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fossils, birds and smoke

Breakfast at the Claddagh Inn was a delight. I had time before to lounge in the adjoining living room and glance at a few of the many books they have on Newfoundland.

I brought one to the table and enjoyed it while sipping my hot chocolate in a very dainty cup…and then yogurt with partridgeberries and oats, and the main course: Carol’s ham and waffles. Delish, ma chère…because Carol is Franco-Ontarian.

We drove by St-Vincent’s beautiful beach, a very popular spot in the summer. Apparently, whales come very close to the shore.

On the road again….We wanted to go to Cape Race, but the road wasn’t in good condition as indicated by big warning signs,, we stopped at the Edge of Avalon Interpretive Centre and met 4 of the nicest ladies ever:  Edwina, Pearl, Marilyn and Gladys. We chatted and learned so much with them about the lighthouse, the Marconi Station which received The Titanic distress signal (now, the story of which person actually received it is steeped in folklore) and the Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve where the oldest multicellular organisms in the world are fossilized (579 million years ago). The Centre has a 40sq² cast (part of a bigger 900sq² section) of one of the flat rocks that has the imbedded fossils . The Interpretative Centre only receives about 5,300 visitors a year. C’mon people! This is fascinating stuff!

 

 

Then, we drove up the Irish Loop to Ferryland where the Colony of Avalon was settled in 1621. There are archeological digs still going on, a very nice gift shop and the lighthouse. We walked the whole way because there were signs telling us to park at the Interpretation Centre. It was a cold, windy 3-km walk (the good part is that we burned off our fish & chips). Of course, others ignored the signs and were able to park 1 km from the lighthouse!!! The site is famous for its “The Lighthouse Picnics” prepared in a basket . You can always bring your own. It was a nice outing, beautiful views …

 

We were happy to arrive in St-John’s by early evening, after many stops and U-turns for better pictures…

We are staying at the Quality Inn Harbourview. Great location, nice restaurant next to the lobby Rumpelstiltskin’s.

 From our guestroom window, an iceberg floated by just beyond the Narrows of St. John’s Harbour against a pinkish sky background…nite-nite, sweet dreams and promises of a clear day tomorrow…

Nope, the next morning did not quite bring us a clear day. So we put on extra layers and headed to Cape Spear, a beautiful spot even if it doesn’t open till 10 am. You can still roam around the grounds including the lighthouse and some bunkers…yes, WW2 bunkers! I had goose bumps walking in those tunnels…

A little stop at Petty Cove and, on the corner of the Petty Cove Rd. and Main Rd. (on route 10), was the Corner Store… a bakery. Oh! My! The smells as I walked in:  breads, pastries, cookies, you name it! I couldn’t resist the Rocky Road magic bars…

We had a reservation for a Puffin ’n Whale tour with Gatherall’s based in Bay Bulls. Well, to our surprise, the skies cleared, the wind dropped a bit and the puffins, gannets and murres were all there to welcome us (they’ll make a bird lady out of me before I leave Newfoundland!) but no whales. You would think that the fog, rain, wind and clouds of the previous days would have made perfect “capelin weather” and that would have harkened the arrival of the whales.  Nope!

 

That’s okay. The boat ride was fun and we sailed around an iceberg as a bonus.  Our tour guide was funny and informative which was good enough for me. We wouldn’t have missed the opportunity to see the coast from the water.

 

Heading back to St. John’s, we detoured to the Fort Amherst district to view another berg, saw the lighthouse and “The Battery” district on the other side. By then, it was a full sunny day with blue skies. We weren’t the only ones out, it seems… after, on our way up to Signal Hill, there was even a lineup of cars. Stopped at the Visitor Centre and saw two soldiers in period costumes practicing firing their rifles and producing big puffs of white smoke! Went to Cabot tower, saw another berg (can’t get enough of them!) and another heritage shop with quality crafts.

 

 

A quicky supper at the Bagel Café and back in time to see another iceberg in front of our guestroom window. Nite-nite, another promise of a sunny day tomorrow…