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Trip Report 3 1/2 wks in September 2011 - Part 1

Banks, Oregon
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Trip Report 3 1/2 wks in September 2011 - Part 1

Warning! Not the normal intinerary-style report---this will be a long, rambling story of my unfolding trip---okay, you've been warned :)

I left Portland bright & early on 9/5/11 and finally arrived in St. John's Airport at almost midnight their time. I had reservations at the Comfort Inn near the airport---a call for their shuttle provided transportation very quickly. The Inn was clean & comfortable & had a very nice restaurant. They do offer a breakfast buffet during certain hours that comes with the room charge, but having gotten in so very late, I slept in and enjoyed a very nice breakfast in their restaurant.

The front desk was nice enough to call Enterprise Rental Cars for me, which I had my rental car reserved at a town location-not the airport. I would recommend this as the rates are much lower, they come to pick you up, and you do not pay for mileage---it's unlimited mileage, which is very important for traveling across the island.

Now, my only other task to complete before beginning my trip was to procure a prepaid cell phone and service, as mine did not work in Canada. Not wanting to go into too much detail here, I do not recommend Telus. After spending rest of afternoon to no avail to get hooked up, I did spend another night in St. John's, which afforded me the opportunity to visit the famed George Street. I had beer and food at both O'Reilly's and Greensleeves---both were really nice-good music and I felt comfortable in each place.

Next day success! proper cell phone service in hand, I took off with anticipation on my adventure. My first stop after leaving town was Petty Harbour, a very pretty little harbour town-slight detour on way to Cape Spear. I enjoyed lunch at Chafe's Landing, tasting my first Newfoundland fishcakes. These were different from our crabcakes, being they were mashed potatoes, seasonings and a smalll amount of flaked fish. (Oregon's crab cakes are mainly a large amount of crab, seasonings & a small amount of bread chunks as filling). I liked them, though, and would enjoy them several times during my trip, and they made a very nice breakfast.

Travel is just another good way to discover different ways to prepare food, right?

After lunch I left with coffee & dessert to go, having rememered seeing a cliffside spot on my way into town with a picnic table and trail. Was a great way to see the harbour and enjoy the afternoon.

On to Cape Spear! I lucked out with the weather. Sun was out, making the ocean various incredible shades of blue. Also, the wind was very strong, creating a wonderful display of wave action-a visual orchestra. I laughed as a huge wave pounded the rugged coastline so hard the spray came up & hit my face-and I was on the trail far above the ocean-a fun & surprising walk! I was thrilled at my introduction to the North Atlantic and Newfoundland. The Cape Spear National Historic Site and Lighthouse were very interesting-wonderful first afternoon in Newfoundland.

Headed south on Hwy #10 to explore the Avalon Peninsula. Stayed in Ferryland at Ark of Avalon B&B. Settled in with help of hosts' son and took off to locate a place to eat. After a nice seafood dinner at a local diner, I walked up the trail leading to the Ferryland Lighthouse (where they normally have the picnics) to take advantage of the last rays of light. Saw 2 red foxes on way up-didn't stay long as daylight was fading and the road/trail went through some forestland, making it darker-but it was a really nice way to end the day.

Settling back in at the Ark of Avalon, I finally got to meet the hostess, a lovely lady who immediately gave me a hug and a homemade muffin to go with my cup of tea. Yes, I'm going to love it here! Lovely full breakfast the following morning along with a good chat with the host, a commercial fisherman of the Grand Banks. As my father has been a sports fisherman (mainly salmon & sturgeon) as long as I can remember, our chat was fun and interesting. Another hug and off I go-lovely 1st Newfoundland B&B experience.

Colony of Avalon Archaeological Site & Museum was my next stop.

Extremely interesting-both walking along & watching the volunteers working the dig and the museum, with it's many artifacts and stories of this English Colony-fascinating!

Continued south towards Trepassey, wanting to go out to Cape Race on the way. Extreme fog conditions kept me from seeing anythingbut hey, that's ok-was worth a try :) Maybe next trip.

Cape St. Mary Ecologic Reserve - initially dismayed due to fog but was told at the visitor center that it was often clearer out at the point. The walk along the cliffs was very easy-going and luckily the fog did lift just as I reached the point-hundreds of gannets in the air, on the cliffs, in the waves-playing, swooping & generally entertaining the observer. Very pretty birds-I sat on a rock near the cliff and quietly took it all in. A young lady with a clipboard was observing & writing-as she started to leave I got a chance to talk to her-she volunteered as a gatherer of data-the birds' activities & species. Apparently I had missed several other types of birds as I was there in September but I didn't mind-I thoroughly enjoyed my time with only gannets...and gannets...and gannets.

I enjoyed a very late llunch at a seemingly touristy-appearing restaurant as I got back to the main road but I did have one of the best bowls of seafood chowder! Every type of seafood you can imagine & a thich slice of homemade bread. (like they say, don't judge a book by it's cover).

Spent that night in St. Mary's at Claddaugh Inn-very nice, clean & comrtable with a very good breakfast.

.......okay, enough rambling for Part 1----more later .....

END OF PART 1

Edited: 13 January 2012, 21:43
Gros Morne National...
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1. Re: Trip Report 3 1/2 wks in September 2011 - Part 1

Great trip report! Glad to see you discovered fish cakes, fish cakes and fried eggs is my ideal breakfast!

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Trip Report 3 1/2 wks in September 2011 - Part 1

What a wonderful start to your TR, OE! I'm enjoying every word of it. There's something rather cool, isn't there, about standing at Cape Spear and the easternmost point in North America. Glad you had good weather for it. Looking forward to the next installment.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Trip Report 3 1/2 wks in September 2011 - Part 1

Loved this chapter of your TR. Remembering some of it with a big smile. Impatiently waiting the next chapter. (sorry for the impatience.)

Scunthorpe, United...
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4. Re: Trip Report 3 1/2 wks in September 2011 - Part 1

It was worth waiting for..... am looking forward to the rest.

Gannets are amazing bird the way they fold their wings and dive.

Banks, Oregon
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5. Re: Trip Report 3 1/2 wks in September 2011 - Part 1

:) thank you all for your support. sorry for the bit-by-bit format (use computer at library). Which, by the way, was a wonderful thing in Newfoundland-their libraries all have computers and I got to have a guest pass. Sorry-may be few days before next installment. Thank you for your patience.

6. Re: Trip Report 3 1/2 wks in September 2011 - Part 1

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