a) Coastal Safari – summer of 2003
We wanted to explore the Newfoundland coastal wilderness, but we didn’t have the time to organize a safe voyage of discovery so we signed up with a St. John’s couple, who had it all worked out. St. John’s Newfoundland is the oldest city in Canada.
We were picked up at the St. John’s airport and taken to a beautiful downtown historical home which was within walking distance of St. John’s harbour, downtown entertainment, and Signal Hill National Park. St. John’s is the oldest city in Canada, and we had a couple of days to explore it before our wilderness adventure began.
We had arrived in Newfoundland on Saturday, and on Monday morning early, we were shuttled south to the Avalon Peninsula, stopping at Witless Bay Provincial Seabird Sanctuary. Puffins, petrels, murres, and fulmars amazed us, but we had to move along to a small fishing village called Harbour Mille, (pop. 200) which is the last community at the end of the road at the bottom of Nfld. We learned about the ‘over fishing’ that took place in the 1980’s. It was all about tourism now, and we boarded a small fishing boat. As we passed by eagles, whales, dolphins, porpoises and a bluefin tuna, we began to feel very isolated.
We traveled a long way up a remote fjord called Long Harbour to our coastal safari camp called Tickle camp. The brown building to the right was the cook house, and we stayed in the tent farthest from the cook house. Other than the lawyer who owned Coastal Safari, the hired cook, and his teenage daughter and her friend, we were the only tourists.
We even passed the odd iceberg out in the open ocean on our way to the fiord .
The campsite consisted of a small cookhouse, and 4 (12×14 foot) tents. All the comforts of home were provided. We were now in paradise!
For almost a week, we hiked, explored deserted settlements of long ago, kayaked, fished, and swam in glacial pools. Our host, Owen, a lawyer from St. John’s, told many stories of days gone by. We especially enjoyed our day at an abandoned fishing village called, “Anderson’s Cove.
Owen introduced us to fishing for fresh cod.
We hiked up behind the cook house where we found fresh blueberries, and a fresh glacial lake to bathe in.
This was our first introduction to Newfoundland and it is definitely a must see place to visit for all nature lovers!
Check out this link ..
b) Gros Morne National Park – summer of ’96
Years ago, the National Geographic was a great magazine to find out lots of interesting things about our world. My wife was glancing through an old issue back then and came across an article about Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland Canada. She immediately contacted a Newfoundland Ecotourism business located in Norris Point on the west coast of Newfoundland right in the middle of Gros Morne National Park. They told us that for $1000 each, they would look after all our needs for 10 days. All we had to do was get there. So we did!
We left Cambridge Ontario and headed east. We experienced Montreal, Quebec City, the Gaspe Peninsula, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, a ferry ride to Port aux Basque Nfld and the drive up the western highway to Gros Morne National Park and the small village of Norris Point. Terry’s B&B was waiting of us. This would be our home for the next 10 days. Hiking, kayaking, and more would begin almost immediately.
We were very excited about experiencing Gros Morne Mountain, The Tablelands, and Western Brook Pond.
Our first adventure was to climb to the top of Gros Morne mountain (big bald mountain). I was so excited about this hike that I twisted my ankle on the way up the 3 hour trek. This happened on the first day but it didn’t stop me from doing any of the activities and I enjoyed the adventures tremendously for another 9 days.
Here I am standing at the top of this very famous mountain called Gros Morne …(notice the bandage on the leg)
Gros Morne National Park is a world heritage site located on the west coast of Newfoundland Canada. At 1,805 km², it is the second largest national park in Atlantic Canada. Park of Gros Morne Park resembles the surface of the Moon.
The Tablelands in the park is a great example of CONTINENTAL DRIFT, where deep ocean crust and the rocks of the earth’s mantle lie exposed. As far as you can see in any direction, there is nothing but ROCKS. These snake skin rocks are called Peridotite. They are 500 million years old and beautiful. Just to hold a piece of the Earth that is that old, is wonderful!
On Tuesday August 13, we drove north on highway 430 outside of Norris Point to the gateway to the fjords at Western Brook Pond. We parked the car and began our hike across bogs and boardwalks and over limestone ridges to the boat at the edge of the lake. The fjord is a large canyon filled with water. The pond or lake is 567 feet deep in some places and 2 feet deep in others. Seagulls were chasing bald eagles. There was even a beach and a picnic area where we devoured a delicious apple pie.