permanent population somewhere here. We are at about 49° north with Lands End in England being at 50° north the variation in climate between these 2 locations is rather phenomenal, we have now been told that snow is very high in the winter and a temperature can drop below minus 40°.
Tuesday, July 5
We left the parking area that was beside that magnificent waterfall pouring down from the top of the mountain and headed back through Corner Brook on our way around the island through the extremely large forests that we either side of the roadway and we saw a sign that had indicated there were 660 road accidents between vehicles and Moose, I won’t try for the plural again. Just afterwards seen the sign there on the right-hand side of the road standing on a large pool was one of the creatures all the road signs had been warning us about except of course Road signs showed a male Moose with a good head this was a humble female, but still worthy of a photograph.
Eventually it became time after all the driving to find a park for the night and we settled on a Municipal Motorcamp were we parked beside a very large Lake fed by water from the Bishop Falls trestle, a very popular spot for fishermen.
Wednesday, July 6
It was a very wet day that we woke to with large puddles of water covering the motorway making it difficult to see the potholes that the motorhome discovered. We set the GPS to Twillingate and when we arrived we went on and another 7 km to Crow Head on Notre Dame Bay to look at yet another lighthouse. We passed by many beautiful bays with many attractive buildings which would have made wonderful photographs, but you don’t do much in the heavy rain. After lunch we set the GPS to Gander having decided that it was too wet to go out to see the icebergs and the possible whales however crossing over a bridge earlier we saw a very small iceberg the size of a small car, one that the Titanic would have been pleased to see… and on our way back it had progressed down to 2 small icebergs less than the size of a bicycle.
The weather was most disappointing but at least it was another view of this country that we had seen, if not photographed.
Thursday, July 7
Today was overcast with patches of sunshine a vast improvement on yesterday so we headed out onto the Bonavista Peninsula heading towards the Cape Bonavista but before we left we took a drive out to the Gander International airport the departure point for over 20,000 made in America planes that participated in the Second World War. From what I understand the four concrete runways made it for many years the largest airport in the world was only with the advent of the Jets and there longer flying abilities that it became what would now have to call it a regional airport even though it still uses the international title. I understand this airport was built before 1940 and I must find out who decided they needed such an airport and how fortunate it was that they did.
Was a day of secondary roads winding their way around the coast with beautiful views at every corner and it was rather exciting see icebergs floating out at sea and this time the size of them were such that you would not want to meet them and any sort of craft.
Whilst it was sunny on occasions the wind I think came straight in off the icebergs as it was bitterly cold but it did not stop some of the locals dressing and T-shirts and shorts. One of the highlights was Birchy Cove a delightful town of cute little houses all perched on a Peninsula. It was interesting to note a half acre are being sold on a new development for $27,000 as it appears to be one thing Canada has plenty of and that is land.
Part of the Road today took us through Terra Nova National Park and were told you can find all sorts of animals at home and this Park but I have a feeling if you tried to see them it would be as elusive as the Moose we get warned about on the Road.
Our destination was the Cape Bonavista lighthouse built on the spot believed to be John Cabot,s 1st landing place in the New World. After getting our fill of photographs of the site we headed south again towards Trinity Bay North and found a quiet little parking spot beside a beautiful lake.
Friday, July 8
From our parking spot at Catalina we headed out on a overcast day, on South towards Trinity turning off the main road to go to this photographic little the village when we arrived the quite a few cars already there and two tour buses arrived which really showed the village was right on the tourist route. After shooting a couple “rolls of film” there we carried on the Road to Trouty another village listed as photographic, but this time there were no to a buses and very few cars and very little to photograph, except in the distance Luda photographed some think that looked like it may be a whale…..
Back on the road heading south in sunshine, making sure that the way we go round the Road we are planning in a circle we do so with the passengers seat facing the ocean so Luda has the right opportunities for the photos.
We saw a signpost for a Museum of American cars in a village called Swift Current so we stopped off their and had a look at his collection of 60 American cars from 1908 to 1970, the collection belongs to Vernon Smith and evidently he started this collection in 1991 and he is a keen participant in showing vintage cars throughout North America and travels in excess of 30,000 km a year successfully collecting awards. Naturally to be able to do this his cars have been restored to better the new condition making sure that every part is authentic so I’d guess he was extremely successful in his chosen occupation.
We have stopped for the night in a parking spot just off the Road at 47.500° north
Saturday, July 9
Beautiful fine day today the sort of day one wishes for every day, we drove out onto the Burin Peninsula and did a circle around the Peninsula from Marystown, again beautiful scenery but we sort of wished we had this particular day with the sunshine for some of the more picturesque villages we have visited.
We then headed towards Little Bay East which on the map showed a ferry running from there to Pool’s Cove and from there we hoped to travel on a different Road back to Grand Falls Windsor but little old Frenchman we met at the Port told us that the ferry probably could take four cars and our RV would probably sink it, so it’s back to the main road and back over the Road we have already been on which often is unavoidable.
We found a nice little spot just off the Road from where they launch boats so we have the Lake all to ourselves for the evening.
Sunday, July 10
Today looked like it was turning out to be a fine day, but to spoil it, the toilet flushing mechanism broke which meant we had to get back into civilization to have it repaired. The 1st spot we found on the GPS was at Bishop Falls, but the company had shifted to Grand Falls Windsor some 10 years earlier, course we only found this out after wandering round the town for about 30 minutes, it was only a 15 minute drive to their new location and the owner of the business was working on a personal project so he wrote us into the appointment book for tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. extending us an invitation to Park beside his building with an electrical point available.
At one of our stopping spots during or drive today, there was a mobile home on display, one that we normally associate with trailer parks, but nevertheless we stopped and had a look at it and it was surprisingly good, price at $127,000 and available on a 5% deposit balance at about $300 a week and it would be shifted onto your section for no extra money. Being very much aware that on this island snow often is up to the height of the roof of a house and the weather can be extremely cold it was pleasing to learn that the installation factor of the roof walls and floor all had a rating to cover this weather.
A few hundred metres down the road was the Gander Aviation Museum and they had 3 old aircraft parked outside and the tail portion of another above the entrance to the museum. Considering the history of Gander airport which was completed in 1939 and was rated as the the best airport in the world at that time with four concrete runways with one of the runways extra long and twice as wide to cater for emergency landings, I was disappointed with the content of the Museum, but purchased an interesting book called “voices in the wind” the history of Gander and as I read it, the history of aviation. I also bought the DVD set of “Above and Beyond ” a 2 part mini series of the ferrying of aircraft from North America to their action in Europe.
It was a very pleasant drive today with beautiful scenery almost empty roads and incredible amount of Lakes either side of the road of all sizes.
Monday, July 11
At about 8:15 a.m. they took the RV into their workshop and about a one hour 15 minutes it was ready for us to get back on the Road with our destination set for Trout River at the edge of Gros Morne National Park that has a United Nations World Heritage classification here, the Long-range Mountains rise 400 m above the blue fjords and even this late in the season there are still patches of snow slowly melting creating little waterfalls falling from high. They claim these mountains are some of the world’s oldest mountains being several million years older than the Rockies, but who’s counting.
We found a quiet little spot for the night near the Lake, or I should say “a Lake” and tomorrow will carry on through this delightful national Park…… and the toilet has stopped working again … great repair job!!!!!
Monday, July 12
Today we carried on exploring Gros Morne National Park driving back to the entry of the Park and carrying on up the northern side of the East Arm pass the Killdevil Mountains and stopping at every viewpoint and walking route, drove through Rocky Harbour for a wonderful view of Lobster Cove Head lighthouse on past Green Point and Sally’s Cove to our destination at the walking track of Western Brook Pond and the packed car Park of the walking track towards a narrow fjord with a beautiful lake at its base instead of an arm of the sea, however you can only see this magnificence from the advantage point of a 2 hour boat trip but the ticket office did not have any photographs of this magnificence so we left the 2 hour boat trip till next time.
Everywhere we have driven on this island we have seen large plantings of lupin’s, they make a most pleasant sight and often add a little bit of colour as we drive past.
That was as far north has we had decided to go as there is only one way up the Peninsula and naturally the same way back so will have to leave Labrador also to next time. We drove back to Deer Lake and found a overnight camping site in the Municipal campground.
Wednesday, July 13
I still have only one of my three computers that I have with me….. working …. Will have to wait till I get back to a larger city in the States…. Sure it is peaceful without email…… Wonder if I’ve missed any Nigerian letters offering me multimillion dollar returns for just writing one letter!
Today we went south to Corner Brook and then out on the other side of the Peninsula of their Bay of Islands hoping to get a good view from the lookout point at Meadows that was advertised, but they must’ve forgot to put up the sign and whilst we did photographs as we kept on driving out on the Peninsula we did not see the promised lookout point. We stopped at the Bay of Terns and found it
offered an interesting panorama over the seascape and were used this parking spot to turn our RV round for our return trip.
We missed on our inward trip stopping at the Barachois Pond Provincial Park and as it was a beautiful fine day we stopped at the Park and booked a parking spot and Luda set off on a 2 hour tramp up a 400 meter mountain for the incredible view that she got at the top, she tells me it was easier coming down the mountain.
Thursday, July 14
We woke to a wet miserable day so we set off back to the port for tomorrow’s ferry ride back to the mainland. We found a nice camping spot about 20 km from the port which will make an easy drive tomorrow morning.
Friday, July 15
It was still a wet day so we got to the port early and were one of the 1st RVs onto the boat, in fact we were 1st in the line to drive out. Again a 6 hour ferry ride, long enough to finish the book on Gander and to admire the sunshine and blue sky as we got close to the mainland.
On the outward journey we stayed overnight at a Walmart so we headed back there for another peaceful night.
Saturday, July 16
Today we drove round Cape Breton stopping at Louisbourg to admire the historic fortress built in 1713 and demolished by the British in 1760 with reconstruction being done in the 1960s. They claim the reconstructed fortress is the largest and the best of its kind in north America.
We stopped at a village called St Peter’s and there we found a free car Park supplied by their Anglican church, beside a supermarket, where we had a peaceful night
Sunday, July 17
Last night I observed the petrol tank was getting low and resolved to fill it up in the morning, which of course come the morning I just got straight back on the Road and then when we are miles from anywhere realised we needed petrol so I ended up doing a 20 kilometre side trip and then with a full tank of petrol were on our way again towards the Cape Breton Highlands National Park however getting there with the GPS was not easy as it wanted to take me right round the island 1st to get to the entry point but we persevered and got there.
As we continue our drive around Canada and in particular Nova Scotia is very easy to see that this country has a vast tracts of land that are available to be bought at what seems to us to be at least a quarter of what we’d expect to pay in New Zealand. This also I would say hundreds of houses for sale from the basic to the most expensive, and then a course there are all the houses that looked like they have been abandoned, would be interesting to find out some of the stories.
Of course Nova Scotia I believe means new Scotland and when one finds a whiskey distillery and a college for learning Gaelic you can prepare yourself for Gaelic singing inspecting a Highland Village and perhaps wonder if you are not in Scotland.
Eventually we got close to the entrance of the park and then we discovered an old abandoned RV Park on the edge of the ocean on St Anns Bay, however both the electricity and the water have been turned off and all the toilets doors are ruined but none of that matters to us.
Monday, July 18
On around the Cabot Trail doing a brief side trip to Hatches Point, White Point and Bay St Lawrence, little fishing villages towards the top of the Peninsula, and then we turned South and travelled through mountainous terrain towards a 9.2 km walking trail at the Skyline Trail a dramatic headline walk overlooking the rugged Gulf Coast, Whales, Eagles, Moose and bear. Of all these items that were promised to Luda, Luda was only presented with the opportunity to photograph what I would call old man Moose.
Like all popular tramping trails this one had insufficient parking and the cars were parked all up the side road but I guess one expects that.
Again we passed through marvellous scenery with lots of seaside property at every turn and it saw a makes you wish that New Zealand was a little bit closer, then you talk to a shopkeeper and they tell you about 12 feet of snow in winter going from November till May.
We stopped at the Chéticamp campground and the National Park for the night.
Tuesday 19 July
Port Hawkesbury was to be our destination for today, but before we left we had a good look around Chéticamp which was the main centre for the Acadian settlement on this coast and naturally the English language did not feature very well with the population. It is a large settlement for skilled craftspeople and also a popular whale watching destination and all these things attract a larger volume of tourists.
On South to Mabour Harbour and down a horrendous Road to see a lighthouse that was featured at the end of it, and of course back again on the same road.
A beautiful coastline with incredible views and lots of houses enjoying the waterfront locations. Is still surprising to see, occasionally, a substantial house that has been apparently abandoned with incredible views and one wonders just what happened.
A tremendous amount of the houses show the results of the hard winters and the effect that it has on the paint that attempts to protect the house from the elements. Looking at a lot of the houses one pictures a snowstorm with a very strong wind blasting at the house with freezing temperatures and the frozen snow doing its version of sandblasting the paint. But I guess that is winter up here.
Arriving in Port Hawkesbury we found our way to a laundromat and then later to the Walmart that we had visited on our last visit to the city.
Wednesday 20 July
Today was an Apple day driving to Halifax and a shopping centre that had a genuine Apple Store that would be able to get my iPad up and working again so it was straight down the motorway without deviations and we’ll arrived in Halifax about 1 p.m., naturally we parked in a Walmart car Park, we can’t take a business elsewhere, and then walked across the Road to the shopping centre where Apple were located, once there the best they could do was to give me an appointment for a technician in 90 minutes time.
That soon passed windowshopping at the few shops that I was interested in and then the technician was available, she was an interesting lady who was born in Beijing having travelled extensively throughout China now living in Halifax and after about 30 minutes I had an iPad that was working again with a new password and the 65 emails that were waiting for me.
We then set our GPS for Peggy’s Cove and 1st of all we had to navigate the 5 o’clock traffic and the bottleneck that there was to go in the direction that we want to go but after about 30 minutes we joined all of the other traffic heading towards Peggy’s and just short of our destination we saw a very large car Park beside a church and we provided ourselves that churches were havens for travellers throughout the centuries which worked for us on our travels through Europe and all denominations.
Thursday 21 July
We left our religious camping spot and carried on the Road to Peggy’s Cove, listed as a cute little fishing village with lighthouse and lots of tourists, busloads of tourists. We then headed towards Highway 103 and stopped briefly at the memorial to the Swissair passenger plane that crashed with the loss of 229 people in 1998. After that solemn reminder of air travel we then drove to the next tourist attraction which was Mahone Bay, a fishing village that was nestled into the bay named after the village, or was it Vise Versa….
After another series of beautiful photographs we drove on round the bays to Lunenburg a city that has got UNESCO rating and is advertised as the Christmas tree capital of the world. As we drive we are surprised at all the English names that the towns and villages have that we pass it certainly looks like the English had taken over Nova Scotia and left the French and the Scots in the dark when it came to naming their towns. However Lunenburg, the British offered land to Protestant settlers from Germany so we had a little bit of a change in the villages names even seeing an East and West Berlin.
I’ve got to admit that the scenery around Nova Scotia’s bays are some of the most beautiful that I’ve seen with housing from the simple to the complex, and prices seem to be reasonable but this can probably be related to the amount of land that there is in Canada versus the population. I certainly wouldn’t mind having a house by the sea anywhere along the route that we have travelled, but then I think about the winters!
Driving along 103 to our next destination I saw a signpost saying that the Sherman Hines Museum of photography was ahead at the next town and as I remember Sherman from the PP of A convention’s and the 3 autographed books of scenic views of Canada he presented to me all those years ago, it became a “must do” to turn off the very freeway for a visit to his Museum. It was well worth the stop to look at examples of his portraiture and scenic photography along with the marvellous collection of cameras, more than 99% of cameras using film which will probably never be used again!
We stopped off for the night beside a garage that had gone out of business….
Friday, July 22
We discovered a rather good warning system with the propane on the motorhome, when it is getting very low the water heater will not work but the refrigerator keeps on working, which means you can go dirty for the day but you won’t lose your food in the refrigerator.
There is no propane in any of the petrol stations close to where we were so we headed further south to Yarmouth at 1st we stopped off at our planned destination of Shelburne, as you drive in that is labelled as a loyalist town with the British flag flying everywhere and evidently was founded by 3000 English loyalists fleeing persecution after the American Revolution in 1775 and a loyalist kept on travelling north to this city till the population got to about 16,000 making it at the time the largest town in North America.
Time has changed and whilst the town is still very photogenic which is why it is on our itinerary a tremendous amount of the houses and shops that we see as we drive through the centre are up for sale so it is suffering the same fate as small towns gets smaller as the population goes to the larger cities.
We found out today why there are so many abandoned houses, evidently work dried up quite a bit in Nova Scotia a few years ago so a lot of the population went to Alberta or Ontario where there was more work and higher wages. This means the going price a lot of the vacant houses is around the $25,000 but you need to bring your own work with you and a warm heater for the winter.
The people in this area speak French and English and they are inclined to mix the 2 languages which does not go down very well in Québec where evidently if you use an English word they will not answer, very interesting way of thinking.
Fishing of course is extremely big all around the shores Nova Scotia and we pulled into a small town and there is no doubt as to what the main occupation is with the perfume from the fishing factory. Almost every house we pass has got at least 50 crayfish pots sitting in their backyard or on a trailer and in total we must have seen thousands of these traps and wonder how close they are to be fished out.