I'm happy, happy, happy dancing :) We leave for Newfoundland in just one week! One short week from this very minute, we will be waiting to board the ferry from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland. The ferry leaves at 11:30, but our reservation says to be there 90 minutes in advance, or else they will give away our spot. Hard to imagine they can do that, since we've already paid, but then again...I did check the "yes, I've read and understand the rules" box when I booked online, so I suppose I signed away my right to complain! Oh well...I'm so excited to get there, I'll probably have us arriving at the ferry terminal by supper time! lol The only downside is that Sara isn't coming with us. She's staying home because she's taking a course over the summer - a full credit course packed into just seven weeks, so no way she could miss two weeks.
When I was talking to Valerie the other day, she told me her place in Newfoundland is totally unplugged as far as internet (obviously she has a phone though or we wouldn't have been talking!). So I won't be blogging while away, but I am definitely taking a journal so I'll be able to write up a few blog entries when I get back. And no doubt I'll take hundreds of photos as well! But before I go...I'll try to give you a taste of some of the places we will likely visit, such as Twillingate...
You would be hard pressed to find anyone from Atlantic Canada who has not at least heard the name Twillingate. It has been immortalized in a song called I'se the B'y, which song seems to be a staple in elementary school music classes! I wrote in a previous entry that I was delighted as a child to learn that this was, in fact, a real place...as an adult, I am equally delighted at the prospect of visiting this place!
According to the website, Twillingate lays claim to being the iceburg capital of the world. Actually I have read of the area being called iceburg alley. Mark told me that sometimes iceburgs last into July, so possibly we'll see some, which would be very cool...I believe those big ole chunks of ice can be up to 10,000 years old. Impressive. There's also a festival in this area each July - The Fish Fun and Folk Festival - complete with a street dance and fireworks. Sounds like fun, although not sure we'll go to it, and even if we do I doubt we'll stick around for fireworks...from what Valerie tells me, one really doesn't want to drive around Central Newfoundland in the dark, if such can be avoided. Apparently the danger of hitting a moose is very, very real...in fact, there was a story on CBC just today about a young driver who was killed after a collision with a moose last night.
There are also museums in the area. One of the museums is the Boyd’s Cove Beothuk Intrepretation Centre, which shares the history of the now extinct First Nations people, the Beothuks.
Mark, K and M outside the museum last summer:
Inside the museum:
There are also, according to the Twillingate website, many hiking trails...don't some of the trail names tickle your funny bone?! (I've copied the below text from the website, just to give a feel for the hikes.)
Hiking & Walking
Twillingate has spectacular walking trails along the coastline, across the cliffs with spectacular ocean views. In season, an iceberg may be waiting around any corner! Hikes provide the opportunity to pick blueberries, partridge berries or bake apples when in season. Be prepared for wind and fog and have proper clothing, shoes and water.
Top of Twillingate
Difficulty: Easy 1.5 - 2 hours
This hike starts in the community called Bayview, previously known as Gillard’s Cove. To get to the starting point, drive as if leaving Twillingate onto Route340. Take the first exit to the right, called Rink Road until you’ll eventually T-intersection centre tgate, take 340 out of town take first right exit (rink road) stay on this road to sign. This trail begins with a beautiful walk around Low Mist Pond and is partly boardwalk and partly wooded trail. A hike to the top of the hill provides a breathtaking view of Twillingate on a day with clear visibility.
1.5 - 2 hours
Turn from Main Street onto the Back Harbour Road until you reach a T-intersection. Turn right onto Dock Road until you see a larger fishing wharf where you can park. The trail begins to the left of the wharf. What once was an island where families lived in the previous century, is now connected to the main island by a sandy beach. A hike up the hill will lead to expansive views of Notre Dame Bay.
French Head to Spillers Cove to Codjacks Cove
You can join the hike at Spillers Cove at the end of Slade’s Lane for a shorter hike. Alternatively, drive along Main Street and continue on this road until you reach a dead end.
From here an unpaved path continues, so start your hike here from where the hike to French Beach will take about 15 minutes. At French Head is a gully with a rope that allows the more experienced hikers to scale the cliff down to the ocean. Explore the French Beach and watch for the unusual rock formations as you continue on to our right through a small valley. The rock formations along the way are alive with imagined creatures. Along the hike there are many side trails that lead to exquisite views of the rugged coastline.
Long Point to Sleepy Cove
Difficulty: Moderate 2.5 - 3 hours
Trail begins to the left of Long Point Lighthouse parking lot. Enjoy the view from the lookout before following a groomed trail with stairs to help you along the rugged points. Continue along the ridge past a small pond and eventually to the steps down. At the bottom, turn towards Nanny’s Hole and continue on the trail towards the water. Continue the walk towards Sleepy Cove within the Seabreeze Municipal park where remnants of an old copper mine are still visible.
Hospital Pond Walking Trail
This popular paved trail around Hospital Pond provides a 1 1/3km walk with it's beautiful gazebos and benches and the many varieties of flowers and shrubs. For many locals, this walk is part of an active lifestyle routine. As its name indicates, the hike starts at Twillingate Hospital.
Lower Little Harbour (Wild Cove) to the Natural Arch to Jones Cove
2 - 2.5 hours
See the remains of a resettled community with old root cellars left to tell the story. The Natural Arch along the way is a well-known hiking landmark and Jones Cove is a beautiful secluded beach. This is an easy hike well suited to family hiking. The trailhead begins in Little Harbour with two entrances to the left and the old United Church can be seen in the distance.
Other hikes that you may want to explore, include:
· Minty's Farm
· Burnt Island Tickle
· Look Out Hill
· Ragged Point to Bluff Head Cove
· Moses Point
Ask the locals to provide directions when visiting.
Here a few of Valerie's photos from last summer, which were taken in this area...
The website describes the lighthouse as follows: "Long Point Lighthouse, one of the most photographed landmarks on the Northeast Coast of Newfoundland, is located at Crow Head, Twillingate"