Thursday, August 4, 2016

Cape Ray, Newfoundland 9/2-3/2016

The day has finally arrived.  We pulled out of our campsite at 8 AM headed to Newfoundland!  The ferry wait was 2 hours but everyone in line came out of their vehicles to visit.  They were excited too, so the time passed quickly.  The ferry loading is a great setup with separate upper roads built where the passenger cars  load the ship on  several decks above us big guys (RV's and commercial trucks).  The loading deck is tight and we were placed next to a large tanker.  Tiger had to stay in our rig.  We were a bit concerned as the trip is 8 hours and once the ship was on its way, we were no longer allowed on the vehicle deck to check on him.  But all that concern was really for us, as we found him fast asleep on our bed when we arrived in the Newfoundland port.

We were so impressed with the ferry.  It surpassed our greatest expectations for comfort and enjoyment.  We had reserved seats on the 9th deck, which provided us  large leather recliners, a large table between us and power and USB ports.  The windows in the cabin were large and gave us a wonderful view of our adventure ahead.  Each seat had headphone ports with individual channel adjustments to choose the various TV's in the cabin.  There was a wonderful dining room with very good food, a snack bar with hot dogs and sandwiches and a waffle/ice cream bar too.  We have ridden a few ferries and we were so impressed as none other even came close.

Some time after 6 PM (10 hours after joining the ferry line) we excitedly saw our new land to explore, Newfoundland.  While difficult to visualize with an explanation, our pulling into the port was an incredible thing to watch.  The ship Captain ends up backing this huge ship in, missing a small island by what looks like about 12 inches.  Once in, the unloading was quick and us big guys were the first  to disembark.  

We were in our campsite by 7 PM, having booked close to the port.  Our next morning we set off to explore.  We had not planned anything special for this close to port location and just set off for the day down roads close to where we were staying.  And Wow!  Seriously, every direction we looked,  was beautiful, green and unique.

Shortly after leaving our campsite we came across the Table Mountains.  The Table Mountains are 1700 feet in elevation.  They at times have some huge winds we were told (over 100 miles/hr) and the locals told us this is why they shut the railroad down (rail cars being blown off the tracks).  But the mountains are green and beautiful to look at for sure.

Next stop was Grand Codroy Estuary.  We walked along the shore and enjoyed the birds.  The Arctic Tern appeared to be doing this dance in the air with an incredible racket to accompany his dance. Rather interesting to watch.

Next up, we stopped in Port aux Basques for lunch.  Wow their streets are narrow.  An elderly man fell in front of Teri (while Bob was parking the truck).  She asked his wife if she wanted help.  Teri lifted the man and we were all so happy that he was only concerned about his dusty clothes and had not broken anything.  Lunch included, local fishcakes, which were good.

After lunch we were off to travel more.  Next we came upon Isle aux Morts.  We took a break from enjoying the breath taking views to talk with a couple of locals walking along the road.  Teri was just dying to know what all the streamers across everyone's yards were for.  The local told us it was Coming Home for the city of Isle aux Morts.  Every 5 years they celebrate Isle aux Morts 'Coming Home' where family members return to the town for a huge festival.  We of course were invited (Newfoundlander's are oh so friendly). Everything is free, games, food etc and the woman's granddaughter was sure to let us know that drinks, however, are $2.  The town was ablaze with excitement but even more than the festival spirit, we were touched at how much the locals love and continue to appreciate the beauty around them and how touched they are to feel the love we have for this beauty too.  We thanked them for the invite, but explained we were headed up the coast the next day.  

Next thing we literally stumbled upon was a short hike to Baracholis Falls. Like how could we pass this up?  On the way to the falls we were amazed by all the miniature foliage in this semi-tundra like area.  We found it to be both interesting and beautiful.

After the falls, we decided we were this far so we should continue on to the Rose Blanche Lighthouse.  The lighthouse is unusual as it is entirely built from granite.  Completed in 1871, it began operation in 1873 and during its 67 year operation, there were a total of 5 light keepers.  This lighthouse was like none other that we have visited and the location was so incredibly beautiful.  The road getting here was not great, but wow how we were rewarded.  And to our surprise, the city of Rose Blanche was busy setting up for their 10 year homecoming celebration. 

What a wonderful first day, but wait....arriving back at our campground (JT Cheeseman) there was more.  At the campground we visited the Cape Ray Beach and put our toes in the cold ocean water. We visited Big Falls and also the Cape Ray Lighthouse.  The site of the Cape Ray Lighthouse was interesting.  There we learned about the Dorset people.  They were Arctic hunter/gathers.  They are believed to have lived in the area 1200-1800 years ago, and their North American lines come from 4500 years ago in the Siberia area.  They relied upon the harvesting of sea animals for their survival. Cape Ray Investigations

Wow, for a first day in Newfoundland, with nothing planned, so much did we see.  And we thought this first day would be a slow day.  We are off tomorrow to Gros Morne National Park tomorrow.

Waiting to Load the Ferry in North Sydney, Nova Scotia
Entering the Vehicle Deck, Ferry to Newfoundland
Sharing Tight Quarters in the Vehicle Area with a Tanker
Reserved Ferry Seating-Great Comfort and a Great View too
Saying Good Bye to Nova Scotia as We Pull Away From the Dock
Our First Sighting of Newfoundland from the Ferry
Look at All That Green!
Heading into Port aux Basques, Newfoundland
We will Depart from the Bottom of the Ship
With the Large Trucks.  Passenger Cars Depart
On the Upper Road on the Left
The Coastline of Port aux Basques, Newfoundland

Table Mountains. 1700 feet.  Know to have Gale Force Winds
Exceeding 100 Miles/Hour
Savannah Sparrow
Grand Codroy Estuary, Newfoundland
Artic Tern
Grand Codroy Estuary, Newfoundland
Artic Tern Impressing the Ladies
Grand Codroy Estuary, Newfoundland
 Grand Codroy Estuary, Newfoundland
 Grand Codroy Estuary, Newfoundland
Isle aux Morts, Newfoundland
Five Year Coming Home Celebration
Isle aux Morts, Newfoundland
Five Year Coming Home Celebration
Isle aux Morts, Newfoundland
Isle au Morts, Newfoundland
 Baracholis Falls, Newfoundland
Along the Path to Baracholis Falls, Newfoundland
 Rose Blanche, Newfoundland
Rose Blanche Lighthouse, Newfoundland
Rose Blanche Lighthouse Interior, Newfoundland
 Big Falls, Newfoundland
Cape Ray Beach, Newfoundland
Cape Ray Lighthouse, Newfoundland

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