Tag Archives: Newfoundland

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. 

Continue reading Gros Morne National Park

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.

Continue reading Fleur des Lys 

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. 

Continue reading Boyd’s Cove’s Beothuk past

 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.

Continue reading  Carmanville Wetlands

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.

Continue reading Deadman’s Bay Provincial Park

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.

Continue reading Tera Nova National Park

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.

Continue reading Elliston’s special treat

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.

Continue reading Trinity East to Bonavista

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. 

Continue reading Amelia’s Harbour Grace

Cape St Mary’s Ecological Reserve

One hundred and seventy-five kilometres from St John’s, was Cape St Mary’s Ecological Reserve that was established in 1983. The sixty-four square kilometre reserve, of which most was ocean, was bird haven. Situated on the southernmost tip of the Avalon Peninsula, was the largest nesting colony of gannets in Newfoundland—some 30,000.

Continue reading Cape St Mary’s Ecological Reserve