Newfoundland #3: Skerwink Trail, Elliston, Bonavista

Day three was the start of a roadtrip.  I left my comfort zone of St Johns and drove just under three hours north west to the Skerwink Trail in Trinity.  With a distance of 5.3km, this seemed like the perfect trail for a brisk hike before continuing my travels.  With views like this trail had to offer, 5.3km takes 1hr30 mins! I stopped frequently for photos.  The trail had my second ice berg sighting and a gorgeous varied path along it.  Some bits were very Alice in Wonderland with dry old trees at all angles and pretty sections to duck under.

Along the trail, some girls told me about an iceberg in a village called Dunfield around the corner, I popped there and video called the bestie quickly and then headed for the highway.  I saw a car stopped at the side of the road and thought nothing of it until I passed and realised they had spotted a moose.  I executed the most effiecient u-turn known to man and hurried back to the scene to see my very first moose on the loose.  It was a lady moose and she ran before I could get a very good picture.  I stood gawping with excitement!

Onward.  To Bonavista via Elliston.  Elliston is the home of a huge rock covered with puffins.  It was only ten minutes from Bonavista, so a worthwhile detour.  Unfortunately without binoculars, you couldn’t see them as well as I had hoped.  I could just about see their colours and could see the white standing out making hundreds of the visible on the rock.  There were lots of root cellars in the landscape, used to keep veg cool.  Elliston calls itself the root cellar capital of the world, they claimed this title in 2013.   Serious stuff.

Root cellars and puffins were not enough to end my day as I had one more stop to make…. Bonavista.  At Bonavista, I bumped into the people I had chatted to at Elliston and another couple I chatted to along the Skerwink trail.  We all seemed to be on the same route from St Johns.   I made it to the lighthouse at 4.55 pm not realising they closed at 5, so the lady let me dash over quickly.  It was nice, but nothing compared to the surroundings and prettiness of the operational lighthouse at Cape Spear.  It was very similar in layout and had been restored to yesteryear, this one being 1870.  I asked the man about the rolled up cloths in chubby holes that I have seen at Cape Spear and the Cabot Tower.  Apparently they are flags from the countries and each represents a letter or symbol so they can be flown to communicate with ships. 

I liked a little shack that was in the landscape with a little fenced area outside. I could happily live there with Folly in the garden – complete peace and solitude.

The lighthouse was near to Dungeon Provincial Park, so I headed back via the park and saw iceberg number 3.  Everytime I see one, I want to shout “iceberg, straight ahead” like on Titanic.  I say it in my head and giggle.  There were some sea caves with collapsed roofs that they say people climb down into in attempt to find fools gold, and ponies running within the area the cattle grids allowed.  The sound driving over the cattle grids reminded me of Devon. I don’t think I have driven over one since I had been here.  There were empty shot gun cartridges lying around. 

My day of activities compete and I began to head north west to wards Twillingate.  I set off around 6pm and my plan was to stay on the highway until dark and then stop for food and to stay at a motel.  I wanted to be on the highway at dusk as dusk and dawn are apparenly the best times to see moose.  Eyes peeled, my luck was not in.  At around 8pm, I stopped and had a power nap in a gateway, then continued.  I had hoped I would see a moose standing proudly on the top of a rock, much like in the Lion King.  It was not to be.  There were also no pubs or restaurants along the way.  I eventually found a Tim Hortons in Lewisporte and got a chilli for dinner and excitedly discovered that the lemon and poppyseed muffins are back.  I was beginning to give up hope of finding  somewhere to stay and decided that I would drive for another hour and then sleep in the car if not luck.  I stopped after an hour and ate my Tims.  I was going to sleeping the car, but then remembered, I don’t like the dark and my overactive imagination is not helpful when attempting to sleep in the dark with no street lights.  I drove on in hope of finding somewhere a bit better lit. I discovered Dildo Provincial Park – a campsite.  The front booth was unmanned so I drove in and parked up next to the comfort station block.  Lovely. Until I needed to use the loo.  I phoned the Welsh one in Vancouver so I had someone on the end of the phone in case I met a gruesome death in the dark.  Getting ready to sleep, and I was moved along by park rangers.  My journey continued into the night, and into the darkness.


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