03
Aug
13

Newfoundland slideshow

Nearly three weeks on Newfoundland and we don’t want to leave, but the west is there and tBonavista peninsula hikinghat’s where we’re heading.  After our first three weeks in Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal-Quebec City seeing the sights and meeting up with old friends and relatives – including one fine lady who just turned 100 – Newfoundland has been like going back in time and space.  Here the pace of life is slower, and it slows you down.

For example, we had plans to head up to the northern tip of the island to a Viking archaeological site called L’Anse-aux-Meadows, a remote snip dangling off the nail of Newfoundland’s finger at the end of the aptly named Long Range Mountains on this, the world’s seventh-largest island and nearly the size of Britain.  For its historical significance and magnificent setting everyone says it’s a must-do on the island.  UNESCO World Heritage this, Canada National Historic site that… yaddda yadda yadda.  We did not do, because we looked at the map, decided it was just way too much driving on an 8-week summer wander that is already going to top 10,000km spread over five provinces and three rental cars, so we stayed put.

Not that it was such an easy decision to make, because the allure is strong, but we heard a while later from someone who made the trek that the place is disappointing for the usual reason: as remote as it is, it’s crawling with the cruise-ship bus-tour set, no doubt fresh from cheesing up the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.

What we have been up to is hiking.  We’ve been up and down many island trails and never once gotten tired of seeing what’s around the corner.  The place is unspoiled – at least it is to my eyes.  I don’t know anywhere else you can just park the car, walk up, take a seat and spend the afternoon watching tens of thousands of nesting birds clinging to cliffside crannies tending for their young.  The Northern Gannet, the Puffin, the lesser-crested horny twirl-flitzer – they’re all there, and you don’t have to take a boat tour to see the whales, either.

The walkabouts haven’t been all fun, though.  Wife K having wisely begged off, the red-haired teen and I slogged up a rubble-strewn gully of pure scree and torture on Gros Morne, 800 vertical metres of unstable foot-placement that will always stick in my mind as the hike I wish I’d never taken.  But two hours later and several degrees cooler, the view was worth it.

I hope this is worth it, too.  Take a gander, b’y!

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8 Responses to “Newfoundland slideshow”


  1. 1 Max
    August 3, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Super photos, Ian! Merci de les partager avec nous… et welcome home!
    Max

    • August 3, 2013 at 3:38 pm

      Thank-you, Max! Actually, here near St John’s, we’re much closer to Hamburg than we are to Vancouver. It’s only 4343km to Hamburg, but just over 5,000km to Vancouver. Of course, you could walk west from here, which would make the trip even longer, though I’d rather walk than swim. :-)

  2. 3 Akebono
    August 3, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Glad to know that you all are having a wonderful time in NFLD. Holyrood and Witless Bay were some of the highlights of my 2002 visit…hospitality, smiles, generosity…Hopefully you were able to find some fresh vegetables and fruits! Bonne continuation across Canada…We’re leaving Paris on Monday to Bois de Vincennes…where you trekked in your boots, winter coat, gloves and hat last year in -7 degrees C…Thrilled to hear of your continued healing of your leg…Perhaps we’ll do a simple Squamish hike sometime soon…Stay well, stay safe and enjoy the rest of the Maritimes as you trek across Canada. What a wonderful opportunity!

  3. August 3, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Ian! I love the photos! :-D

  4. August 4, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    I’d been wondering, and had chosen “vacation” as the best and preferred explanation for the extended silence here. How wonderful to know that all’s well with your leg, and that you’re putting it to such good use!

    The photos are just amazing. When I see people’s travel photos, I often think, “Well, that’s very pretty.” Sometimes I think, “I don’t know – that place has a fine reputation, but…” When I looked at these, all I could think was, “I want to be there. NOW!”

    Happy and safe travels!

  5. August 5, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Sounds so pristine in your description: doubly new found land for you, so to speak.

    -Happy travels.

  6. August 11, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Glad you enjoyed your hike in Gros Morne. Admittedly I don’t like loose scree, rock when hiking up mountains. I also have a fear of heights…especially going down, takes some focus for me.

    Rest and enjoy Canada.

  7. August 22, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Nice pile of fish at your feet, among all the other cool shots!


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