All posts by Mallee Stanley

I grew up in Australia, but like many Ausies, I wanted to explore the world. After two years travelling around my birth country, I bought a one-way ticket in India and since those early travel days, have never lost the bug. I'm the author two published short stories (in New Beginnings) and several unpublished manuscripts set in various places I've lived. Two are set in East Africa, another set mainly in Sri Lanka and Ireland, a fourth set in New Zealand and Australia, a fifth set in Puducherry. I'm currently researching my next with links to Japan. I now call Canada home. This blog is about my travel experiences. If you visit readandwrite.blog/author/malleestanley, you'll find short book reviews of my 5 out of 5 reads and what I've learned about writing.

What is it about rocks?

Because of the rich pickings from marine life in Port au Choix, this was another ancient spot where once early Inuit groups, then the Dorset Paleo-Eskimo, and finally the Beothuk had lived over the last 3 000 years before Europeans arrived to chase the Beothuk inland where they couldn’t survive. On the way I spotted a moose in the distance crossing the road. The huge animal stopped briefly as it munched its way through the forest.

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Gros Morne National Park

After my Fleur des Lys detour, I drove to Corner Brook on the western side of Newfoundland and arrived late in the afternoon. This was close to Newfoundland’s largest, most well-known national park. Gros Morne had been established as a reserve back in 1973, then a UNESCO heritage site in 1987, and finally a national park in 2005. This was not only due to its diverse landscape, but its clear evidence of continental drift exposing plate tectonics. 

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Fleur des Lys 

Because another connection with Newfoundland’s past inhabitants was found in Fleur des Lys, I tried to book accommodation there. With a population of around two hundred residents, this explained why there was nothing available, so I had to drive north into the village and out again on the same day. From the harsh winters, the highway to this remote location was a series of ups and downs and sunken holes, so even though there was little traffic, it was slow going.

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Boyd’s Cove’s Beothuk past

In one of my Canadian studies courses I was compelled to complete when I first came to Canada, I learned about the Beothuk—the original inhabitants of Newfoundland. They covered their bodies in red clay to ward off mosquitoes and when Europeans arrived, they mistakenly gave them the name, red skins. 

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 Carmanville Wetlands

Musgrave Harbour turned out to be a nice surprise despite its early name—Muddy Hole. Not only did I stay in a cute two-bedroom cabin where I had a washing machine, but there was a great beach with lots to explore and a good restaurant right against the sea. My eye was on Carmanville Wetlands however, almost thirty kilometres ahead.

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Deadman’s Bay Provincial Park

This straight stretch of coastland against the Atlantic Ocean with fine grained white sand was known as Straight Shore. I drove through Lumsden that in the 18th century had been visited by French fishers, then known as Cat Harbour.

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Tera Nova National Park

Many of the places I stayed were B & Bs, mostly run by women, like my Bonavista stay. They usually had one or the other reaction when I rolled in and they discovered I was travelling alone. I’d see a far away look in their eyes as if they wished they could do the same and never would, or there’d be that question, “Aren’t you afraid to travel around alone?” I almost burst out laughing the first time I heard this. In Newfoundland? Where you don’t even lock a car door? Must be the safest place on earth.

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Elliston’s special treat

Along the highway from Bonavista to Elliston, garden plots dotted the side of the road (featured photo). This was where locals grew their vegetables before the harsh winters. Wouldn’t people stop and steal their crops? No, I was told. No one had experienced this kind of theft according to locals. I also spotted root sellers in Elliston and Maberly. These were where an earlier generation once stored their food like an outdoor refrigerator. It couldn’t have been fun traipsing outside to collect vegetables and whatever else they stored in them during the winter. But I was headed to a peninsula just out of Elliston to see puffins.

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Trinity East to Bonavista

After my Earhart detour, I drove to Trinity East along quiet highways where traffic was at a minimum. It was the six-kilometre Sherwink Trail I was headed to where I hiked through forest, past cliffs, and up, down, and around to a beach. Stacks stood offshore. At one point, a sign explained how capelin came to spawn on the beach below where the females layed up to 5 000 eggs. Fog rolled in and the sound of a warning horn reverberated through the grey mist. During the entire hike, I never saw another person as if the trail was mine.

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Amelia’s Harbour Grace

From the south of Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula, I drove north to Harbour Grace, a small town with a five-hundred-year European history. Originally founded by the French in 1517, it became a thriving fishing community because Channel Islanders fished off Newfoundland’s coast. Cod and seals were caught in abundance. But like other maritime provinces, squabbles between the French and English were common. However, I hadn’t come to Harbour Grace for this history but for its connection to Amelia Earhart. 

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