Yesterday Aug 31, we flew from St Johns into Deer Lake where we picked up our waiting car. No more Jessica at the wheel, now it’s Pam..We stopped for a quick bite to eat at the Irving rest stop in Deer Lake. We have tried several of these stops and found them reliable and a decent place to eat with good service. We travelled a short distance down the road to Corner Brook where we will stay until we can catch the ferry out .
Once checked into the hotel we went to the ER dept. at the local hospital to get a Doctors opinion whether Brian should continue the journey or fly home. The Doctor felt Brian should stay and wait to be seen by a specialist. When we checked into the department, the triage nurse told us to get off the island a.s.a.p. as she felt there wasn’t anyone qualified in Newfoundland to deal with the problem. When a nurse says this, I listen. In the end Brian was switched to another antibiotic with instructions to get home fast.
We had all day Sept 1 to kill as the ferry didn’t leave until midnight. In the morning I caught up on laundry and we left the hotel just before noon.
We drove at a leisurely pace and drove west to Stephenville where we looked around and stopped for a surprisingly good Chinese food lunch. We returned to the Highway and continued in the direction of Porte Aux Basques. The scenery looked much different than when we arrived almost 2 weeks previously. Today we had a sunny warm day, when we arrived it was to the setting sun, although it was hidden behind low clouds and heavy rain. When we toured Gros Morne the guide referred to the mountains as table mountains, yet here close to Port Aux Basques, is a range of mountain, also called “Table Mountains.” As both occur on the western shores of Newfoundland, perhaps they are all the same. These however are covered in vegetation.
We continued down the road and turned off once again to go to see the Cape Ray Lighthouse.
It is located in a very desolate spot, one of the most westerly points on the island. Built in 1871 it marked the tip of the “French Shore” where the French has rights from 1783 until 1904. It continues to be a manned lighthouse but the former lighthouse keepers quarters have been turned into a museum, which of course on this long holiday was closed. It really was a lovely spot surrounded by vast open spaces, with waves crashing and birds flying.
Eventually we made it to Port Aux Basques. They have an outdoor amphitheater surrounding by little huts used mostly in the summer months for selling food, crafts and souvenirs. Today only two vendors are open but we manage to get our dinner in, while looking out over Scott’s Cove waiting for the ferry to arrive.
They were to have entertainment starting in an hour but we opted to go get in line for the ferry. After a few hours of waiting we got onto the ferry. I had booked a cabin for this overnight crossing and was pleasantly surprised to find it spotlessly clean and with comfy bunks. As we were one of the first on, we were able to get to bed long before our ferry left at 15 min to midnight, however the overhead instructions interrupted our early night’s start on sleep.
We are sad to be leaving Newfoundland. Here is a few parting thoughts:
- Newfoundlanders are used to cool temps. When the weather is 18 outside, they still run air conditioning in the hotels.
- Many people continue to live in rural outposts, sometimes with 50 to 100 folks to a community. As a result they rely on each other for survival and perhaps that explains why you can’t find friendlier more helpful people.
- People who leave for work, generally come back to live.
- They talk funny. They add “s” to everything, drop the letter “H” at will and add them when they don’t need them. The letter “T” is often pronounced as a “d”. The language varies across the province.
- They value people over property, relationships are very important.
- They are proud of their province and promote it readily.
- They have great sense of humour.
- They love their traditions and their music.
Thanks to McCarthy’s Party for a great tour. You under promise and over deliver!