June 6th 2009 to July 26th 2009


For you more Fact Driven people who want to learn more about Basic Newfoundland, click on the Horse


For a Detailed Map Summery including where we stopped, mileage and costs


Newfoundland really is the Jewel of Canada!!! I don't remember just where I first read that sobriquet, but now on our second visit, we can confirm that it is so. 

Are we looking at this through rose coloured glasses? No ... There are things that we don't like or are very frustrated about, but after the drive across Canada, the pluses sure outweigh the negatives!

The negatives: First and foremost Newfoundland drivers! I'm sure they are fantastic skippers on the water, but on land ... well, if there weren't two painted lines on the road they would have nothing to bounce between -- at 15 miles an hour below the posted limit. Considering that there are huge sections of road that are currently undergoing resurfacing and there are no painted lines at all ... it does make for interesting attempts to pass.

Along with that is something we noticed from our first trip here in '03. There are many, many more Newfoundlanders buying trailers and wandering around their Province. Someone HAS to tell them that a 1/2 ton pickup that maybe just the ticket for hauling fishing nets, does not constitute a vehicle that is capable of towing a 25 to 30 foot, or more, trailer. If they start to head off the Island, I'm sure the Police will have quite a lot to tell them!

Secondly, Road work.

Instead of doing a 5 mile section, for example, finishing it and then moving on, they tend to do 50 mile sections and do it in phases. The gravel sections are inserted all along the 50 miles. Then they go back and prepare it for resurfacing again all along the 50 mile section. When that step is compete, they go back and actually resurface the road. The result is that there are some real axle braking dips, holes etc. that often have no warning. Now, picture the tourist hurtling along the road, gazing in wonder at the ever changing fantastic scenery and then hitting one of these little gems. It sure can be an eye opener!

The Positives: What can I say? The Newfoundlanders are some of the most open, friendly, honest people we have ever met! They live in a Province that could rival the BC Coast for its beauty! Once you get the "hang" of the Newfoundland Accent, you end up involved in great conversations with fascinating people all of whom with a/many story(ies) to tell. The "out ports" with their well kempt lawns and beautifully painted white houses stand out clearly from the rocks and blue ocean that surround them. Each new turn, provides a "picture postcard" type view. It really is remarkable!

Just an aside here that is interesting... Our DataStorm Internet Satellite System on Harvey's roof is assigned to one of Hughes' Satellite whose footprint does not include Newfoundland. We have not been able to use it since we left Truro NS. But, using a backdoor approach and Park networks, I can still enter our location in the system so people can see where we are. It is the same thing with another DataStorm user from the US. They indicated that their location was Twillingate so we got in touch with them. We finally, physically, ran into them in St John's later in the trip.

They are full timers spending 5 months down south, a month or two in Maine, and the rest of the time in Twillingate. It appears that they visited Newfoundland three years ago and fell head over heels in love with Twillingate. So much so that they purchased a house there, and on their next year trip they purchased two more pieces of property. They are not alone with this feeling ... we ran into two couples in Twillingate from Ontario who had driven over this year to specifically purchase water front property. Land prices are cheap here when compared to the Mainland. Friends of one of the Ontario couples purchased their piece of waterfront beauty using the overdraft on their Visa Card. WOW!!! It took all my strength to get Elsie past the Real Estate Office in Twillingate! More fool me, I guess ... Words really fail to express the magic of this place!

I'm rambling here. Time to get to the story!


Doyles -- Grand Codroy RV Park -- June 6th to June 11

Fortunately, going over, the 6 to 7 hour Ferry trip was a smooth passage. Until we got within sight of Port aux Basque that is. The Newfoundland Government has leased a new Ferry from Norway that is state of the art and HUGE. "Now we can transport more vehicles" they thought. As typical government, they forgot that the boat has to be loaded, and for some reason the new Vessel "Atlantic Vision", does not load very quickly. We spent almost two hours "stooging" around within sight of land waiting for it to complete its loading. This meant a 9 hour crossing. Doesn't sound like a big deal, but for the pooches the last time they saw a tree was almost 10 hours ago. By the time we got down to Harvey, both Stanley and Thurston had all four paws and their eyes crossed.


After finally disembarking, about 1/2 mile from the dock, is a Travel Information Office with a large parking lot complete with a large grassy spot with trees. I have never seen two more "relieved" -- I mean that in both senses of the word-- puppies!

The Grand Codroy Camp Ground is 35 Kms from Port aux Basque.

We stayed at this Park in '03 and quite liked it so we were looking forward to this visit. Things change in 6 years ... it still is a great Park, and we had almost the same spot overlooking the Big Codroy River, but now there were 50 Amp and 30 Amp sites and a really good --- free --- Wifi. The folks who run the place are extremely friendly and accommodating so it was like coming home.

One of the frustrations of being away for a year is what to do with the mail that accumulates. Some of it requires a timely response from us so we relied on Leah to forward the important stuff to us. The idea is to figure out just where we will be in several weeks, get the address, send it to Leah and ask (beg) her to collect it and forward a package to us. Now this is no small feat for those of us who seem not to be able to plan more than a couple of days ahead and especially given the speed that Canadian Post operates. Leah would bundle the mail in an Post Office issued Envelope and send it off -- hopefully we would get it. Grand Codroy was one of those "drop zones".

Leah mailed the parcel two weeks before we were to arrive ... we stayed a week ... of course, no parcel arrived. I feel the onset of a rant here --- how can it take almost three weeks to get a small parcel from Vancouver to here? Your blood really begins to boil when you think of the cost involved ... average cost is about $16.00. With this sort of service, I wonder how long these parasites will continue to have jobs!!! But ... enough ... back to Paradise! The Park people said not to worry, they will keep it safe --- when it finally arrives --- and we can pick it up on our return trip.

Some of the OutPorts around Port aux Basque we visited on our last trip. One particularly great spot was Rose Blanche just a few KMs east and sitting right on the Coast. There was a great little restaurant there called the "Friendly Fisherman" which just cried out for a return visit. Off we go ... and sure enough the food was the same. I had fish chowder and fish cakes and Elsie had the same dish she had there 5 years ago ... Cod au Gratin. Superb!!!!! Some things don't change and that is GOOD!

Another day, we visited Codroy itself and had lunch in the Codroy Cafe, a remodeled house. The fish cakes there were the best so far. In fact, they were recommended by a guy who was sitting at the next table. As usual in Newfoundland, these passing conversations grow. As it turned out, the chef was his wife, and he was a fisherman usually centered up north for the fishing season. His wife makes stacks of the fish cakes for him to take fishing, freezes them, and he simply takes them out as he requires --- lasts him for weeks he says. As the conversation went on, we found out that he had spent time in Alberta (Fort McMurray which is jokingly called Newfoundland's second largest city) and had fished the Pacific Coast. The reason he was having lunch at the restaurant was that when he headed out of Port, a Government Inspector caught him and found that he was a month late in getting his safety inspection done for his boat. No sympathy at all. Just in the start of the Caplin run --- small smelt like fish --- he had to stop fishing immediately and head 150 miles south for a formal inspection. It would cost him the season! With no Cod, no Lobster licence, Caplin was all that was left to him to try to make it through the winter. Fishing always was a tough job, but with that kind of Government Inspection, it becomes almost an impossible job. He really was "pissed off"!!

But the rest of Newfoundland awaits, so with no mail we pull out and head to what will be new territory for us.

Go to Codroy Pictures


Twillingate --- Peyton Woods RV Park --- June 11 to June 18th

Icebergs and yet More Icebergs

This is the iceberg situation as of July 22nd. 2009. When we headed north in early June, there were many more in the Twillingate region just north of Gander. The link above the picture gives the current locations.


If there is just one highlight of our time in Newfoundland, it has to be Twillingate. As you can see from the picture above, there are a lot of icebergs off the coast. Here, the larger ones tend to be quite far off shore, but still, the absolute number of them is astounding. The locations for these changes as the tides and winds affect them, but when we were there in early June, Twillingate had more than their share. (See Pictures). We put a lot of miles on the Toad here just wandering around into the many OutPorts --- each one is more lovely than the one before it. Of course, it did help that the weather was spectacular. Blue skies and warm sun is just the recipe you need to see this area in all its true splendour. Though we did drive down to Lewisport and were less than enchanted with this more working port. But still, the days there were sure enjoyed except that I came down with a horrible cough and cold that took almost a week to shift. Ah well, the price of travel!

The Park we stayed in was called Peyton Woods and was just a little way out of town. It is owned by two brothers who had left the Island to find work and when it came to retirement, they returned and opened this resort. One of the brothers is married to a women who by her own description --- has a sharp and waspish tongue. One day, the sun was shining and one of the brothers decided to paint a wooden love swing that sits on the grass area in front of the RV's. Well, soon after he started this chore, up drove the older brother in his pickup who simply pulled over, lit a cigarette and sat and watched his brother work. That was too much for the wife! Although they had been married over 50 years, and she probably should have know better, out she runs, stalks over to the truck and the conversation went something like this .... though in the thick Newfi Accent ...

"Get out of the truck and help your brother. What do you think you are doing?"

"Women, I's thinkin"

"You'r what?"

"Women, I's thinkin! I do a little work, and then I think!" Right now, I's thinkin!"

By this point, I'm almost on the ground laughing, and the other brother, whom I'm sure has gone through this sort of thing many times before, looks over to me, rolls his eyes, and continues with his painting. The wife stands there, arms on her hips, doing everything but stamp her foot, finally retreats back to the house.

The other brother lights another cigarette and continues with his "Thinkin"!

What wonderful people!!!

Go to Twillingate Pictures


St John's --- Pippy Park RV Campground --- June 18th to July 3rd

This Park is a remarkable place almost in the downtown part of the City. Park Info

4th Loop

It would be like taking 30 acres out of Stanley Park and making an RV Park run by the City. It consists of 4 loops three of which are set into the woods so each site is quite private. The 4th loop is in a field that has each site separated by a raised grass sward so there is quite enough space between the Rigs. The beauty of the 4th loop is that the satellite reception is perfect and there is free "very fast" WiFi available. Interestingly enough, on talking to the Park employees, they mentioned that about 75 % of the "guests" staying here are from the Avalon Peninsula.... in other words from within 100 miles of St John's. The remainder are made up from "off Islanders". At $40.00 per night, the Park is well used, and the City makes a bundle. Now let's see ... drive a road around Lost Lagoon, towards Prospect Point where all the trees were blown down by the bad wind storm a couple of years ago, and set up a Park. The "Stanley Park Tree Huggers" would be delighted .... Right?

St John's itself is a mixture of the old, the quaint and the very modern. City Info The downtown area is worth wandering around. Lots of really good restaurants and pubs mixed in with the typical tourist traps, all nestled in with modern Bank and Insurance Company Towers. We stopped at one restaurant for an early dinner and met the fellow sitting beside us. He must have been in his early 60s and turned out to be a "run away" Ontarian who had spent many years on a bike crossing Canada. Now, he chose St John as his home. He did have an unique perspective on Canada's future, and we sure had an interesting time dissecting the foibles of Canadian History. I tried to leave him a devotee to the concept of Cascadia, but I'm not sure I was successful. But, the seed has been sown ... by the time I return from this trip, many more people will have heard of our future country!

As usual, we park Harvey and use him as the base for our sightseeing in the Toad. Over the next several days we visited a lot of the OutPorts around St John's ( some ... Cape Spear, Ferryland, Portugal Cove, Torbay, Flat Rock, Pouch Cove, Cape St Francis, Biscayan Cove/Bauline, Brigus/Holyrood, etc you get the idea) While all had their beauty, several did stand out for us.

In Portugal Cove there is a little restaurant that has fantastic Chowder and sautéed cod. The only restaurant in town, and it is certainly worth the visit! Brigus/Holyrood worth the visit, but the lunch there was a disappointment!

We headed out one morning --- Elsie must have been feeling extremely chipper that day --- heading towards a point on her map called Cape St Francis. Well, we ran out of paved road. "Should we stop" I asked?

"It's only a little gravel"

Off we go and sure enough the road passes an old cemetery then gets a little rougher. "Should we stop" I again asked?

"Nah, we have all wheel drive don't we?"

Soon enough, the road resembled a steep, dry creek bed, and as the Toad bounced from large boulder to large boulder, my knuckles were blue with hanging on and Elsie is yelling at the top of her lungs ...Yippee Yi Yi O" And we still had to get back .... She is a little strange at times ... sigh!

For more information on Cape St Francis, Click on the lighthouse


On July 1st we went up Signal Hill .... though we could have been among the first in Canada to welcome July 1st, that would have necessitated us getting up at 3:30 AM so that sure was NOT on. There is a daily Tattoo held during the summer, but by the time we got there, at a much more sensible time I must say , the next performance was not for an hour and a half. We figured that dinner was more important. Something more to see left for our next visit!

It is worth wandering around the Hill. I'm always amazed at the size of the mouth to the harbour and the size of ships that actually make it to dock. You sure can see just why it was such an important harbour in the early days of Canada. The weather was foggy, and very cold, that July 1st, so we repaired ourselves to a comfortable Pub in George Street for a warming libation and some food. Well the beer was good, but the food ... well enough said. George Street (two blocks) is the old Red Light District and now the center for Pubs and Tourist entertainment.

They cordon off the street, put guards on all entrances and allow patrons to wander with their libation of choice from establishment to establishment. You can have a lot of fun there .....

One thing we sure noticed in Newfoundland is the Garmin GPS has not a lot of local information. I guess, it is not a priority for Garmin to provided much information here. Being thirsty one day, we thought that it would find for us the nearest Government Liquor Store. Well, after 1/2 hour wandering around, it deposited us in the middle of a nice residential district. Hmmm we thought .... not likely! Another try and about 1/2 hour retracing our previous steps we ended up on a very busy 4 lane road that roared past the Liquor Board's main offices. Well .... we were getting closer, but we gave up on Garmin and went to the one we remembered closest to Pippy Park.

Wine prices here are a little more than in BC but the selection is much less. Beer prices are similar highway robbery!!! After much careful trial and testing, I decided that the two best Newfoundland beers are Black Horse and India Ale. Much research carefully done! I'm still amazed at the numbers of different types of Rum there are. One store had a complete back wall devoted to rum ... they had three different types of beer. Hmmmm.....

Anyway, we enjoyed St John's but it was time to head west.

Go to St John's Pictures


Rocky Harbour/Gros Morne RV Park --- July 3 to July 9th.

We thought that during the cross Province run, we would refill thirsty Harvey in Deer Lake which is a fairly large spot. While it did take us a visit to 3 garages to find diesel, we did noticed that the prices have risen ... 1.05 per litre. In Winnipeg, before the summer gas price rip off increases, we paid 69 cents a litre. When will someone in government get sufficient testosterone and take on these bandits? I know ... a rhetorical question.

On our last trip, we stopped here and did manage to see much of the Park sights, but we did forget the campground. This visit, we were placed in the back lot so that our TV Satellite would work. This "lot" was hardly level. It managed to fall way to the north and as well to the east. Even after putting a pile of wood as raisers under the back wheels, we found that poor ole Harvey was twisted quite badly and none of the interior doors closed evenly. Well, we thought, for 4 nights we can put up with anything ... as long as the front window does not "pop" out!!!!

Rocky Harbour is one of the first stops on the way north on the Northern Peninsula. We had heard from other travelers,that half way to L'anse aux Meadows, at Port aux Choix, the local Lions Club had built a campsite right on the water. We took one day to head up there in the Toad to check this Park out. It was as good as we were told so another stop on the way north (only 2 hours from Rocky Harbour was immediately planned.

Rocky Harbour does have one MUST visit place. It has the only fresh fish market open to the public. Each boat these days has an inspector on board as it goes out, and he makes sure that the fishing and selling quotas are religiously followed. This has effectively done away with fishermen selling their catches at dock side. Damn shame I think! But, when in Rome .... what the heck ... we loaded up on shrimp, halibut and scallops. Like the proverbial happy bear, we were off north ...


Port aux Choix --- Oceanside RV Park --- July 9 to 12th

While it only has water and electricity and is cash only, the view of the Gulf of St Lawrence makes this place a must stop. The view, the waves and the sea smells ... we were in heaven! To get to Port aux Choix, you leave the main highway and drive about 8 kms to Port Saunders and then continue on another 12 kms to Port aux Choix. Why do I mention this? Well, Port Saunders is larger than Port aux Choix, and we thought that a good lunch might be found there. This was an experience we will never forget!

We go into the Fisherman's Dock Restaurant jumping over a huge hole just in front of the door. It looked nice enough. You ordered your meal at the desk and then moved to a table to wait for delivery. Fair enough ... they were advertising a daily special .... hmmmm .... very little sea food was on offer. Soup and ham and cheese sandwich. Well, we had been eating a lot of seafood so this sounded like a good change. The food arrived. The soup was a combination of Beef Barley and Chicken noodle ... or Beef noodle and Chicken Barley ... Beef and chicken in the same bowl, the top of which was swimming in grease globules. I looked at the sandwich. Two pieces of cheap white bread, no butter, a little mayonnaise, and one piece of store bought sandwich ham covered with a piece of processed cheese. I am ashamed to admit it ... I was hungry and ate it all. It didn't kill us, but what doesn't kill us makes us better, I suppose. The cost for two of us, with soft drinks, was just over $20.00. Good deal huh????

We did run into a young backpacker from Quebec. He was going to spend several months on the Island living rough. It sure reminded me of my youth wandering around Europe. I guess kids today stay closer to home.


St Anthony --- Triple Falls RV Park --- July 12 to July 15th

This Park, I didn't like! There are two in the area, and this one is hands down the better of the two; unfortunately that does not say much.... not my favourite. It was one of those places you show up, and the Office can't make a decision to save their lives. We wanted a place to set up the TV Satellite so we asked them where they thought they should put us. Well, they didn't know. They gave us a map and told us to go and check out two spaces that they thought would be OK. Problem was that they were both had RV's on them. Well, one was supposed to go today -- check out time was 11:00 and it was now 12:30 -- and the other was not supposed to be there. "Well, what can you do." was there attitude. We wandered around looking for a spot and finally thought ... what the heck. Just pick a spot and hope. Well, no joy for the Satellite reception. Because of the gravel sections on the road here, the Toad's windshield was covered in dust. No way could you see out the window. As I was hooking up the water to Harvey, I ran the hose over the Toad's windows, and with a rag washed off enough dirt so it would be possible to drive it. Suddenly, out of the Office ran a women yelling at me that "we don't recommend washing cars!" By that time, I had just finished and had hooked the water hose back to Harvey. Stupidly, I thought that I would try to explain that I was only cleaning the windows so we could drive into town, about 10 kms away. The subtle distinction was totally lost on her! She continued to say not to wash cars. It was close ... my motor mouth almost got away from me! Comments like, "Oh, there are some rules here you uphold" or "My gosh, you can make a decision after all" sprang to mind. But, rather risk being tossed out on our collective duffs, I bit my tongue and apologized saying that I didn't' see that rule on the Rule Sheet you didn't give us. She missed that too ... so crisis adverted and we stayed.

The next morning we decided to head to L'anse aux Meadows, the Viking Settlement about 30 Kms way.

After hopping into the Toad, the first thing I noticed was a foot long crack in the its windshield. A rock from one of the many construction sites I described at the beginning of this epistle, had smacked it on the way north on the Northern Peninsula. I was not pleased! The only other time we cracked a windshield in the Toad was in Alaska, so that gives you a very good indication of the quality of road construction here. I must say that the main TCH from Port aux Basque to St John's was great. It was only this Northern Peninsula road that was the concern. Off we go to L'anse aux Meadows. Sadly, they were fixing 30 or 40 culverts on this road so there were gravel sections 6 to 8 feet long that had been dug months before. You can imagine their condition now as there was absolutely no sign of anyone working one them.

When we got to the site, we wandered in and talked to the Ranger. We asked if much had changed in 6 years, and he said "nah ... though we did fix a roof". Being good at being cheap, the decision was easy to reach .... Pass on the tourist visit this year. Instead we thought that wandering around to the OutPorts here would be more fun. Again, the roads had lots of little gardens on the side and many large areas full of chopped firewood just sitting waiting for the bad weather to arrive. It is amazing that no one bothers the gardens, takes chopped firewood or steals a lobster pot. They just sit there. I wonder for how many more years, as the tourist industry grows, will this be able to continue?

At Quirpon we found a little restaurant complete with white table cloths and a Chef. The Chowder was great, and the lunch a complete surprise. To run into something like this in this isolated a spot was sure neat. Sitting beside us over lunch were two young guys who were seeing Canada. Both had been born in Toronto, but one had moved to BC to work. Unlike the fellow we met in Port aux Choix, they were not living rough. B &B's and a rented car was their style. But what the heck hey ... they were seeing the country ... good for them.

Another day, we drove to Ship Cove/Cape Onion and Raleigh. There were lots more icebergs much closer up than we had previously seen and each turn of the road produces yet another postcard quality view. In Raleigh we drove down to the dock where it looked like they were off loading a catch of some kind. Not being the least bit shy, I parked the car and wandered out onto the dock. With no effort at all, I was soon embroiled in a discussion about Caplin; a small "smelt-like or sardine-like" fish.

For you fact based people.

The old fisherman grabbed a shovel, opened one of the vats and scooped out a shovel full. I asked how do you serve them at the table, and he said that you simply grilled them, head and guts included, in a little garlic and butter. In fact he said, they are great raw. Down his throat went several caplin still flipping and flopping (Newfi Sushi, I guess). But, he said the roe was the real value. It is sent to Japan by the boat load. By this time a small crowd of tourists had gathered, and a young girl from Ontario grabbed a handful of roe and gobbled it down. "Hmm misses a little salt and lemon was her only comment". 

While we were in the Park, the "Big Red Bus" from Germany arrived. This bus is shipped over each year and filled with about 20 to 25 tourists each of whom have their own chair and bunk bed on board. It is sort of like group camping ... each person has their chore. The bus arrives, out they pour and setup the kitchen. Within an hour, the dinner is cooking, and they are headed to the Park provided showers. Dinner over, back they go into the bus and off it goes around 5:30 the next morning. Interesting way to see the country.

I was not unhappy to leave this Park.


Port aux Choix --- Oceanside RV Park revisited --- July 15 to July 18th)

We liked this place so much we had to return. The weather was good on arrival, got cloudy and rainy the next day, and gloriously sunny the last day. This place is worth a return visit to Newfoundland by itself!

We found that the motel in town had two great qualities ... great food and free WiFi. What more do you need!!! We did drive out to see the National Historic site at Point Riche, but as we are not really interested in Newfoundland flora, and the cost to go in was $15.00 for the two of us, we took a pass.

The morning we were leaving, our packing up ritual was rudely interrupted. Just as we hooked up the Toad, one of the campers from Ontario ran over and pointed to a flat tire on the Toad. Well, I thought, that equals Alaska ... flat tire and cracked windshield. Nothing to do but change the tire.

The fellow who told us about the tire ran off for his morning jog, and we got busy jacking up the car in preparation to removing the tire. Well, with my bad back, the runner returns, has pity, and offers to help. Well ... shucks ... OK! He was much younger than I am. It turns out that the fellow is a "failed teacher" --- in other words a Vice Principle in a secondary school. This is the thing we like about RVing. People will help out if you need it. We could have completed the job ourselves, but it would have been rude to decline his offer ... at least that is what I keep telling myself.

Go To Northern Peninsula Pictures


Doyles --- Grand Codroy RV Park --- July 18 to 26th

We finally get our mail that was sent by Leah in late May.

Not bad ... only 9 weeks for delivery!

Ahh .... the final week in Newfoundland. It has been a busy 7 weeks for Harvey and the Toad. When we get home, I will attempt to find out just how far we have driven the Toad since beginning this little odyssey, but I do notice that the tires are showing signs of real wear. As you can see from our trip summary, we have driven Harvey 1,777 miles on the Rock. I'll bet we have driven the Toad twice that distance! I mention this to explain, why we needed this time in Codroy. Elsie has a driving urge to commit a serious clean to Harvey. It is amazing just how much dust and dirt can be generated by two dogs and two people over several months. So, out come her favourite toys ... the vacuum and her personal bottle of windex. "Tally Ho" she screams as the dogs and I head outside as quickly as we can manage. Two days later, and the deed is done!

The floor has been sanitized, even the ceiling has been vacuumed. The fridge is defrosted and all shiny surfaces have been scrubbed within an inch of their lives. And even the Dogs were not missed. Everything is squeaky clean! The place looks brand spanking new!!!! What a job!!! Having to flee the RV, the dogs and I have gotten to know several neighbours quite well over this period, and I even managed to get the tire repaired for the Toad. Now it is my turn ....

I wanted to get the Newfoundland epistle out quite quickly when things are still sharp in the mind! After being nearly 3 months late with the last epistle, I thought I had better try to redeem myself! So ..... I started to type....

We like this Park! After being away for nearly 7 weeks, as we drove up to the Office, the owner, Alice, reached below the counter and produced the mail package that they were saving for us. It was like coming home! On our first trip there, we were one of only a very few rigs in the Park. Now, it is damn near full. There was a Newmar Rally, and that helped to swell the numbers considerably. Still, we got a great spot overlooking the Grand Codroy River with good access to the Wifi. It will be nice to get back on our own DataStorm Internet Satellite somewhere in Nova Scotia.

Another change from our first visit was the number of mosquitoes .... WOW. No way to BBQ outside unless you wanted to be a feast for the little buggers!

The weather was mostly awful! Lots of wind --- good to control the mosquitoes --- lots of rain and dark dismal humid days. We are starting to wonder if we will ever see a long stretch of summer. We got cheated on the Spring, and now summer seems to be slipping away. Well ... there are other perks.

We went back to the little restaurant in Codroy --- Codroy Cafe Plus --- for lunch. We wanted to order the Fishcakes we had there on the first visit. In our opinion they are the absolute BEST in all of Newfoundland! The Waitress and the Cook remembered us, and welcomed us warmly! It was like returning to friends. You know, you can say all you want about the fabulous beauty of the place, but it really comes down to the people. Newfoundland is all about the People!!!!

The only sad part is the Ferry system. Atlantic Marine runs the system .... well tries to run it. They never are on time! We had reservations on the 10:30AM boat and we had to get there 1 1/2 hours early to board. If you separate the Toad from Harvey and load separately, you actually save $18.00. Being cheap, we did this. As we sat waiting for 10:30, the loudspeaker announced that the sailing would be delayed 30 minutes. Oh well, we thought ... no big deal. I'm sitting in Harvey in the truck lanes, and Elsie in the Toad is in the car lines. Just at 10 to 10:00, they start to load the cars in a single line -- they could do two lanes -- on the upper deck. No action for the trucks on the lower deck.

Sharp on 10:15 the cars are finally loaded, and all the workers in their safety vests immediately repair to a little office. I can see through the window and watch as they lean against the walls ... It was coffee break. At 10:30 out came two of them, and they began to load the trucks.

The ferry actually leaves at a little after 11:00. We should have been in and docked at North Sydney in 5 to 6 hours. Why is that important you Ask? We have two little "timers" in Harvey. When the ferry pulls out, you have to leave your vehicle and dogs behind. You are not allowed to return until the vessel is docked. Well, they were last watered at 9:00 and if we get in by 5:00, it would only mean that their "valves" would have to be controlled for 8 hours. All that time, cooped up in Harvey, in the dark, alone.

As we pull out of Port aux Basque, the Captain announces that we should be dockside at 5:45. Oh well ... only 45 minutes longer.

We find seats, beside the Bar/Salon where the Newfi entertainment takes place. The seats are incredibly uncomfortable, and we were plagued by 3 little, 5 year old, hellions who ran and screamed up and down the alleyway. Many dirty looks from all the adults sitting around finally got one of the parents to control the little beasts. I thought one little boy must be ADHD, but after watching him over the hours, it was plain that he suffered from SP (S***ty Parents) Then came the final blow.

The Captain announced that the Atlantic Vision was taking too long to load! We would have to sit outside North Sydney harbour for another 1 1/2 hours. No problem, he announced, the Entertainment would continue for our enjoyment. Well, with the kids screaming, 9 hours of "Ise the by who builds the boat" ringing in our ears, and worrying about the little guys pressure valves, we were getting pissed! The trip was about 8 1/2 hours. Add that to the last time the dogs communed with a bush, and I was expecting a scene of disaster in Harvey.

I finally get down to Harvey, open the door and both welcomed me as well as they could with all four paws crossed. Even their eyes were crossed. I tried to tell them that it would be another 30 minutes to the Park, but they were not impressed. Both had managed to hold their water for over 10 hours, by the time I got to the Park. I let them out ... I was sure impressed with the size of their bladders!!!! Elsie then caught up in the car, and we got a site in Arm of Gold RV Park. We are all looking forward to several days rest after that ordeal! I think I will write a letter to Danny Williams (Premier of Newfoundland/Labrador) suggesting they hire several car loaders from BC Ferries .... Do you think he will listen?????

Even after that .... will we return to the Rock? YES!!! Do we recommend people come to the Rock? YES!!! The place is truly unique!



All of the Photographs taken in Newfoundland


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