Heading west from Bonivista towards Corner Brook through the interior of Newfoundland is both beautiful and relaxing. It is dense forest and a beautiful highway. A few towns dotted the way including Gander. We stopped to get gas and a few items and to enjoy a little more of that Newfoundland hospitality. We were on our way to the ferry and knew soon our time here would be over. I very much wanted to stop here. In 2001 when 911 happened this small city showed the world what being human really means. Passenger planes coming into the US had been stranded when they closed their air space as havoc was coming from the skies. The people of Gander welcomed with open arms the people that were locked out of their country, their homes. They did their best to comfort and feed the people who at this point must have been terrified. They opened their homes and businesses to not only accommodate but support those people who at that moment did not know what they were going to do. Can you imagine the fear of not only not quite understanding what was going on but only having the clothes you went on vacation with and being stranded in a strange country not knowing when you will be able to go home to your loved ones? The people of Gander showed the world that day what all humans should be. Compassionate, caring and most of all coming together as a community, working together to give comfort to those in need. I remember watching it unfold from Ontario and being so very proud that these beautiful people are Canadians! There is a memorial which I did not learn about until we were off the Island. I would have loved to go there, but just to stop have lunch, walk through the shops and experience the warmth was enough.
Back on the Highway and we would make a stop back in Notre Dame Provincial Park. We had a nice spot and pulled out our chairs and a dragonfly decided he loved Kim. Haha! Kim is not a bug person so watching my best friend getting chased around a campsite by a lovesick dragonfly almost sent me off my lawn chair! Haha! That was so funny!
After a relaxing morning coffee with only the forest in view we set off towards Corner Brook.
Here is a fun fact: Newfoundland has the quietest forests I have ever been in. I love the warmth and feel of a forest. The deeper and denser the better. I have been in many. There are noises from birds, small creatures and sometimes big creatures moving through the woods. An howls hoot on a moonlit night or the sound of birds chirping in the morning light but in Newfoundland there is none of that. It is dead quiet. We noticed it first in Pistolet Bay. The quiet is like everything else on this island, warm and welcoming but it took a little getting used to.
A little ways down the highway we noticed an ice cream stand with this mad looking fellow outside. The first mad we had seen since we left Ontario. Haha! We had to stop and get a closer look and of course have ice cream.
Pulling into Corner Brook in the late afternoon a storm was brewing. We decided to find a place to park and go back the next day and explore.
The next morning was a much better day and we traveled back into Corner Brook. Taking a drive through town we saw this little train coming towards us. How flippin cute is that!
This little train will take you on a tour of downtown Corner Brook. For $2.00 you can take a train ride down the streets of Corner Brook experiencing the culture of the downtown area. It takes about 15-20 minutes to do the tour. Although we did not take the tour it is a definite thing to do on my next trip there.
As we toured this little city it was the beauty of the backdrop that caught my eye. The natural beauty that surrounds it mixed with the warmth of the people inside it made for a beautiful day!
We really wanted to see the statue of Captain Cook. Now when I think of Captain Cook it is the pirate Captain Cook but this Captain Cook was a surveyer.
Captain James Cook was contracted in 1743 to survey Newfoundland by the British. It was his first official act as a surveyor. He honed his skills and would be renowned for being one of the best in his field. Surveying and charting the coast marking where supplies such as wood and fresh water could be found. James Cook would go way beyond that. Cook would keep such detailed and accurate logs of coastal conditions and supply areas those records would be used for hundreds of years.
It was a beautiful tribute to an adventurous and talented man. It was also a beautiful area and had a nice little seating area shaped like a boat made of rock which I thought was very cool.
One last look around and another photo of Captain Cook and of course girlfriend had to photo bomb the picture! Lol!
We left Corner Brook and headed for the ferry at Port Aux Basque. Traveling south along the coast we were kind of glad we did not have to take the ferry that day. We called to see if we could reserve a spot and was told the only available spots were 10 days from now. Haha! What???? He then told us to keep calling because people cancelled all the time. Ok well we will head south and see what happens. As we drove along the coast you could see the ocean was angry. There was a beautiful spot just off the highway and we had to stop and listen and watch the waves crash to shore. It is an oddly comforting sound.
As we headed to Port Aux Basque still calling the ferry service about every hour we enjoyed some of the beautiful coastal views. I just could not get over how many ahhh moments there were.
As we traveled south past Port Aux Basque we found a beautiful little pull off to park in. It was late and as we got comfortable and was discussing when we would think we would be able to leave I asked Kim to make one more call before we went to sleep. As luck would have it they had an opening for the next day but we would have to be at the ferry dock by 4:00 am. They also told us we could arrive anytime and stay on the ferry dock. Perfect. We started the van and headed back to Port aux Basque. The weather which was so agitated the day before promised to be much more calm that day. I did not want to bounce across the ocean. As we arrived on the ferry dock about 3 am all was quiet. A light rain in the eerie stillness.
We tried to get at least an hour worth of sleep as it was an 8 hour ferry ride and we could not get accomodations to be able to lay down. It was going to be a long and hopefully sunny day.
We drove onto the ferry and got out onto the deck, the weather predicted calm seas. Pheww. As we pulled out of Port in true Newfoundland fashion we were greeted with a warm beautiful sunrise over a still ocean.
With the promise of a beautiful day!
I could not believe how big this ship was. It had 3 levels of outside decks you could go out on, both back and front. Not everything was open but you could get a coffee and a sandwich and relax in the lounge. It was such a beautiful day I spent most of my time outside after a little nap of course.
I will never forget the adventure in Newfoundland. The warmth of the people, the beauty of the land and the calming of the sea makes for a “rock” of paradise.
Although we left Newfoundland our adventure was not over. There were still a few things to see and a couple of things we found that we never expected. Stay tuned to this Chipmunk channel for the continuing adventure.
Thanks for coming along on my Chipmunk Adventure.
See you next week!