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We are off to Newfoundland so tag-along with us.

Whales, Whales and more Whales

June 30, 2011

OMG, OMG, OMG what an amazing day.  We left Elbroko by 9:00 a.m. it was 18 degrees and sunny today. We are headed for the Baccalieu Trail, which is the northern Avalon Peninsula.  Our campground, “The Blue Fin” is not far from highway 70 which will take us up the eastern side of this peninsula, along Conception Bay.  Our first stop along the way was the small coastal community of Cupids.  We stopped to get a coffee at Cupids Haven a church that had been renovated into a charming tea room and B and B.
We were given a tour and saw how they had incorporated much of the old church into the current structure.  We continued up the coast doing what Doug and I do best, getting on all the backroads.  We drove through some of the neatest little communities, which are much different than the ones on the west coast.  A lot of these towns are no longer the little fishing communities they used to be.
Although some of them still do have fishing, mostly by the larger trollers, it does not appear to be the mainstay of the community.  I would imagine a lot of the people in these communities commute to St. John’s for work, or are retired.  The drive is beautiful, along rugged coastline, with awesome views. We stopped in Harbour Grace to view the Amelia Earhart Statue.

She was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic ocean, in May 1932. The S.S. Kyle, built in 1913, was the first boat to provide Labrador with a scheduled service. In 1967 during a storm, she had broken loose from her moorings and came to rest on the beach.
  It was less expensive to flood the hull to prevent further drifting than to try and salvage her.
We drove through the historic section of town and saw St. Paul’s Anglican church the oldest stone church in Newfoundland built in 1835. We went inside where some members who were doing some work welcomed us to look around and gave us a brochure of the church.  
We found a small fish market down by the harbour and bought some fresh Cod fish for supper….yummy, can hardly wait.  We bought over 2 lbs and it only cost us $12.  The owner packed it in some ice as we told him we would be out and about all day.  We drove through the tiny village of Freshwater where the streets were barely wide enough for 2 cars to pass. 

We grabbed a Timmy’s coffee in Carbonear and continued on to Salmon Cove where we decided to eat the lunch that we brought along.
 As we were driving along the coast I spotted a whale and just about choked on my sandwich, Doug whipped over to the side threw Hemi in park, I jumped out camera in hand, have no idea what I did with the rest of my sandwich, oh well. Doug realized that he wasn’t really parked in a safe spot and moved ahead while I am out searching for a live whale this time. We were pretty excited about the whales and watched them for about 15 minutes. 

We could have stayed longer but we are only half way up the coast and it is now 1 oclock.  At this rate we will have to buy a big spotlight to see the other side! Ochre Pit Cove was the closest we saw today of a small community fishing village.  

The small fishing boats were moored out in the bay, which is what I remembered from years ago. 
We carry on and spy some more whales, luckily there is a small rest area and there is a small path leading down to a lookout.  Not only do we see whales 
but also this cool natural arch “The Mouse Hole” and a beautiful coastline. We force ourselves to carry on and finally arrive in Grates Cove the very tip of this peninsula.  
Grates Cove is known for stonewalls that are scattered around the community. 
They were built to surround vegetable gardens to keep out animals.  It is believed that this area was one of the first places sighted by John Cabot in 1497.  Of course we drive to the very end of the road and stop at the John Cabot monument. 
As we are walking down the trail don’t we spy whales again.  
OMG they are surfacing and spouting everywhere.  We are both so excited you would think it is the first time we have ever seen a whale.  Look there is one, did you see that one, over there another one.  We are like little kids.  We watched these amazing creatures feed on the caplin for over an hour.  I hiked around the trails to try and get closer to them, and of course, to get a better look at some of the rock walls.
Finally at 4:30 we decide we better get a move on.  But oh no they seem to be coming into the bay, quick there is another road, drive down there.  There just happened to be a B and B and the owner was working outside, so we stop to talk, of course, and his wife also comes out to talk.  Apparently these are humpback whales and they figure there are about 20 whales in the pod.  The night before they came right into the bay to feed and the spouting was so loud it kept them awake.  Amazing!  

They offered us a tea, which really hit the spot, we have been watching these whales now for a couple of hours. I forgot to mention that the temperature had now dropped to 7 degrees and it was windy and the fog was rolling in and we still have to get down the coast. 
This time we actually leave and head down the west coast to try and avoid the fog that is coming in from the east.  On the way I have to stop at Hant’s Bay to see the old wooden lighthouse
and Heart’s Content to see their lighthouse. It is now 7:00 and I am famished so we decide to have supper at the next restaurant we see.  The Cod we bought will have to keep for another day.  We stopped at a very nice restaurant overlooking Trinity Bay and don’t we have an amazing Cod dinner anyway.  Yummy!  When we left the restaurant didn’t it start to rain again.  Surprise, surprise!  What is it with the rain in Newfoundland.  12 hours after leaving Elbroko we arrive back, a little more weary than when we left, but with some more awesome memories to add to our Backroad memories. 

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