Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Fogo, Twillingate, Moreton’s Harbour: All around the circle

“ I asked my colleagues where you should camp”  Vicky announced innocently on our second evening in St. John’s. “They said you shouldn’t camp in Newfoundland.”  Apparently the consensus at work was that the cold would freeze us and the mosquitoes would deal with the leftovers.  Only slightly daunted, we set off the next day with our brand new tent in the back of the car and a solid agreement to head to a cosy B&B if either threat became unbearable. This was balanced with the awareness that it would be virtually impossible to disappoint the monkeys (and secretly ourselves) who had been looking forward to sleeping in a tent for ages (and ages according to Emma).
The first stop on our inland tour was Twillingate, Iceberg Capital of the World.  One of the primary goals of our road tour was to catch a glimpse of one of these icy giants.  We'd checked the Environment Canada ice charts and were disappointed to see that there were no icebergs in the area.  Still, we drove the extra 300 kilometres to the Iceberg Capital of the World to see for ourselves.  Upon arrival we were told that the nearest icebergs were to be found in Labrador and although we considered it, we decided that the 36 hour ferry ride was too much.  Undaunted we enjoyed the lovely surroundings of Twillingate and found a small camp ground to set up our tent.  It was a indeed buggy and cold.  But the giggles of the monkeys frolicking about in the tent and our glass of wine around the campfire after they were asleep more than made up for a little itchiness and goosebumps.   On our way out of Twillingate, we stopped at the Prime Berth Twillingate Fishing museum.  While the monkeys searched for hermit crabs, Seb and I took turns wandering about the fish making stations and reading some exciting seafaring tales. A wonderfully whimsical museum with some interesting twists:    

“When anyone asks how I can best describe my experience in nearly 40 years at sea, I merely say, uneventful. Of course there have been winter gales, and storms and fog the like, but in all my experience, I have never been in any accident of any sort worth speaking about. I never saw a wreck and never have been wrecked, nor was I ever in any predicament that threatened to end in disaster of any sort. You see, I am not very good material for a story.”
Captain Smith, Commander of Titanic

Our next campground was in the Lockston Path Provincial Park.  Tenting remained exciting for the monkeys and Seb and I continued to enjoy our evening campfires, chatting and staring at the stars.

The town of Trinity is located at about a 15 minute drive from Lockston Path.  On Wednesdays and Saturdays in the summer the local summer theatre group performs its award-winning pageant. We followed the actors around the beautifully preserved town as they presented pieces depicting the life and history of the village.  Having enjoyed it so much we immediately bought tickets for the dinner theatre that evening.  Dinner theatre was a frolic of local music and stories and  Emma and Macsen had good fun dancing to the accordion, the fiddle and the ugly stick. 

Down in Bonavista, we took a tour of the replica of the Matthew, the ship that brought John Cabot and his crew to Newfoundland in 1497. The ship was actually named after Cabot's wife Mathea but ship's at the time were only given male names...even though they are all female...go figure.   Seb and I were quite astonished by the sparse living conditions aboard the boat and returned to the relative luxury of the Pjotter with pleasure. 

We returned for a last weekend in St John's with Vicky and Olous and the kids.  They took us to the Brigus Blueberry Festival and another local folk festival and we had some good barbecues in their garden. 

A weather window appeared for a trip to St Pierre and we readied the boat and ourselves for a late Monday departure.  After tearing Emma and Macsen away from Rogan and Naya and saying a fond and grateful goodbye to Olous and Vicky we were off.  We hope to see them again soon!
It is also time for a tearful goodbye to Newfoundland.  Our original plan was to return via Port aux Basques but time and weather has prevented us. In six weeks we have only scratched the surface of this wonderful province and it has left us wanting more.  Farewell Newfoundland, we will certainly be back to your beautiful shores!

**Bob and Kat, in Port aux Basques, if you read this please send us your email address! 

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