Friday - August 17, 2007

This morning we woke up to rain, not just a gentle rain but a very heavy rain which lasted until early afternoon. We decided that this was an indoor dinner day so I put a pot roast in the slow cooker. Once the rain stopped we went and visited the Twillingate Museum, what a bargain for $1.00 each, it was very interesting with lots of tidbits about local history.

After the museum we drove along the shore back as far as the last causeway, we were surprised that there were houses all the way but no little communities per se - a pretty drive with an interesting shoreline. One thing we have noticed about Newfoundland is that the houses are all over the place, there is no obvious layout – it would be an Ontario planner’s nightmare here!!

When we got back we stopped at the library and I checked my e-mail and uploaded my blog then we went to the grocery store – all I can say is that I would go insane if this was the only grocery shopping place I had – Margie don’t complain about Kincardine!!!

We came back I did laundry – this was a real weird one where it was $2/load on the honour system, they were residential washers and dryers and there was a box to put your money in. After starting my laundry I discovered one washer didn’t agitate, (there were only two washers and dryers) so I had to wait for the one to do then pull the wet clothes out of the one that didn’t agitate and do them in the other one – thankfully it was the honour system so I didn’t lose any money, but it did take a lot longer to do the laundry, at least it is done for a while again. I was thankful that dinner was pretty well ready as it was after 7 p.m. when I got done doing laundry.

Here’s hoping that tomorrow will be a nice day.

Another View from Lighthouse Hill

View from Lighthouse Hill

Long Point Lighthouse

Thursday - August 16, 2007

Today was mainly a pretty nice day, it was sunny and cloudy but warm so we didn’t complain. We left Grand Falls-Windsor and drove to Twillingate and the drive wasn’t too bad, the road was kind of rough in spots but on the whole not too bad. Twillingate is on an island and we had to cross three causeways to get here.

We got to Peyton Woods RV Park and got set up, then drove to the Twillingate Light House and what a wonderful view from there, it looks right out into the Atlantic and the shoreline here is different again – it is very craggy and rough, but beautiful. Just when we got to the lighthouse it clouded over but we were lucky that when we climbed up the lighthouse it didn’t rain so we could enjoy the wonderful view. The lighthouse is very much like the one at Point Clarke but here the view is very different.

After the lighthouse we drove out to Durrell which is at the end of the Road to the Isles peninsula, on the other side from Twillingate, and again what a pretty drive. Now, we are back into seeing houses clinging to the hillside and the roads are so steep that I can’t see over the dash when going up or coming down – thank goodness John was driving!

We stopped at the library at Twillingate and I got hooked onto the internet without any problem so checked my e-mail, posted my blog from yesterday and a few pictures, so that is done for another day or two. Just before we got back to the park the rain started and came down in torrents for about 10 minutes then it cleared off again – go figure but we won’t argue.

After dinner we walked down to the water and it was really windy but a wonderful view out into the ocean, what a nice way to end the day.

Botwood Harbour

Dragon Fly

First Mate Chris & Capt'n Ed Who Took Us On the Wonderful Mussel Bound Tour

View of Fortune Bay from Fairy Hill

Mussel Farm at Fortune Bay

Wednesday, - August 15, 2007

Today was a gorgeous day, what a bonus. We headed out for Fortune Harbour this morning for our Mussel Bound Tour and gave ourselves plenty of time to get there. We toured around Botwood on the way. It is a pretty little town on the Bay of Exploits and then to Fortune Harbour. There were a couple of small villages, some nice scenery, but not much else and the road was a bit rough in spots, but otherwise, not bad. We got to Fortune Harbour and drove around looking for some place to have lunch, and not finding anything we went to where the tour was and lo and behold it was a B & B and when we walked in it smelled wonderful – homemade soup. It turns out that not only is it a B & B but the woman who runs it also caters to tour groups coming for the Mussel Tour, so we were able to get a lunch of really good homemade beef soup and a raisin tea biscuit.

It turned out that we were the only people there for the tour today so we got wonderful attention and could ask lots of questions – hope we didn’t drive Captain Ed and First Mate Chris crazy! We toured the bay then went out over Little Tickle into the Atlantic. Because it was so calm we went out in the ocean a bit and got a chance to try jigging for cod – unfortunately the cod weren’t as co-operative as we would have liked and we didn’t even get a bite!

We then returned to the harbour and toured the area where they harvest the mussels, and got a lesson on mussel aquaculture. We were told that because the water is so cold there it takes about 2-1/2 years from the time they start the mussels growing on the ropes until the time they can be harvested. Chris said that around P.E.I. it only takes about 1-1/2 years, the reason being that the water is much warmer and they grow faster. However, because of the warmer water, the mussels are not as clean and require a cleaning process before they can be sold.

We docked at Fairy Hill and walked up the hill (approx. 130 steps to the top) for a wonderful view of the bay. Chris walked up with us, and when we got back to the boat Ed had a pot of mussels steamed and ready to eat. Man, were they good!!! John and I then got ‘screeched in’ (an age-old ritual complete with tests and, finally, a libation that makes us honourary ‘Newfies’) after which Ed played a couple of tunes on the accordion and then on the way back to the main dock Ed played some real nice Newfoundland songs on the guitar as well as singing them – wonderful.

This tour is not very well advertised, we only found it by reading itineraries for a few caravans and seeing that they were doing it, which is a real shame as it is a great tour and very interesting. Anyone coming this way should check out and if at all possible take the tour – it leaves from Fortune Harbour daily at 2 p.m. and the cost is $40/person. Many thanks Ed and Chris for a wonderful afternoon!

Falls at Exploits River

Tuesday - August 14, 2007

Well, it rained all night last night and kept on going this morning, it would stop for a few minutes so John would run out and do a bit to get ready to go then come back in until there was another lull, so we didn’t get away until about 11. We drove to Grand Falls-Windsor, about 220 km so not a bad drive. The drive was through the middle of the province rather than along the coast so wasn’t as scenic as we have had but the highway was good and there wasn’t a lot traffic. We are now set up at Sanger Memorial Park and it is a very nice park – big sites and full hook ups. They have wi-fi but you can only get it by the office, so we will either have to sit in the truck to use it or at a picnic table. There seem to be a lot of black flies here so I guess we will probably sit in the truck out of bugs way!! They were very busy here, which really surprised us, so I have called and made reservations at Twillingate from Thursday to Sunday inclusive, we don’t want to get up there and find out they are full!

When we got here the sun was shining so after we got set up we decided to go into town and check out the Salmonid Interpretation Centre and it was very interesting. The Exploits River, the largest river on the island, runs by Grand Falls but because the falls are so high the salmon couldn’t get up the river to spawn, so in the 60’s the government built a ladder for the salmon to get up the river. There are 35 rungs on the ladder and the gal at the interpretation centre said a young salmon can get up the rungs in about 20 minutes but it would take all day for an older salmon to make the run. We stood where the ladder started and watched a number of salmon jump up, and also watched a couple get tossed back down by the rushing water, and then at the top we watched quite a few make the last jump – very interesting. We also learned that the Atlantic salmon don’t die after spawning like the Pacific salmon do.

Just as we were ready to head back to the truck it started to rain, luckily we made it to the truck before it really started to come down as it has been coming down in torrents since then (I think the barbecuer is going to get damp tonight!). We drove into Grand Falls-Windsor but by then it was raining so hard you couldn’t see a thing so we gave up and came home. We did see a large Sobey’s as well as Dominion so tomorrow I will check them out for fresh produce but I couldn’t be bothered today as we would have got soaked getting in and out of the store.

We have booked the mussel bound tour for tomorrow afternoon so here’s hoping the weather is nice for it!

Monday - August 13, 2007

Today we were off to Corner Brook to get the service done on our truck, it was a major one so we knew it would take a bit of time to do but hadn’t planned on all day!!

We got to the dealers shortly after 10 and we got the truck back at 5:30 – a long day. We had the courtesy car take us to a mall so that helped pass a few hours but it was still about 1-1/2 hours after we got back to the dealers before the truck was done. I got a blouse, a top and a couple of pairs of pants so was happy to get a few things as it is starting to get cool and I don’t have many long pants.

We headed to the grocery store before leaving town as I needed a few things and guess what – there was hardly any fresh produce, talk about Mother Hubbard’s cupboard being bare – grrrr!! We did get pretty well everything else we needed and as it was so late I got a cooked chicken and a couple of salads for dinner and was glad I had as it started to rain as we were walking out of the store.

One thing I was looking for was a new vest but there wasn’t a vest to be had at the mall, then when we came out of the grocery store I noticed a Mark’s Work Warehouse so we went in and they had lots of fleece vests, plus they were 60% off, so a really good deal. Now I am all set for cooler weather, but hope that now that I am ready for it the weather stays warm!!

Last night 20+ RV’s came in for the night, they were part of a caravan so I checked out the web page for this company and tour. The caravan was 53 days, it started in Quebec City then went around the Gaspe, did the Bay of Fundy etc., Prince Edward Island, Halifax, Peggy’s Cove, then crossed over to Argentia and did Newfoundland and were crossing back at Port au Basque and ending the tour with 2 days at Louisbourg – all for a cost of $7,200 (U.S.). Of course this does not include fuel, groceries, etc. When we stopped to drop off our garbage on the way out of the park this morning there were 3 people standing talking so we chatted with them for a few minutes, I asked if they had done the mussel bound tour and they said no, all they did was drive, stop, set up, make dinner and the day was done. They said they had had 4 days at Twillingate which they had enjoyed but the rest was mainly just driving, sure sounded like fun to us – NOT!! We had the distinct impression that they were not pleased with the tour and couldn’t wait for it to end.

Bonne Bay with Norris Point & Mountains in Background

Sunday - August 12, 2007

Today was a gorgeous day and what a drive it was from Rocky Harbour through Gros Morne Park, the scenery was absolutely stunning and we had wonderful views of Gros Morne, the Tableland as well as all the other mountains surrounding Bonne Bay. When we did the drive two weeks ago it was raining and the view wasn’t great because of the weather but today made up for it, we were sure glad we got to see it on a nice day!

We are now at Deer Lake and a caravan came in after us, there are about 23 trailers in the caravan that is out of the states. I checked it out on the internet and the cost of the 51 day caravan from Quebec City to here and back to Louisbourg is $7200 (US) – ouch!!

After we got set up we drove in to check out Deer Lake, that didn’t take long as it is not a large place, for some reason we thought it was larger than it is. Tomorrow we have to go back to Corner Brook to get the truck serviced, fun!