Sunday, August 7, 2022
Bonavista to Twillingate, NL
Cumulative miles: 3,960
Partly sunny, low 60s rising to low 80s
We were on the road by 8:00 headed for Peyton’s Woods RV Park in Twillingate. We made a few stops along the way. The first was in Terra Nova National Park where we drove to Blue Hill Overlook for an expansive view of the area.
Later, we hiked the short but rather steep Mill Cove Lookout Trail. Much of this trail is on slick rock. As we climbed the rocky hill in front of us we thought, is this it? That’s when we spotted the real summit, a whole bunch higher. The climb was worth it, though, because the view was spectacular with mountains and coves intertwined in the distance. Strong winds are the rule in Newfoundland and, the wind up there was something else!
We just couldn’t resist taking a picture of the sign for Dildo Run Provincial Park. Turns out the term has meanings other than what may have popped into your mind. Today, the name applies to the Dildo Arm of Trinity Bay. Some people note that the word was used, historically, to refer to a thole pin used on a boat as a pivot for an oar. However, Captain James Cook and his assistant Michael Lane, who mapped Newfoundland in the 1760s, often displayed a sense of humor in the place names they chose and were not above selecting names that might offend over-sensitive readers.
During a short stop in Windsor, we satisfied a number of needs as we purchased groceries, made a Wal-Mart run and, finally, stopped at a McDonald’s for ice cream treats.
We fell in love with Twillingate as soon as we laid eyes on this lovely community.
Monday, August 8, 2022
Sunny, mid 70s
Our group visited a couple of local attractions. Our first stop was the Prime Berth Fishing Museum. The owners have built this venue using a combination of buildings including the fishing shed of the owner’s father. He actually pulled it off its original pilings and towed it to its current location. The museum was filled to the brim with collected tools and old photos that illustrated the history of cod fishing in the area.
For the main event the owner demonstrated the cleaning and salting of an actual cod fish in preparation for drying. We’d seen an illustration of this process earlier using stuffed fish dolls, so this repeated those steps but much more realistically. As a note, the fish’s liver was tossed into a special bucket where it would eventually break down into the much reviled cure-all, cod liver oil.
He also told the story of the July 2, 1992 cod moratorium, a government decision that devastated the cod industry by banning cod fishing along Canada’s east coast. Over fishing had reduced the cod population to one percent of historical levels and only a complete moratorium could allow the population to recover. Cod fishing still made up a huge portion of Newfoundland’s economy as it had for 500 years. Instantly, more than 30,000 Newfoundland/Labrador workers lost their jobs.
Originally planned as a two-year moratorium, it is still in effect because the cod recovery hasn’t really succeeded. And, so, it’s been a long hard recovery for the economy. Now fishing for shrimp, lobsters and crabs has taken over. And, tourism is an ever more important economic element. Keep in mind that there were almost no roads in the area until the 1960s, so the only way to get from place to place back then was by boat. That has now changed in a big way.
Next on our agenda was Auk Island Winery, another example of people finding businesses to replace cod fishing. This winery uses only local, wild berries to make its wines; no grapes are harmed in the process. The berry sourcing and wine making process was described to us in detail and with humor. A wine tasting followed. We found the flavors to be unique and the names of the wines, like “Kiss Me Arse” to be humorous. To many of us, though, the flavors seemed a bit thin, if that’s the right term, so we didn’t purchase any. However, their gift shop featured some really neat items so they made out ok, anyway.
That afternoon I wrote while Sandy did a couple of loads of wash and then hiked to the top of a steep hill that overlooked the town.
Dinner was a group affair at the Twillingate NWI Dinner Theater. Sandy had salmon while I opted for lobster. The food was quite good and the show was even better. The show consisted of some really good traditional musical performances interspersed with some very corny skits that had the audience, and at times the cast, in stitches.
Tuesday, August 9, 2022
Cumulative miles: 4,243
Overcast most of the day, low 60s and windy
This was a laid back day. We drove out to the tiny but lovely settlement of Crow’s Head to get breakfast at the Crow’s Nest Café. Sadly, they were not serving breakfast. They recommended we head back to Twillingate to the Cozy Tea Room & Bakery. Although they had no good gluten-free options for Sandy, I had the toutons special. A local favorite, toutons are flat, pan-fried bread rounds, traditionally served with baked beans. They were tasty and filling. While I was stuffing my face, Sandy engaged in conversation with a couple of women who were traveling the area together.
I wanted to catch up on my writing so Sandy and fellow traveler, Lesley, explored the area and, along the way, walked to the Crows Head lighthouse.
At the overlook they caught a glimpse of a whale spouting and a tiny iceberg.
They also checked out a couple of shops in “downtown” Twillingate.
That evening we had lobster for dinner. Our caravan leaders had purchased lobsters at wholesale for those who requested them. We added a salad and melted butter and enjoyed a delicious meal. Nan joined us for dinner and later she & Sandy played Scrabble while I read.