After an overnight at Premier Inn on Bath Road drove the few
yards to Quality Parking next door for transfer to LHR. Not a
good start as Air Canada Lounge door was stuck shut so got vouchers
for food outlets. Good flight and easy arrival at Halifax with
very helpful staff on information. Got free shuttle (every 30
minutes all day and night) to hotels. Could not check in for
morning flight that early at airport but did it in Business Centre
at hotel. Hilton Garden Inn, Halifax Airport. Typical
offering, good room and facilities, good dinner and breakfast.
Out for shuttle early in case it was full (first come, first
taken) but it wasn't so at airport in plenty of time for pleasant
flight in Dash 8 to Deer Lake. Cabin baggage allowance is generous
but space isn't so you leave it on trolley at foot of stairs
and it appears on similar trolley when you get off. Picked up
car. Eleanor's naggravation got us lost within 30 seconds which
was some sort of record and boded ill for the coming month. Sorted
it out then headed south to Corner Brook to get food for next
few days. Drove round until we spied a Sobey's and went in there.
Back to Steady Brook for overnight. Edgewater Inn, Steady
Brook. Large house in quiet location with very friendly owners
and pets. Room average and a bit cramped with poor sound insulation.
Room not serviced during stay but this seemed normal in NL. Common
area for residents with fridge, microwave etc but had to ask
for crockery and knives. Breakfast OK but a bit thin, but this
seemed to be another NL trait.
Drove past Corner Brook along south shore of Humber Arm to the
end stopping at various points to look and wander. Bottle Cove
near end has nice scenery and interesting little trail which
doesn't seem to get much publicity. Marlaine's Tidewater Cafe
on shore near far end of Lark Harbour recommended for snacks
and light meals. Lovely day beginning to cloud over. Went into
Blow Me Down Provincial Park and up to outlook for interesting
view. Then went down Governor's Staircase to shore which was
distinctly underwhelming (watch tide at botom). Later did short
waterfall walk at Copper Mine Trail carpark, worthwhile.
Early start for a longish drive north. Scenery became quite interesting
as we approached Gros Morne, number of stops to wander. Went
into Parks Canada centre to buy pass for parks and other sites.
Went to Broom Point Fishing Station which had excellent staff
and was good. On to Cow Head to do Lighthouse Trail, long and
rather tedious walk through thick forest, lighthouse not worth
it but eventually took Point of Head Trail and got out onto good
headland with lovely view. Paths fair and being improved. Coast
beyond was excellent, clear of trees with low cliffs and pebbly
beaches, all very good with little settlement and clear, fast
road. Made a few stops for views but time was pressing so could
not explore. Turned off to St Barbe for night. St Barbe
Motel, St Barbe. Chosen for proximity to Labrador ferry the
next morning as nothing else for a long way. Rather gloomy place
with owner who seems to have graduated from Basil Fawlty Charm
School. Expensive, room ordinary but clean and comfortable. Dinner
OK but very slow and expensive for what it was. Avoided breakfast.
31 August - 3 September
In Labrador and described on next page.
Started off southbound from St Barbe to pick up 432 and go east
to the French Shore. Very quiet road but mainly forested. Saw
a black bear on the road in the distance. Turned off pavement
onto gravel to go down to Conche, an outport where the road has
only recently arrived. Spent a while mooching around here on
a lovely day. Had planned to go to Croque but with the good weather
and Hurricane Earl approaching we decided to hotfoot it to L'Anse
au Meadows for which we wanted good weather. Got there and did
guided tour then spent long time talking to staff who were quite
excellent with deep knowledge of the site and the Norse expeditions,
however you need to ask questions to get the most out of the
place. Did nice little walk round coast then back to Visitor
Centre which being refurbished and had very little information
in it, but staff still good. Eventually found cabin which was
not at St Lunaire-Griquet as advised but at Straitsview. Snorri
Cabins, Straitsview. Good sized, well equipped unit. Towels
and shower poor, internet intermittent (limit of range). Cabin
serviced on request. Clover Farm Convenience Store nearby had
fair selection of basics, excellent cod produced when we asked.
Hurricane Earl went through in small hours with torrential rain
leaving a dull morning with drizzle. Headed to St Anthony where
dry but dull and exceptionally windy, did little Harbour Nature
Trail. On to Goose Cove where beautiful day but wind very, very
strong. Pleasant settlement, nosed round and talked to locals.
Bravely decided to take trail round headland (wind was onshore
so progress difficult but safe!) which was very good. Then to
Great Brehat where little trail to headland well worthwhile for
views, and later another good, wee trail at St Carols. St Anthony
Bight, Quirpon not worth detour.
To Pistolet Park for minibus tour to Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve,
good but guide's knowledge limited. Had look at Raleigh and Ship
Cove but not a lot to see. Went to Onion Cove and did little
trail to Ship Cove but dull day. Later to Boat Harbour in glorious
but very windy weather. Nosed around (standing with difficulty)
and explored past cemetery to headland - good. On way back parked
and wandered on barrens by sea and inland a bit - excellent.
Found liquor store in St Lunaire and got some fruit wine to sample
- loved it!
Did Cape Raven Trail at Straitsview, quite warm going uphill
in sun but breezy on top with good views. On to end of road at
L'Anse au Meadows and wandered around shore for a while. Back
to Viking site to pester staff with more questions.
Dull, dampish start for nice run down 430 (much more interesting
than 432). Called in at Flower Cove and did trail to the thrombolites.
Went to Port au Choix, Started Dorset Trail but gave up when
terminal boredom set in. Went to Old Port au Choix (nice) to
Philip's Garden Trail (much better). South to Rocky Harbour on
beautiful evening. Rocky Harbour felt like Tourist Central so
bought some more fruit wine to take our mind off tourists. Bottom
Brook Cabins, Rocky Harbour. Very friendly owners who gave
us some moose steaks to try. Cabin small but OK for two and well
equipped. Internet didn't reach us so had to go to Laundry Room.
Forecast poor but better than next day. Headed for Tablelands
and did trail in full waterproofs, good but cold and windy. On
to Trout River where sun showing a bit and had a good nose round.
Back to Woody Point which has a very interesting heritage trail.
However rain arrived so we went to cafe by Seaside Souvenirs
for shelter and some excellent chowder. Up to Discovery Centre
in steady rain but not a lot to discover in there. Back to Rocky
Harbour in time to catch Fish Plant open for some cod for tea.
Dull start which slowly improved. Drove to Norris Point and wandered
a bit. Then back up to Jenniex House, museum-cum-cafe-cum-souvenirs
which was interesting. Back through Rocky Harbour to Lobster
Cove Lighthouse (fascinating guide) and a wander on a fantastic
evening which later turned very wet.