As Newfoundland is pretty close to Nova Scotia, but pretty much no where else, it seemed to make sense to visit while I was working in Nova Scotia. To get to Newfoundland I'd have to drive up to the north of Nova Scotia and then get the ferry for several hours. There are both day and night ferries and I had got a cabin from my parents for my birthday so I could take the night ferry and get an extra day in Newfoundland. It isn't the longest crossing and what with taking a while to get to sleep, probably because I'd never slept on a boat before, I was still pretty tired come the morning.
Saturday 6 June
Boutte de Cap
AI had decided to start my trip by heading about halfway up the west coast of Newfoundland and pick up the bits near the ferry on the way back. The weather was pretty atrocious when I left the ferry and although it cleared up a bit by my first stop it still was not exactly great - as you can see in the photos. My first stop was at Boutte de Cap where, all things considered, I had a reasonably nice walk along the cliff tops. The area was meant to be known for it's sea birds but there didn't seem too much going on while I was there.
On my way to my next planned stop I saw a random sign for a hidden falls and went to explore. I'm glad I did as they were in a very pretty location. Given the weather I didn't get any closer and planned to try to get back later in the trip - which I never did so they're still on my list! Not long after leaving the hidden falls I came across an alpaca farm which was pretty random. The weather and shy alpacas meant there are not many pictures and those that do exist are not the best. After that it was to Gravels for another enjoyable coastal walk in the rain. I'd booked my campsite for the night as it was a weekend but I need not have worried as I was one of only two groups there!
Sunday 7 June
Little Port Head
Next day started out much the same as the day before - all rather murky. I started off on the Little Port Head hike without high hopes for the fuel. This was a rather difficult hike with frequent use of ropes but the weather did start to clear up as I did it and there was the occasional good view. Someone really should tell the trail builders how building the trail too steep just encourages errosion though. Some of the the steep bits, with ropes, were horribly eroded. Enough that I felt bad for probably adding to it.
I next went back to the park where I'd camped and hiked the Tortoise Mountain Trail. I started by climbing a staircase from the beach and built into the cliff which was pretty cool. There were some pretty nice views along the hike - when the clouds weren't in the way. That said the clouds did sometimes add to the scene. Unfortunately when I reached the viewpoint at the end of the headland the clouds decided to be really annoying. Still it was much better than it had been earlier and the day before and it made a nice change. While driving away from the park towards my camp site for the night the weather had definitely cleared up and there were some nice views so I stopped and took some photos.
Monday 8 June
Western Brook Pond
Monday saw me in Grand Morne National Park and I headed to the famous Western Brook Pond - apparently the only proper fjord in the park. I'd had a bit of slow start to the day and by the time I'd done the hike to the boat dock the boat had just left. At the time I was not disappointed as I'd never planned to get on it planning to attempt to hike to the top of the fjord. This however involved fording a river but when I arrived at it it was obviously this was unlikely to happen. A quick test confirmed it was a bad idea so it was back to car to come up with another plan as the boat only runs once a day at this time of year.
Baker's Brooks Falls
The plan I came up to was to hike to Baker's Brook Falls. This was a nice hike with a lot of it being on broadwalks. The falls were nice and even formed a little bit of a rainbow for me. On the way back I went through a fenced area that was intended to keep moose out. It was pretty cool to see how the vegetation was different. I also took another different path on the way back and actually saw a moose. That evening, afetr dinner, I went for a nice little hike along the shoreline as the sun was setting - I do like that time of day.
Tuesday 9 June
The next day dawned with not so great weather again. I started the day running into the local town for gas (petrol) and stopped if at a lighthouse. The lighthouse itself was shut as they were updating the exhibit and the temporary exhibit was nothing great so given the weather I didn't hang around. Despite the weather I'd decided to chance driving right up to the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula to try and go on an ice berg tour the next day so the plan to take a reasonably leisurely drive up there. My next stop was Arches Provincial Park - some not that exciting sea arches.
Point Riche Lighthouse
Next step was Point Riche Lighthouse and the area around known for it's old native American settlements. The visitor centre was closed but there were people inside who took pity on me, let me in briefly and gave a map. I drove down to the lighthouse and hiked along the cost to one of the old settlements. There was some really, really cool art work near the settlements which I took plenty of photos of - I'll leave you to go and look at the photos rather than try to describe it. The information panels on the history of the area were also pretty interesting. After that was done I drove to St. Anthony although there were a couple of pictures of a moose along the way. Before heading to bed I managed to arrange an ice berg tour for the next day.
Wednesday 10 June
Before the tour I went and hiked the Daredevil Trail. Other than the slightly decaying nature of some of the wooden staircase there was nothing particularly daredevilly about it. But here were a lot of steps! The views at the top were worth it though. By the time I was down it was time for the ice berg tour and this was definitely the highlight of the trip - they're so beautiful. The choppy seas stopped us going out of the harbour, and so also possibly seeing whales, but the ice bergs we were saw were still wonderful. I was so glad I had made the long drive up. The patterns in the ice bergs were amazing. I'll stop waxing lyrical now and let you go and look at the photos.
After the amazing icebergs (sorry couldn't resist) I went to Fishing Point. This was where the Daredevil Trail started but I hadn't had a chance to look around at the bottom earlier in the day. Some nice, and subtely different, views. I then started the drive back south. On the way out of town I stopped to take some photos of a slightly historic fire bombing plane before continuing on the drive. I went a different way to the drive up and did a detour to a small settlement and the White Point Trail. This was meant to lead to a nice viewpoint but although there were some nice views I never reached the viewpoint as both the trail and it's signage were not in the best of conditions. The number of RV trails in the area made guessing where to go a little difficult. So that was all a little disappointing.
Thursday 11 June
I arrived at my campsite, Lomond, rather late in the evening so next day explored it a bit and took some pictures from the beach area of it. I then headed to the visitors center and got some hike recommendations. I decided to do the Green Gardens hike and do the loop rather than the more common out and back hike. This turned out to be a 10 miles 6 hour hike involving two fords of a river and which was really very pleasant, especially once I got away from other people. The visitors centre staff made a really good recommendation. I still had a little bit of the day left so did the Lookout Trail hike just as the sun was setting and got some really nice views of the surrounding area.
Friday 12 June
Next day the weather was not so wonderful again but I still headed out on the other recommended hike - the Trout River Hike. I was less impressed by this but I suspect this was largely because of how great the hikes the day before had been as it was still a very nice hike despite the weather. After the hike I had a little explore of a nearby small town, Woody Point, before heading south to spend the next day exploring near the ferry.
Saturday 13 June
Granite Coast Scenic Drive
My last proper day in Newfoundland also dawned gray and overcast and this put a bock on my original plan of hiking up a hill as I'd have been quickly in the cloud and seeing nothing, so I decided to do a bit of a driving tour instead. I first drove down to the end of the road hoping the weather would improve for the way back. At the end of the read was Rose Blanche lighthouse which I described in their visitors book as an overpriced tourist trip! Nothing too exciting. Further down the road was the short walk to Barachois Falls. I strongly suspect the weather was largely responsible for these not looking too spectacular.
After that I hiked the Harvey Trail. The weather cleared marginally for this and there were lots of history signs so I enjoyed myself. I still wanted to get some more exercise so hiked part of the old Newfoundland railway line - the T'Railway Park. I was pleasantly surprise by how nice this was with the lakes and the scenery. If I'd gone further I'd have reached the sea which I'd have imagine would also have been attractive but it was wet and miserable so I turned round. As the sun was setting I explored, by car, the back way out of the park I was staying at, found a lighthouse and in rather high wind took a couple of photos.
Sunday 14 June
Next day was spent getting the ferry and then driving back home. I took some photos of the ferry, the docks at both ends and another ferry in dock. Nothing too exciting. All in all a really good trip which was only slightly spoiled by the weather. Oh, and the icebergs were amazing! Have I mentioned that?
Copyright Daniel Money 2015