Monday, 4 August 2014

Newfoundland- The South West

Newfoundland- The South West

We beat Arthur to the shores of Newfoundland. Although he had been downgraded to a sub-tropical storm, he was headed our way. We woke up to a foggy day,

checked out the Visitors’ Centre and loaded up with reading material and maps.
The forecast suggested there would be strong winds beginning Saturday afternoon, so the staff suggested we head out right away to avoid being caught at Wreckhouse.

Wreckhouse when we passed it,
Wreckhouse without the fog

The story goes that winds are so strong, recorded up to 200 km per hour, that sweep down Wreckhouse mountain, that railway cars were once blown off the track. Lochie McDougal was hired by the Reid Rail Company to report when conditions were dangerous due to winds. On one occasion, when his advice wasn’t taken, 22 rail cars blew right off the tracks. Large  transport trucks will not drive through in high winds, but  wait out the bad weather either in Codroy or Port au Basque.

We left right away for Grand Codroy RV/Tent Camping Park, and were alright even in the fog.

It is a beautiful park with large level sites,

the site across from ours
clean, good washrooms and delightful owners, and a brand new Craft Shop with beautiful art and local crafts. A Fantasy Tours caravan of Class A’s came in at 10:30 pm the first night we were there, just after Arthur. The park was full, but hardly looked it, it is so well laid out.

The mat disappeared, in spite of being weighted down.

That night the winds howled, the rains poured and the trailer shook. We lost the mat at the front door, and 2 chocks blew out from the wheels and under the trailer.

Once the good weather rolled in, we drove out to the white sand beaches of the Grand Codroy Provincial Park

The Gulf side- crashing waves
The lake side-calm waters
and to the beautiful Cape Anguille Lighthouse,

the most westerly point in Newfoundland. The road to the lighthouse was full of potholes, and there is an Inn there! We were glad we had 4-wheel drive.

We met up with friends we had seen in Glen Rouge, and went out for dinner at the Silver Sands Restaurant. Three of us ordered marinated moose steak- not to our liking though, tasty but much too tough.
One day we decided to drive back into Channel-Port au Basques,

as we had arrived in the middle of the night! It is a pretty town- of course up and down hills, with some very tight turns. We did a bit of food shopping, walked along the boardwalk,

Turning- island is on the right
turned around
and then watched the ferry we had been on, dock. It is amazing how it drives in, then turns 360, so its stern is at the dock for the cars to drive off. To make it even more tricky, there is an island in the middle of the harbour.
The next day we headed up the coast to Stephenville. We stayed at Zenzville Campground, just west of the town in Kippens. It was an” interesting” park. There are sites in the forest, and some with bushes between them, in and around a large field.

Our site was quite private
The washrooms were clean, but quite dark. There was a swimming pool and a canteen beyond the campground.
Stephenville, once known as the Acadian Village, was interesting. We drove in through a huge airport, unused hangers and buildings on one side and unused airstrips on the other.  It used to be the Ernest Harmon US Air Force Base during WWII and the Cold War, housing personnel and their families. Evidence of this American presence still remains in the streets named after US states. Quaint shops line Main Street, while large Walmart, Coleman’s, and Dominion stores, car dealers, and fast food are a few streets away. It has an airport with one of the longest runways in Newfoundland, at 10,000 ft.
Using Zenzville as our base, we took a trip out to the Port au Port peninsula. We had been advised to travel clockwise, so we headed across the causeway

and towards Cape St. George. The scenery is beautiful. Around every bend is a new vista- sometimes cliffs right down to St. George’s Bay,

Looking over a rugged cliff at the shoreline
Huge cliffs, right to the water

sometimes rocky beaches,

One of many rocky beaches on the west coast

past Felix Cove, Campbell’s Creek and Jerry’s Nose. We saw a sign saying "Hidden Falls, and decided to check it out. We found beautiful falls,

Hidden Falls

and fresh lobster.

At 1 1/2 lb each, we chose 2 for dinner, at $5 each!

Looking down on the lobster hut, and boat from a cliff path

We discovered a delightful little harbour.

 and fields of daisies and lupins leading us up to Cape St. George.

More beautiful lupins

Cape St. George is supposed to be one of the best places to see whales. We stood in the howling wind for over 20 minutes scanning the waters of the Bay and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, but no whales.

Looking over the cliff at Cape St. George

Finally, we gave up and drove NE toward Lourdes. There is a long spit of land which goes to Winterhouse and out to Black Duck Brook. At Winterhouse, we discovered a one room schoolhouse,  a small church and a graveyard.

The school house and cemetery

A beautiful beach beside the school

We wandered for a while, peeking in the school windows. It looked as if teacher and students had gone out, but would return any minute.
We then headed back to Lourdes and the beautiful Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, which was built in 1987.

The entrance


The last part of our journey brought us around West Bay and back to Port au Port West and the campground.

The next day, we headed to Corner Brook. It was a lovely drive through forested hills and past beautiful lakes and rivers.

Tree covered mountains

As we approached Corner Brook, we saw part of the city laid out beside us.

Around the bend, a view of the city of Corner Brook

The view of the mountains as we pulled off the highway
We had decided to stay at Prince Edward Campground, run by the Kinsman, just outside the city.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoying your blog, we've covered a lot of the same territory in Newfoundland. We're blogging as well.