Our penultimate day in Newfoundland we spent at Gros Morne National Park on the west coast where the mountains meet the inlets and winds keep the black flies away. Alice and Pat had found scores of showy lady slipper plants they took us to see. The men went fishing while Alice and I wiled away the afternoon on the beach in the sun. The water in the secluded bay was almost warm enough to swim, certainly warmer than Lubec where we are now. No Icebergs but a dynamite yarn shop and some rugged trails. We camped without rain and headed down the coast the following morning.
Tom finally spotted a moose that almost got hit by a tractor trailer when we stopped to watch it. We stopped at a rock shop, Meyer’s Minerals, a great find with a knowledgable stone cutter and wonderful specimen. Found out the purest white marble comes from…Conche. We hadn’t noticed even the “dirt” road into the town where we stayed for a week was crushed white stone! If we return to NL we will be doing some rock hounding with a book from Meyer’s Minerals.
We have been off line for a couple of days but I will try to reconstruct beautiful Fogo Island. Thursday the weather was perfect, we left our site at Dildo Park for the day and boarded the ferry at 11:00, a huge boat that took 60 cars, trucks. With the provincial prices we only paid $13. for everything. The ride was spectacular, islands, shoals, and birds slid by as we chatted with a couple from Bangor, ME. Fogo Island is 30 kil. long so you really need a vehicle. We stopped at a cafe for lunch, I chatted with a man mowing the lawn of one of the town churches who directed us to one of the many walks. We were saddened to learn there was a camp grounds run by the Lion’s Club on the island, we would’ve stayed out there. The pictures will tell all.
Tom and I went to see the Split Peas a singing group that is one of the major attractions here in Twillingate. A rainy night it was fun to be in a place with so many joyous people. The ticket taker at the the door asked us where we were from and she had gotten a doctorate at BU, our alma mater. The ladies were funny and good musicians, the atmosphere and the music reminiscent of an earlier era. We dined on Toutons and tea which is fried dough with partridge berry jam and strong black tea. Some Mummers appeared during the performance and I won the door prize ( out of seventy people), a CD of Split Peas’ music so yo can all hear when I get home. It was great see pictures.
Dildo in the old days meat ‘safe place’ and this was a safe harbor, I asked. The park is lovely with lots of inlets, we camped right on the water so we just drag the kayaks down to put in. Lots of bugs here but our camp is secure from the rain, I hope. Yesterday was sunny high 80ies, today hot but partially cloudy. Kayaking we found jelly fish in an inlet. It is hard to believe it’s the ocean not a lake, the waters are so calm, then I spot a huge iceberg floating majestically by. A group of seven icebergs led a parade yesterday and Tom got cooler ice from a broken one. We did a hike in the evening by a pond to a peak where we could see…wait for it…more icebergs, then dined in a quaint fish house. I had huge crab legs and mussels, Tom had a cod burger, everything was fresh including the partridge berry sauce on the ice cream.
Rain is no time to start camping. After a lovely, sunny, hot day paddling around the bay off Gros Morne National Park in Lomont, we had a rough night of rain, leaking tent and general sogginess. After a breakfast with Melniks, Jeff, Penneys Jr. & Sr. we left to explore a part of Central Newfoundland that Mark touted as spectacular. We drove the NL Highway, there’s only one, making one stop at the Insectarium which was spectacular, insects on display from everywhere in the world. Across central NL to the exit for Twillingate which we found at the top of a series of green, rocky islands linked by causeways. Rain followed us all the way, heavy at times. We passed through moose detection zones with flashing lights, but no sign of moose. Tom has been disappointed. After hearing the damage they do to vehicles and people, I am just as glad not to ‘run into one.’
The B&B is comfortable, the gentleman who let us in told us that they had vacancies because someone who rented the whole place had died. What good luck? We had scallops and fries on the road so we plan to attend another music night, about half the price of the last one, all the musicians are women. Ought to be good fun, the audience can buy fried dough, not delightful for me but I will survive. The prices of knitted goods are very reasonable here as well. I hope the rain will stop tomorrow so we can explore the town, it’s nicknamed the iceberg capital of the world…just what I need, more photographs of icebergs!
After a last walk along the cliffs at Conche, we visited the Thrombolites (I may have to look up the spelling) 650 million year old rock formations of algae and bacteria, oldest in the world, only others are in Australia. Then a quick stop in the rain at “Arches” a rock formation on the rocky coast.
While camping is not my forte, Tom has recently purchased an air mattress so I can’t complain. Last night while a rain storm raged we “camped” in a motel near a theater that featured real NL singers. The show cost $27. a ticket which matches prices in Northampton but as it was the only show in town and we hadn’t done anything ‘cultural’ in a while so we went.
Jigs, sea shanties, stories and tall tales made for a pleasant evening. Prizes for the furthest visitors went to someone from California, the English visitor contended the decision. This morning bright sun and a pleasant drive but I will show you some of the stormy shots from yesterday which were better.
Our gracious hostess here in Conche is my nephew Dan’s mother-in-law, Joan Simmonds, one of the heads of the French Shore Historical Society Interpretive Center which is open everyday for visitors to view a variety of artifacts from the area as well as the Tapestry of the Treaty of Utrecht. The stories surrounding these exhibits are wonderful and too many to recount here but they tapestries are all done by the hands of local women who are still working on portions. They are well worth a visit as well as another extensive tapestry is on view on an upper floor.