We landed “On the Rock” in St Barbe and frankly needed a rest! That was a rough drive through Quebec and although beautiful and I absolutely would do it again, a long drive through Labrador!
We were planning to turn east but when we looked for accomodation we noticed this little place to the left called The Genevieve Bay Inn. An Inn with restaurant and even a bar. A warm shower and a good hot meal was just down the road. What we found was a gem and a warm Newfoundland welcome! Donna and Wilf Doyle are wonderful hosts of this really not so little Inn with an interesting history. It was so comfy we stayed for 2 days! Lol!
Watch for a Feature Blog all about the people who made this place special and the history behind the building!
Saying farewell and thank you very much we set off for the Viking Village. With our trusty map of things to see from Donna and down the road we went.
Our first stop was the Thrombolites. My first thought was what is a Thrombolite? It looked like big whitish bun shaped rocks. What it is, is not rock at all. They call it a living rock. It is actually micro-organism that grows in structures. These little creatures represent the earliest of life forms on earth. They are very rare and endangered. The only place they can be found is Flower Cove Newfoundland and Hamilin Pool in western Australia.
Following a boardwalk that led us through a cute covered bridge, Marjorie’s Bridge, to a sea of Thrombolites.
It was so cool walking out onto a life form that began over 3 billion years ago.
Checking out the feeling of walking on an micro organism. https://youtu.be/5hLv1s-JKjQ
This sign is always a plus!! RV Overnight welcome at both the information pull off and the Thrombolite site.
It was too early to stop for the night and besides we had Vikings waiting for us.
Some beautiful scenery along the way. The bluffs and the cliffs are awe inspiring!
By the time we got to the east coast the exhibits for the Vikings had closed. The GPS said there was a Tim Hortons in a little town called St Anthony’s. What a beautiful little town on the north eastern tip of Newfoundland. Perched at the end on a bluff was the lighthouse. Oh my stars how cute!
As you can see in the background the fog was starting to move in. As we strolled through the gift shop you could hear the fog horn go off. What a beautiful sound! The lady at the store says it either gives you peace or drives you crazy there is no in-between! Lol! The gift shop also had a lovely little museum in it that was interesting to walk through as well as nice little restaurant.
At the back of the restaurant a building was built into the ground. It looked interesting so we asked at dinner. It was where they would hold a traditional Viking Feast. Oh cool! I want to play. Unfortunately it all was cancelled this year and last because of covid. Darn!! That would have been cool!
Thinking about where to stay for the night I saw a Provincial Park not far from the Viking settlement. Pistolet Bay Provincial Park would end up being our home for a couple of nights.
When we checked in, we thought we would only be staying one night. We got our campsite and a pile of wood, which was delivered in a plastic bucket (pay attention to the wood, it will come back in the story) and settled in. That fog turned to rain so snuggled in and watching a movie we drifted off to sleep.
It was a beautiful morning. A perfect day for exploring! Coffee in a forest with my best friend, there is no better start to a day!
Heading out of the park on our way to the Viking settlement a special member of the park would pop in to say his good bye too.
It makes me laugh that of all the forest we had driven through in the last week we had not seen one animal. Pulling out of the park this beautiful majestic animal graces us with a hello.
I am not going to go into the Viking settlement as it was featured in my last blog. It was very interesting. If you have not read it give it a read. You will be glad you did.
As we only got through 1 part of the exhibit. We needed another day. Back to the park after all there was moose there. It is also a nice park with clean and nice facilities and great sites. Also only $27. Back in Ontario you cannot get a site for under $40. We checked in for one more night. The lady at the front laughed as we said the moose told us to come back. Lol! Up to our spot we went. As we drove past the washrooms we noticed a man waving his arms. He could not mean us. We did not know anybody there. We got parked and got out to walk around a little when the gentleman that was waving approached us.
“Were you ladies the ones here last night that left the wood?”
Yes we were.
“Did you want it back?”
He had taken back down to the shed after we had left. Sure we said. We could do a fire tonight. He went down and brought us dry wood as ours had gotten wet. We learned his name was Warren. An older gentleman that would tell us many stories. One of them being the story of the moose here and how they got to the island. It never occurred to me how they got here.
In the early 1900’s food was not plentiful on the island but settlements were growing. They shipped 5 moose to the island to hopefully populate into a herd for food. Unfortunately those did not survive. In 1940 they did it again and this time they thrived. Hence the moose on the “rock”.
By the time we got finished chatting, had something to eat we were exhausted. We had done a lot of exploring that day. We decided to pass on the fire and go to bed.
Leaving again in the morning, saying good bye to Warren, we headed for other Viking site we again left our wood at the campsite. After exploring Norstad and another trip to St Anthony’s it was getting late. We would spend another night at the park. As we drove through the gates look who was there to greet us!
As we parked Warren drove by in the park truck and began to laugh! “You girls want that wood?” LOL! We really did not want him to go and get it again but he insisted. We really could not leave the wood again so we did end up having a nice fire. There is something about the smell of a campfire!
After a restful night a new day of exploring began. We were thinking if trying to go down the east side of the coast but after chatting with some people they said that way is all mountains. (their winter route. Lol) The other way across the top is the coast. We had our share of mountains we would take the coast. So glad we did! What a beautiful drive!
Come roadtrippin with us along the Viking Trail Highway. https://youtu.be/9vsPD_Wx7KU
When we were coming through before we noticed a sign at Flower Cove that said “White Rocks.” What was that all about?? It was not really about the rocks but the plants inside the cracks if the rocks. The rocks have been polished flat by glaciers then buried beneath the sand and gravel under the water. As the water receded plant life began to grow in the cracks of the rocks widening crevice leaving a sea of white rocks with green lines throughout. It was very interesting!
The ocean view moving westward was inspiring! Of course we had to stop and say Ahhhh!
A quick stop at Eddie’s Cove because well it was so pretty! Everywhere there were little fishing coves. You will see many as we make our way through Newfoundland.
Our next stop was Port au Choix. What a pretty little town. Stopped in at a little restaurant for lunch and learned some history of this Unique little town. Had Figgy Duff for the first time. It was very good!
Port au Choix is a sacred place for the people who dwelled here from 4000 to 6000 years ago when the peninsula was actually an island. Graves could be seen by passing boats and from the mainland marked with limestone markers. A total of 3 cemetaries were excavated in 1967 and 1968. Little was known about the people here until their Graves gave valuable insight to the life they led by the sea.
Farther to the west is a Provincial Park called The Arches. Oh I so wish we could have camped there but it was a day park only. Large arches had formed in the rock from millions of years of water crashing against them. It was beautiful!
Glacier erosion along wind and water have cracked and eroded through the rock creating 3 large arches in the stone. It is said that eventually the water will wash away so much stone that the arches will become pillars. How fascinating and beautiful to see!
Just a note apparently the toilets were among the dead trees. We did not use them! Hahaha!
As we were driving we noticed piles of wood beside the highway seemingly in the middle of nowhere. By them would be wooden sleighs. As well as piles of wood, there would be gardens surrounded by wooden fences. Again beside the highway, in the middle of nowhere. What was that all about??
The piles of wood are used for heating. People cut and drag the wood from the interior to the sides of the road. Stock piling for winter. The sleds are used to transport that wood come winter. Where I am from in Ontario leaving anything by the side of the road it would either be stolen or wrecked. What is here is Honor! No one worries about that. They all work hard and work together to survive in an unforgiving landscape.
Newfoundland is very much community oriented. It is a harsh land and the people need to work together to make it work. As was explained to me..the gardens are community gardens. Living on a rock soil for growing vegetables is hard to come by. When they built the roads the tearing up of the rock left soil at the sides of the road. People from the community plant vegetables to harvest come winter. They have community gardens all through including raised gardens. It is heartwarming to know that these kind of communities (a whole province) still exists.
Leaving The Arches Provincial park we came upon Rocky Harbour. Another thing about Newfoundland is that if it is not a Provincial Park or private land go ahead and pull up and stay for the night! You cannot say no to this!!
If I were to cover everything we have seen in one blog this week it would be a book. I will leave you here but look for a new blog mid week and I will try to catch you up on our incredible journey!
Thanks for coming along on my Chipmunk Adventure!
See you soon!