Saturday, August 8, 2015
the ferry and the first few days in NF
When I got up, I decided to try to get the first ferry at 10:30, so I drove to Forteau and set up the ice cream for the two ladies at Coastal Motors, then drove to Blanc Sablon and arrived at 8:25. There were more people on line than I expected so I figured that I would probably get the 3:30 boat. At 8:30 the ferry opened and I got number 20 and for the next two and a half hours I waited to see if I would get on the early boat. There got up to number 17 before putting things on hold, but they said there was still a chance that I would get on so I stayed and finally, they issued me a ticket and said to drive down to the dock even though my place was still not guaranteed. Number 19 hadn’t shown up so there I was looking at at least two open spots but not on the boat yet. A minute later they put me on first and it was so close I had to take the bike and bike rack off. The voyage was in almost complete fog but I was excited to get to NF and the first thing I did was ride my bike for 50 minutes on a side road a few miles from the ferry. I kept driving and was hoping to play golf at Cow Head when I passed Doctor’s river and my plans immediately changed. What a lovely small river! I got in my waders and off I went, catching two brookies before I saw that there was a fellow fishing about 100 yards ahead of me. I didn’t understand how he got ahead of me (he was actually coming back down) but when I reached him, we had a nice chat and he told me he had caught 100 trout. Impressive. I was a little disheartened since he must have caught almost every fish in the river but the cascades were so tempting, I decided to fish and I ended up catching nine, not bad in a previously fished river. I decided to stop in Port au Choix and found a campground there and rode my bike for 35 minutes then had a good dinner of local shrimp and scallops. In the morning, I decided to head to Cow Head and try to play golf. Try is the key word. It was about 8:30 when I started and the greens were wet, bumpy and slow. The fairways were very slow and wet so a good drive only went a few more yards. I ended up with a 50 or a 51, but it was long even from the red tees and it took me five shots to get to the par five greens. After that I asked if I could ride my bike on the cart path and they said fine since there was no one on the course. I rode for 50 minutes and then it was time to head to Rocky Harbour in Gros Morne National Park. I drove in at about 11:45 and had a nice lunch of cod au gratin and fish chowder at the Fisherman’s Landing. After that I decided to drive toward Norris Point and as I got to the harbor, a tour boat was just about to leave so I jumped out and asked if I could still get on and the mate said yes. I bought my ticket and had a wonderful tour of Bonne Bay. Gros Morne mountain in the distance was quite imposing and the little towns we passed were very picturesque and the tour guide’s historical notes were rather interesting. I then was going to explore some more but instead I stopped at a picnic site and did my weights and yoga. After that back to the Gros Morne RV park and some more biking, then some piano practice (the second time this trip). As the sun was setting I took a walk out by the wharf and it was quite pleasant. Now it was back to the Fisherman’s Landing for some chowder and coffee and some work and later the lobster dinner I was hoping for all day. I walked a little on the sidewalk along the harbor and then back to my campsite for a decent night’s sleep. I awoke at 6:30 and by 6:45 I was on the road. I decided not to go out to the Tablelands (the bare red flattish mountain) and instead drove on until I found a decent place to ride my bike out by a lake. I was tempted to fish since there were so many places where I could cast easily, but I saw no one else fishing so I passed on it. I was going to keep driving for a while but I found a lovely little stream that looked full of trout. It was amazing but I only got 8 fish, and I think someone must have fished it earlier. After about a half hour I slipped and fell in, but that didn’t bother me too much (it was warm and not too breezy) so I kept fishing. All my clothes were drenched and I discovered that my camper top had spread out again so I would need too really fix it this time, drilling holes and putting in screws. I drove some, got a sandwich and decided to take a nap. I pulled over at a large pullout and moved all the stuff into the front. Then I climbed in with my stomach feeling a little odd. In five minutes it was an emergency as I had to go to the bathroom again and again and I was dizzy and almost passed out several times. Finally I got back in and fell asleep for a while and when I awoke, I felt okay. I thought I had food poisoning and I wasn’t sure how long I would be okay so I moved the stuff into the back and drove to Grand Falls. I was going to get a room near the hospital (I vividly remember the awful night in the emergency room in Texas) but when I got close to town I was still feeling okay so I thought I might get a campsite after all. I couldn’t find one so I stopped at a hotel just off the highway but they were full . The front desk woman was very kind and let me use the laundry facilities and during that time I rode my bike (still a slight bit queasy). I also found a campsite nearby and talked to the fellow there and he said it was fine to come after I finished the laundry. I fixed the camper back with screws and when the dryer needed another round, I had soup and salad at the hotel’s restaurant and then collected my laundry and headed off to the Beothunk campground. I checked in and decided to head to Tim Horton’s for tea and dessert and take a shower later.