trying to preserve the beach. We witnessed many people come down with bags and pails and filled them up and carried them out. The beach had some nice glass of various colors. Some was less tumbled than others. A very nice lunch break.
We ventured on and came around a bend with 2 icebergs (up to 9 now) in the bay we got all excited. However they were off in the distance. We thought we could just drive up the coast further and be right beside them. Unfortunately that was not the case. However we did get really excited rounding another bend and a new cove opened up and at that we had found an iceberg. But pleasantly it revealed a completely different Iceberg we called The Dragon. This location also had a fishing boats in the harbour for Toni who was totally into shooting them as her forgound to the iceberg in the background. One of the local fisherman said the iceberg roled in here and was stuck in low tide. He was figuring at high tide that the iceberg would driff furthing into shore. There were many small little bergie floating and drifting towards shore.
This fisherman had a really wonky dock. Signs said it was closed by the Marine Fisheries. He said it was perfectly safe to walk on, but to just walk on the one side. The the dock was paved but had given way on one side and was on a slant going down about 8-10 feet. It got us much closer to the dragon iceberg. For those keeping track we are up to 10 icebergs.
I was watching this one piece of small bergies as it got closer and closer to the beach. All the small pieces were all lining up nicely with the iceberg in the background. Finally another piece broke and floated close enough to shore to grab it and pull it ashore. Yes I got my new hiking shoes wet, but they stayed nice and dry. Pam and I took turns holding the iceberg and taking pictures of each other with the other small piece and iceberg in the background. I was so excited like a kid in a candystore where I had just found the prize piece. Boy that ice was sure cold while holding onto it. I was so tempted to take a lick of the 2000 year old ice water, but wasn’t sure what else could be on the ice from the water that could have made me sick. How fitting of the name of the town Beachside, Nfld. To have an icebrg piece drift into the Beachside.
Yes we even happened upon a Lighthouse in Coffee Cove (# 9) which was built as little cottage. We saw some farmed oyster nets. And on the shore were the wild oysters. Since it was low tide we found a pink starfish on the shore line.
A very good day indeed only following the advice of the locals. Off we head to the Gros Morne where we had accommodations in two rooms at the Holiday Inn in Deer Lake with a breakfast every morning. Even some snack and items for lunch too.
We headed up into the Gros Morne today stopped for our park pass and asked a few questions and explored a few areas and fishing villages along the way.
Knowing how long it takes us to explore each area we decided to head up to the farthest point of our ventures in the Gros Morne so that we could work our way back down to the Hotel in Deer Lake.
Arches Provincial Park this was really interesting. Where the water eroded away the rock to form natural arches. There use to be a total of 7 arches at one time but time, the oceans and ice wore them away and the crumble down. Only 3 still remained. This was a highlight for Pam.
We head down and stopped in Cowhead, Nfld where we ate our 1st fresh Lobster at a Church with a boat filled with delicious homemade salads. On the table were a variety of buns and biscuits. Pam’s and my favorite had to be the Molasses buns. They were heavenly delicious. Our Lobsters all came fully cooked and separated for easier access on a lobster platter. We spoke to some of the servers who told us our lobster were right out of the bay and only about 20-30 minutes old from ocean crate to table. Lobster season in this area was over but the Lobster company stores them there for this event any remaining Lobsters then belong to the Lobster company who then package them and ship them out.
After an early dinner we headed over to the Abandoned Cow’s Head Lighthouse (#10) which was short hike in and out on a circular path that also led us down to the bay and another fishing village. We stopped and shot many of the little cabins. One lady came out and she was from London Ontario and said lots of people stop to shoot her porch. They even come by the bus load. She told us last year was an extremely high snow fall where the snowbanks were about as tall as their house. (They are only there during the summer months) the highways was barely one lane path in places to allow the transports to travel back and forth with the snow and ice higher than the transport trucks.
Today we head for the Western Brook Pond the Fjord boat tour. While on route we were calling for a reservation for our seats. It was a straight drive there no stopping for anything. Then a quickened pace to walk in. Once there we had some time to relax before our trip on the boat. The trip through the Fjord a land locked Lake with high slopes on both sides.There was face in the rock formations as the boat got just at the right angle. I really love seeing faces in rock formations. We had several waterfall. Of course the only name I remember is Pissing Horse Waterfall. Lol! Such a striking name too. The caribou come down through some of the valley paths across the lake and back up the other side of the lake, in all seasons. The weather cooperated nicely, the fog only started rolling in just as we were finishing our trip.
We had a lovely leisurely walk back out and we’re able to take in all the sights along the way. We spotted some skeleton bone on the way in that we figured was a caribou. On the way out we found some hips and legs. It looked pretty fresh so likely the night’s before kill.
Exploring more cove for fishing villages. We stopped in Broom Handle Cove. The rocks all had a sweeping effect out towards sea. There was an interpretive building there which we explored before the tour started. Lots of nets, boat, the makings of lobster traps and various other materials. Here we found a very interesting older couple. She was super impatient and did not like to wait for anything, while her husband was very calm and friendly and enjoyed talking.
Here I found an outhouse all propped up on the front. I called it “the propped shit house”. Pardon my expression. There was a reason for the outhouse being propped so it didn’t blow over during the wind storm especially while you were inside it.
Next stop was Lobster Cove for yet another Lighthouse (#11). This lighthouse had a covered walk way to keep the lighthouse keeping from blowing away while walking to attend the lighthouse in strong gale winds. As this did happen in one of the windy days.
A trail led away from the lighthouse and down 3 or 4 sets of steps. This is where we learned that each set of steps is called a step. I was last to arrive after shooting the lighthouse. I asked a local long the trail how much farther it was, she said just around the next 2 bends and down 3 or 4 steps. I thought oh good as my one knee was a bit sore. However found out that was 3 or 4 sets of steps and decided after going down half down I’d rest a bit. The view was pretty good and decided to shoot from that vantage point.
Today we are half way into out vacation and we have already logged 55 KM of hiking.
We hiked up the Tablelands Trail to a small waterfalls. Took some picture. There was still snow on the tops of the Tablelands. On our way down we ran into the people going the Google mapping of the trails. Both Toni and Chris tried on the equipment and posed for pictures.
In Trout River we discovered another fishing village. Many people had clothes lines full of wool sock, wool mittens, tea cosies and various other knitted work. Some were the original grey work socks while others were vibrate colors.
We got lucky and a fishing boat was unloading cod into buckets and adding lots of ice to preserve it. They scooped it out and weighed it and put it away in storage bins.
Stopped for bite to eat at the Seaside Restaurant for Chowder and Cod Fish Burgers. Also gave us a chance to warm up some too, as the wind was chilly. Also had to try the Bake Apple Cheese Cake. Apparently Bake Apple (fruit) is well known in Nfld. It was delicious.
Next stop was Woody Point, fishing village and a Lighthouse. Woody Point Lighthouse makes number 12. In the harbour was a large cruise ship anchored off shore. They had also been up the Tablelands Trail earlier and were off site seeing on school buses.
The fog rolled in, as a ribbon type of fog just blanketing the ship. It almost appeared as a ghost ship. More whales along the shore. You hear them first and then see them.
Just beyond the lighthouse was another small fishing village which Toni, Pam, and Chris explored while I photographed the lighthouse.
We waited diligently for the cruise ship to sail out of he harbour. They were missing a passenger and delayed the ship departing. Finally the ship came out of the fog as it was clearing some and sailed past the Woody Point Lighthouse. Still a ribbon of fog seen behind the ship.
We bid farewell to Deer lake and we’re on our way to East Port to stay in a house with 7 bedrooms, 10 beds and 6 bathrooms. Two of the rooms shared the main bathroom on the second floor. We all explored each of the rooms before deciding on which room to pick. Pam and I choose each choose a room on the main floor each with a double bed and own bathroom. Toni and Chris opted for rooms upstairs each with double beds. Toni’s had her onsuite bathroom while Chris used the main bathroom next to his room. The other 3 rooms each had 2 beds per room.
We drove on past East Port as we were early to check in and wandered around the village of Salvage, Nfld. Checked out the fishing village, old church and a local restaurant. Out side the restaurant was an interesting display. A lobster pot Christmas Tree even decked out in evergreens
The restaurants close down here at 5pm every night. So we headed across the street to the corner store / grocery store for some food to cook up for dinner, fixings for lunch and breakfast. As this was recommended aa good place to get everything we needed.
We traveled to Twillingate for the lighthouse and winery. Stopped along the way at a few small fishing villages.
Toni chose to walk the last little bit up the hill to the lighthouse for her cardio. At the first look out we were checking for any icebergs. A big gust of wind sprang up and Chris lost his beloved cowboy hat over the jagged cliff edge. He uttered we are not leaving here without the hat. He raced off part way down the trail a few moments only to return for his camera gear and then went down the trail. Pam and I waited for Toni to arrive and told her of the mishap of Chris’s hat. Toni went down the 3.5 KM trail to make sure Chris didn’t need rescuing. Pam and I took the tour up the Twillingate Lighthouse better known as Long Point Lighthouse near Crow’s Nest (#13).
The tour consisted of a guided tour down an enclosed walkway to the lighthouse and up several stair cases to the top. The walls were clad with a foot of cement due to an earthquake. The view was spectacular from all sides. This particular lighthouse was run by 3 lighthouse keepers. The 3rd was the senior lighthouse keeper and was in reserve and worked the third shift when poor weather occurred, and he had his own house. The other 2 lighthouse keepers and their family shared the second accommodations. Pam and I explored around the lighthouse where the rocks were very jagged and signs were posted everywhere about the steep cliffs. There were a few trails leading off along the cliffs to other coves with some interesting names – Devils Cove, Horney Head Cove, and Cuckold Point.
After no success of retrieving the hat, Toni and Chris found Pam and myself and we were on our way again.
Lunch was on a picnic table just at a lovely vantage point looking out to the ocean.
We stopped at another fishing village that had a local fish store with lots to choose from. This was the makings for dinner. I got some smoked fish, and calimari rings. Others got scallops and other fish items. You had your choice of scallops, crab legs, various smoked fish, lobster, both fresh and frozen.
We stopped at the Twillinbury Winery to stock up on some refreshments and drinks for later. They had a wine tasting so you could decide on which wines you wanted to take home. Toni ended up with a case of 12 wines shipped home.
We headed homeward bound and found this old abandoned church in Clark’s Head, the locals referred to it as the Crooked Steeple Church. This church had a large cross that always leaned on the steeple. This Churches days were numbered as it was slated to be demolished soon.
Talk about hospitality one of the neighbor’s saw us photographing the church and apologized for not having the keys for the front door, but graciously brought us a step ladder to peer into the broken windows at the beautiful architecture inside the church. The floor was fairly bowed so not sure how safe it would have been to walk on. We all took turns with the ladder and kindly thanked him for the ladder and chatted a bit about the history of the church. He was kind of sad to see it go.
Everyone has a Dory and they are always tied out in the water aways due to the tide falling and rising. Ever wonder how you get to the Dory? I certainly did as I was thinking you had to swim out or have a second boat to get to shore or the dock. Well that mystery was solved today by one Dory owner. The post the Dory is tied out at well the there is a clothes line that also runs out to that post and the Dory is tied to the line. You just pull it in as if you were bringing in the laundry. What a great idea! Mystery solved.
We had seen a sign in the local store across the road while getting dinner. It said to call Sandy. We did, we were in luck and she could get us some lobsters. We confirmed that we would like at least 4 lobsters but would take 8 or 9 if she could spare them. We made arrangements for the next day to pick them up and also asked our host if he had a lobster pot in which to cook them in. He found us a large lobster pot and also brought over a propane stove to cook them outside on the patio. Fabulous!
It was another sunrise adventure day. Toni, Pam and myself headed to Burnside just 10km away from East Port for sunrise. Chris decided to sleep in that morning.
Today’s adventure had us taking a trip to Happy Adventure for a sight seeing event and picking up the lobsters. We stopped and checked out the village and fishing boats too.
Spotted 2 more lighthouses (up to 15now). One was operational! Lol. As an outhouse yes a Lighthouse Outhouse, and the second one was a storage shed Lighthouse at a Restaurant we headed to have Moose Burgers for lunch. Unfortunately the Moose burgers were only on the dinner Menu so we opted for seafood again.
Toni called Sandy to pick up our lobsters at $7 a lb. She ventured down the hill to get them. When she arrived they only had 3 left. So they went back out to the crates to get more. Toni asked if she could come along for the ride. She left her cell phone on the table with us. So she had no way of reaching us. She actually was just below the restaurant getting our dinner.
You’ll never believe it but we got 9 lobsters with the grand total of 20 lbs. One tipped the scale at 3.16 lbs and several were around the 2 1/2 lb mark with many around the 2lb mark. We were only expecting 1 – 1 1/2 lb lobsters. A quick trip back to East Port to drop off the Lobsters into the fridge that needed some rearranging to get all these guys in there. They were placed in two clear plastic bags. You could hear them talking in the bags.
Back at the Restaurant they had a 13lb lobster caught as contest. He was named ”Gordon” It took two staff to lift him out of the tank for a few candid shots of him. I asked how they knew it was a male. One of the smaller lobsters she look out of the tank and showed us the leg like pieces near where the tail and body joined. If they were hard they were male, if it was soft it was a female.
Did some more exploring of the area where saw Sandy Cove and again headed back to Salvage and up the hiking trail to a lookout. We stopped for a bathroom break and Chris got a glass of screech to send off the final farewell to his hat. I tried a warm cake with partridge berries and a screech sauce on top. Oh it was mighty delicious.
After some fun exploring and a tasty lunch and a snack it was back to the house. Every time you opened the fridge you could hear the lobsters chattering and talking away. Not sure if they were enjoying or complaining about the cold fridge, the light coming on and off, or getting acquainted with each other in close confinements. I guess we shall never know!
Now came the fun of laying them all out on the table and photographing them. I took on the job of sexing them. It seems we got 9 males lobsters no ROE for us. We began giving them names. One was called floppy as when he was turned over to check the sex he frantically starting flapping his tail back and forth oh did we roar with laughter. We even got it on video on our cell phones. I can’t remember all the name and I don’t think they all ended up with names either – perhaps they were just called “Dinner”.
We invited our gracious host over for dinner as we needed some help devouring all these lobster. He however was not a big lobster eater, but did have a tail and a claw or two. Everyone ate their fill of lobster and we had plenty left. Chris got the job of pulling off the tails, claws, and legs and separating them on the appropriate plates for eating.
We had to decide what to do with the left overs. We thought of Grilled Cheese Lobster Sandwiches but ended up making Lobster salad. We divided it into container for lunch/dinner.
We left East Port with some traveling and exploring before we pulled into Spaniards Bay bed and breakfast.
One of the many fishing villages we pulled into was Plates Cove West. There were docks filled with multiple boats all tied up. Lobster Season was over and they were just awaiting the next season of Cod or krill.
We were heading on our way to Bonavista to see my favorite lighthouse of the whole trip. The Cape of Bonavist Lighthouse (#16). This was a circular tower lighthouse with a square house wrapped around it with white walls and big red bold stripes down all the sides. I took a tour of the lighthouse and saw and heard the interpretive info. Each floor had a different person telling you about the artifacts in the lighthouse. Since the tower remained cold it was a natural refrigeration by packing the food into the special cupboard to keep your food cold. This lighthouse was not functional and they have errected a skeleton lighthouse (#17) out of front of this lighthouse. There is a lighthouse keepers house next door where the lighthouse keeper monitors the weather conditions and makes sure the signal is working. (now 17 lighthouses)
A final stop for the day was Elliston where Pam was excited to see the Puffins. A native bird of Newfoundland and the East Coast. We walked the trail out to the cliffs and saw a few puffins doing their dance to their mate. These birds are borrowers and build nests in the cliffs edge. The mate come out dusts himself off and then diives back into the hole. Some of the locals said they were about 2 weeks late on the puffins coming into mate. There was not as many there as expected. It was a waiting game to capture a puffin on camera even with a telephoto lens. Still they were really cool to see and watch their dance ritual.
Elliston is also an area that proudly proclaims to be the most Root Cellars per capita. Another form of refrigeration before electricity. Some are quite large. Easy to walk into with a large room at the end where the food was stored to help keep it fresh and last longer.
Then the long journey into Spanaird Bay for our Bed and Breakfast. Pam and I each had a room on the second floor each with a double bed. Chris and Toni each had a room on the 3rd floor. The bathroom for all of us was up on the 3rd floor. However one guest did not show up and Pam and I got to use that rooms bathroom during the night. We dinned in out rooms on our lovely Lobster Salad and buns before heading to bed. There were 2 other rooms on the second floor who had 2 guests from the US both retired school teachers touring Nfld.
At Spainards Bay this was a true bed and breakfast. We had a choice of a few breakfast items to choose from.
We had our breakfast earlier and the two ladies joined up part way through breakfast. Our host had a loads of choices to go and visit and explore around the area.
We were taking a tour around the Irish Loop. 1st stop was Hant’s Harbour as I saw a sign for a lighthouse. We went exploring. Found a sign leading to the lighthouse. The road ended and we asked the person in the last house how do we get to the lighthouse. He said walk across his lawn and the trail starts there. We were free to park anywhere we wished. This lighthouse was a pyraimid type lighthouse however it had no window in the bottom except for the light room on top. It was functioning and was registered as an operational Lighthouse. (#17)
An other fishing village with boats again all tied up and docked until the next season starts.
We stopped into Grates Cove Studio which was a creole restaurant in a school house. Where we all tried a delicious dish of Etoufee which was made with a lobster biscique reduced and snow crabs and perfectly spiced. It was topped off with a jalepeno corn cheddar muffin. This was certainly a delicious lunch. A bit more on the pricey side but we’ll worth it. This studio had crafts, arts, teas, books, and a variety of menu items.
Verte de Bay was another stop we had views from both sides of the ocean from about the cliffs and another fishing village with some workers working at the fish factory. The shift was just ending as many of the men were leaving at the end of their shift.
Bradley’s Cove at Western Bay had it all for us! A lovely walk out a boardwalk and trail to yes another Lighthouse (#18). Western Bay Lighthouse. It was a skeleton lighthouse. The old pyramid one was replaced and torn down due to damage. We had an iceberg (#11), humpback whales, puffins, a lighthouse and gorgeous scenery. What more could we ask for. Well we said a bull moose strategically placed to get the lighthouse, moose and iceberg all in the shot.
I can’t say we were totally moose less we did see 2 moose. One however was dead. As well as a Caribou carcass, and a bunny too.
A few bays over were 2 more pieces of the iceberg. We still called them icebergs (13 iceberg whoo hoo!)
The locals were telling us that the bigger iceberg at Bradley’s Cove had been stuck there for about a week in 140 feet of water. Most of the iceberg is under water. They were expecting the iceberg to crack again as there is a big blue line which indicates a crack. Also the color blue is because the ice and water are so compacted and pressured that it turns blue.
The next and final stop was dinner. As we have learned everyone one closes up early. Some places were not suitable for eating at. Even by the locals. We ended up at the pub just beside our B&B and we were rocking the whole joint by ourselves and the waitress/bartender. A couple people also dropped into play the video games.
Time for some packing and reorganizing to head home tomorrow.
We were getting to be experts at iceberg chasing. As Toni said similar to storm chasing but much safer!
Loggy Bay a final stop before lunch and the airport. Yes an iceberg that had just split but had not drifted away from each other. That brings the total of 15 icebergs.
They had a really cool outdoor aquatic show of various sea creatures from the ocean. Even pumped the ocean water into the tank. My favorite was the 9 armed purple starfish. In the photograph it looks more pink. They also had anemone, coral, scallop, shrimp eggs, crabs, etc. It was really great to touch and feel them up close.
After an enjoyable lunch and we headed to the airport where we returned out van – Lobster Rolls and loaded all the luggage onto the buggies and checked into the airport. We had heard some flights got cancelled a few days ago due to some construction on the runway. We were all hoping our flight didn’t get cancelled. Luckily we did not get cancelled but the flight before us did also landing in Toronto but going on further. Needless to say our flight was then booked solid trying to accommodate the stranded passengers. We were only 15 minutes departing not too bad.
Safely arrived home and found our own way back home.
The trip was an amazing experience. We pushed our selves and came out the better for it. Would I do it again? YES!
Planning a trip for a group of people hold some challenges trying to cover what each person is interested in shooting. We had a meeting before the trip to strategically planed out our route. Each person already had an itinerary which showed were we ere staying. We were to research areas or places wanted to see on the trip.
Toni had the fishing villages and Nfld culture. Maureen was into the lighthouses, Pam wanted nature, the arches and of course the Puffins. Chris got the abandoned village and was happy to shoot a lot of things on the trip.
Interest running tally or tidbits of info
* 15,000+ photos totally combined on everyone’s camera and cell phones
* 4,248 KM round trip flight distance
* 3,423 KM driving distance
* 100 KM hiked
* 25+ LBS of Lobster consumed
* Various other seafood consumed
* Many fishing villages
* 18 Lighthouses
* 15 Icebergs
* 14 days of vacation (2 weeks)
* Multiple whales (minkies, humpback, and othes)
* Many Puffins
* 8 Ducks sunning on the side of the road, (5 ducks and 3 ducklings)
* 4 Photographers
* 3 Eagles
* 2 Moose (1 dead)
* 1 Caribou carcass of bones
* 1 Bear
* 1 Rabbit
* And we said our Good-byes & toasted to the “hat”