Day one in Newfoundland. An early morning wake up at 5am and I landed in St Johns at around 12.30pm after discovering that there is a time difference u had not picked up on! First time flying with Westjet and it was lovely, spacious and comfy after the last flights I have been on. Rental car collected, many circles driven due to not much signage and I eventually managed to find the right place to check in to my room. Staying at the Memorial University. Really nice clean room, helpful staff and everything easy to find. I remember when I stayed at the Toronto Halls last year, and the first thing I saw was the sign asking people not to wee in the bin.
I discovered that it was too windy to kayak as I had planned, all trips were cancelled. Not one to procrastinate when there is touristing to be done, I filled my bag with maps and leaflets and made my way to Cape Spear on the Avalon Peninsula. At I drove up the steep hill, I left the city behind and the houses became more and more spaced out until I rounded a corner and was faced with a gorgeous view of the sea. I parked and just sat in the car for a minute looking at the sea, bright blue sky and the waves crashing in the wind. The whole area was just breathtaking and words cannot do it justice. Stepping out on to the grass, I felt quite emotional and reminded of Devon and Cornwall. Overwhelming feelings of home swept over me. It reminded me so much of home at Cape Spear – a mixture of Burrator, Cadover and Wembury all in one spot. The weird thing is that, despite the emotion, it still didn’t make me want to go home. The views were so fantastic I video called Mum and Sibling to show them the views. I looked around Cape Spear lighthouse and heard how it was lit by seven lamps powered by sperm whale oil. I couldn’t go up to the top as it is not open to the public, but it was only one floor extra anyway, so I didn’t mind too much. The light house is no longer operational and there is a new taller light house a little further down the path that is used. I actually found the new one to be prettier to look at.
Following the boardwalk down along the coast, I was able to see the underground tunnels and bunkers used in the Second World War. I love looking around old underground places like this, and this was extra good being set in the cliff so you could look out at the sea from the Windows.
A little further down the boardwalk and I was able to stand at the most eastern point of Canada. I particularly wanted to visit this spot after my trip last month to the most southern point at Point Pelee. The sign where it says you are on the most eastern point was a little misleading I felt as there as a path further east! And when I walked on the path, there was a fence and some rocks even further. Obviously I stood on the rocks beyond the fence and took a selfie on the actual most eastern point. From there, if you headed straight east, the next land you would hit would be Ireland I climbed down and sat on the rocks watching the waves for a while before making my way back to the car to drive wherever the pretty views took me. I think the crazy wind added character to the trip as I imagined people going going in by a fire in the lighthouse after being out in the cold wind.
I drove through a cute little village called Maddock Cove. I was going to stop for a drink and snack, but was told the shop burned down during the winter. I continued the drive and found myself at Bay Bulls Harbour where I spotted a seal chilling out on a rock, and an ice berg in the distance.
I drove as far as I could to see the iceberg and then got out of the car and started walking on the East Coast Trail to find a closer spot. Nearly two hours later hiking on an array of different paths, I found a great spot to climb down in my flip flops and see the ice berg as close as possible. I loved the trail, it was so pretty by the water and had lots of cute wooden steps and footpaths. I stopped to chat to a friendly couple from Lancashire on the trail. He said oh, I would expect you to sound a bit more ‘oh arrrr’ from Devon. Another lady I passed told me the ice berg was not very big. I have not seen any real icebergs before, so I was delighted with this one. The colours of it and the stillness of it are just not possible to capture in a photo.
Hike complete, I paid a quick visit to Shoppers as I left my after sun at home and the lovely lady gave me lots of samples of moisturisers and perfume for my trip. With it nearly being time for sunset, I whizzed up to Signal Hill to take some photos as the sun was setting. I plan to go back properly another day.
Time for a quick freshen up and a trip downtown for a nice pasta and a Malibu at the Gypsy Tea Room. I managed to stay awake for two drinks at a bar called Greensleeves on George Street after dinner. There was a band playing which was entertaining with a good atmosphere. They had such strong accents, you could hear it in the singing. All the old boys in the front row were joining in and at times I had to really concentrate to have any idea what they were saying! George Street is known for having the most bars and clubs per square foot in North America. It is open much later than Ontario laws allow and no traffic is allowed on the strip. I heard it described as a place for your liver and morals to go to die. It reminded me of Newquay back in the day.
I intended to be down there a bit earlier, but it was too nice walking around enjoying my day, so the proper evening exploring will have to wait. Aim to explore, and leave with morals and liver intact.