Our trip to Thorburn Lake was 126 miles with almost half of it spent in dense fog and rain as we negotiated the mountains between the Avalon Peninsula and the rest of Newfoundland. At higher elevations I had to reduce our speed to about 40-45 due to the limited visibilty. Now by higher elevations we are only talking 500 feet here but it is remarkable the difference in weather on top and down below. We arrived at our campground a little after noon and had to wait a little while for our site to be vacated by the previous camper. We have 30 amps and water we can't use due to a boil water advisory. This can be a problem here in Newfoundland and we always travel with at least a half tank of water so it will not be a problem for the two days we will be here. We have cell service but no WiFi so I don't know when this will get posted.
After we got set up, we went to the closest town which is Clarenville, about 10 miles away, to do a little shopping and get lunch. I always use a "Y" hose adapter on the water spigot so that I have two sources of water and I accidentally left it at a campground in Nova Scotia and have been trying to replace it every since. All of the stores I have shopped, and there have been more than a few, have let their garden supplies stock get reduced to almost nothing since they are at the end of the season here. I had a spare so it wasn't a problem but I wanted another one for when I forget this one!! :) Well, we finally found one here at the Canadian Tire store which is similar to our Pep Boys stores. Guess where we went for lunch - yep, McDonalds!! I don't remember the last time we went to a Micky D's to eat as we never use them at home, except for the occasional yogurt cone for Doris, since I always have to wait for my burger without onions. They tasted about the same here as at home. They seemed smaller than at home but since it has been so long they may be that small there also by now. Oh, by the way, their $.99 menu is $1.39!!
Thursday we drove the Bonavista Peninsula, about 175 miles through some more beautiful countryside and shoreline. Our first stop was Trinity, a historical town on the Southern side of the peninsula about half way to Bonavista. You take this little winding road off the main road around and down, past a mussel farm
, to the coastline. The fog was starting to drop in in some areas but wasn't a problem this time. Our main target here was the Church of the Most Holy Trinity
which is the oldest wooden church in Newfoundland. built in 1833, and the bell tower added in 1880. Most of the structures in Trinity are over 100 years old but don't look it at all. Throughout Newfoundland we have been amazed at how well kept all of the structures are. We have driven hundreds of miles through all kinds of communities and have found none of them run down. Even in the small fishing villages where there is little income, the houses are recently painted and the yards neat and trimmed. There appears to be no slum areas in the province!
Next we headed for Elliston almost all the way to Bonavista. Some fellow campers we met at Bauline East had told us about seeing humpbacks breaching while they were watching from the shore. Of course we didn't see any but we did find out that Elliston is the Root Cellar capital of the world! It has 134 documented root cellars (no we didn't take a picture of all of them) with more than 40 of them restored to optimum storage condition. The remainder have been allowed to deteriate to show the effects of time and weather on them.
We then went on to Bonavista and on out to Cape Bonavista and the Bonavista Lighthouse
. The Cape itself is a very narrow strand of land about 2.5 miles long jutting out into some very deep water. After looking around the Cape and seeing the lighthouse we found a bench and was relaxing and Doris spotted a blow. Sure enough a couple of humpbacks were in the area. I was able to get them on film (do they still say that with digital cameras?) though they were still pretty far away.
Next up was Ryan's Premises Historical Park
, a refurbished complex that used to be the saltfish capital of the area. Saltfish are really cod that have been cleaned, soaked in salt and then rinsed and dryed. The fish could keep that way for a long time and was the main source for protein for a good portion of the world in the early 20th century before refrigeration. We then went to lunch where Doris had some ribs and chicken and I had some very fresh panfried cod - delicious. Our trip back had some beautiful scenery but nothing in particular to talk about. We keep taking these pictures of beautiful sights and I hope you are not getting tired of them. The beauty has almost become "normal" to us and we sometimes forget to take pictures.
Tomorrow we head for Grand Falls-Windsor where we will just spend one night before going on to the Gros Morne National Park area on Saturday.