7.13.10 NFL SW coast to Stephenville

Stephenville Travel Blog

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Smooshing our way out of the car deck

7.13.10 NFL SW coast to Stephenville

 

We’re in Newfoundland!

The ferry arrived on time to Port Aux Basques, NFL.  Did you know that Newfoundland time zone is HALF an hour ahead of Atlantic?  We arrived at 11 pm NFL time.

 

Nice ladies in the Visitor’s Center suggested we overnight in the parking lot since it was dark and foggy.  With no street lights and the GPS delay in getting satellite coming off the ferry, we were lucky to make it to there!  So we got excellent help from them and settled in to snooze.

 

This morning, we read some info and guess what?  Lia’s favorite book, lent to her by her quientessential first grade teacher, Mrs.

Ciao on the car deck
Lloyd, is “Star of the Storm.”  It is based on the story of a Newfoundland dog who swam out to a shipwreck, while hauling a cable to save them in a storm. 

 

We discovered that that true story happened about 5 miles away in Isle aux Morts!!  Hairyman was the real dog’s name and the Harvey family conducted a dramatic and heroic rescue, including afterwards feeding and clothing (on their own since no one else lived nearby) the 138 survivors.  The survivors were families immigrating from Ireland to Quebec City, and they eventually made it onward.  It is a touching story that is told via interpretive boards along a lovely seaside walking trail dedicated to the Harveys. 

 

A little Visitor’s/local craft hut there had the nicest people, who actually called owners of 2 Newfoundland dogs to see if they could bring the dogs over.

Foggy leaving the ferry in NFL
  When that timing didn’t work, they suggested driving us to the dogs.  Eventually, we got directions (sort of) to see if the dogs were out at the house, but sadly did not see them.  We did see one big dog on a porch that may have been either Newfoundland or a Burnese Swiss Mountain Dog.  I hope someone can tell us.  I’ll try to post a picture of it.

 

We saw waterfalls, hiked tricky boardwalks, explored a granite lighthouse at the very end of the road at Rose Blanche Point.  

 

Our best find was the Friendly Fisherman Cafe for lunch in at Rose Blanche and we checked 4 Newfie foods off our scavenger hunt list that I made:  Cod Tongues, Partridgeberries (a pink berry), Bakeapples (a yellow berry), and seafood chowder.

Nice Visitor's Center ladies in Port Aux-Basque, NFL
  All were excellent!

 

However, the Cod Tongues were like thick fried chicken nuggets and we just could not get over the “tongue of a fish” (!!!)  So after we each sampled the delicacy, we shared the remaining piping hot ones with our dining neighbors, who were from Kingston, Ontario.  They’d been on the island for a month and were leaving tomorrow and said, “Oh I heard about these!” but hadn’t yet tried them.  So they were happy we shared and we were happy the tongues did not go to waste. 

 

Actually, they tried to assure us that it was from the neck area of a fish, but later our waitress, as had my Lazy Daze friends previously, assured us that it was the actual tongue of a fish! 

 

We also stopped at a local senior craft store and found a few gifts, including Partridgeberry Jam.

Just Ciao and a Roadtreck overnighting in the Visitor's Center, Port Aux Basque

 

Let me tell you about the southern coast.  After the small town of Port Aux Basque, which we didn’t go into, we took Road  407 to the end.  East from there, about 20 towns have to be reached by boat!

 

There are very few other tourists.  We were only the second tourists group to come to the lighthouse and it was after 1pm by then!  Of course, there are few people in general. 

 

The scenery along the curving, ocean-hugging drive was gorgeous!  There were gorgeous lakes of dark marine blue all over!  Waterfalls and mountains, rocks covered with flowers, intense beautiful nature.  The people we met were delightful.

 

We had a snack of wild blueberries, blueberry tea, and blueberry pie.

Visitor's Center, Port Aux Basque
  Most of the fresh veggies and fruits here are from Nova Scotia.  There is a very short growing season here and they just put potatoes in the ground (planted) three weeks ago. Nova Scotia, however, started harvesting their potatoes two weeks ago.

 

When they say, “the whales like the herring that’s on the ground,” the “ground” is referring to “fishing grounds” in the water, not the land.

 

Whale pods move around and we are to ask the locals if they’ve “seen whales around lately.” Many times you can see from the shore the pods swimming.  We have not yet sighted whales.  Lia thinks she saw one in New Brunswick.

 

Also, we learned that lobster harvesting seasons move around.  The lobsters in Shediac are harvested in August, so the ones at the Lobster Festival (which I saw was listed in my top 100 Festivals in North America list!) were from northern New Brunswick waters.

Foggy, lovely southern coast of Newfoundland

 

I just never thought much about seasons and harvesting and timeframes like that.  With year-round importing of foods, we usually don’t have to even learn what is “in season.”  Back to the earth!

 

We are now free camping in Stephenville at an old airport from U.S. Military base during WWII.  I think everyone should have a friend, like Evelyn, go ahead of them and scope out all the good places to share.  A free RV dump station is nearby, found by the GPS coordinates sent by my thoughtful friend.

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Smooshing our way out of the car d…
Smooshing our way out of the car …
Ciao on the car deck
Ciao on the car deck
Foggy leaving the ferry in NFL
Foggy leaving the ferry in NFL
Nice Visitors Center ladies in Po…
Nice Visitor's Center ladies in P…
Just Ciao and a Roadtreck overnigh…
Just Ciao and a Roadtreck overnig…
Visitors Center, Port Aux Basque
Visitor's Center, Port Aux Basque
Foggy, lovely southern coast of Ne…
Foggy, lovely southern coast of N…
Lovely southern coast of NFL
Lovely southern coast of NFL
Nice man at Harvey Trail Visitors…
Nice man at Harvey Trail Visitor'…
Lia buys a Hairyman (Star) at the …
Lia buys a Hairyman (Star) at the…
Lovely Harvey Trail
Lovely Harvey Trail
Tough boardwalk to waterfall!
Tough boardwalk to waterfall!
Enormous waterfall
Enormous waterfall
Enormous waterfall
Enormous waterfall
Tough boardwalk to waterfall!
Tough boardwalk to waterfall!
Walk to lighthouse at Blanche Rose…
Walk to lighthouse at Blanche Ros…
Walk to lighthouse at Blanche Rose…
Walk to lighthouse at Blanche Ros…
Lighthouse at Blanche Rose Point
Lighthouse at Blanche Rose Point
Lighthouse at Blanche Rose Point
Lighthouse at Blanche Rose Point
Lighthouse at Blanche Rose Point
Lighthouse at Blanche Rose Point
Is this a Newfoundland dog?
Is this a Newfoundland dog?
Is this a Newfoundland dog?
Is this a Newfoundland dog?
Cod tongues!
Cod tongues!
Shrimp sandwich
Shrimp sandwich
Bakeapple and Partridgeberry parfa…
Bakeapple and Partridgeberry parf…
Blueberries!
Blueberries!
Stephenville
photo by: TessaHill