This is the part of Newfoundland that extends from Clarenville to the tip of the Bonavista Peninsula where John Cabot landed in 1497. There are many attractions in the area, the latest being the reconstruction of the John Cabot ship Matthew, and the Ryan Premises National Historic Site that tells the 500 year history of the east coast fishery.
We camped at Paradise Farm campground near Bonavista, and visited nearby communities on day trips. One of my favourites towns, Elliston, is the closest place you can view Puffins from land in the world. Puffins are the official bird of Nfld and are numerous in the area. Here in Elliston there is a very moving statue, of a father and his son. Both died during the great seal hunt disaster of 1914 involving the SS Newfoundland and SS Southern Cross after a misunderstanding between the captains of the two vessels. Also at this site is a memorial granite wall listing the names of all 364 men and boys who were on the two ships during those fateful days in the spring of 1914.The sculptures were done by Morgan MacDonald.
On our return back up the trail we took in a concert ” Harry Hibbs Returns ” in the community of Trinity. Back at the trailer that night, we steamed crab legs that we had purchased from the fish plant in Bonavista, outside under the stars.
The Viking trail encompasses all of the great Northern Peninsula from Deer Lake to St Anthony and Red Bay in Labrador. This drive
takes you through the beautiful Gros Morne National Park, the Viking settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows and the Basque Whaling Station at Red Bay, three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We spent a month in the area including a week on the Labardor side traveling as far North as Port Hope Simpson. On our way up the peninsula we camped at Rocky Harbour, Cow Head, Norris Point, St Anthony and Main Brook. In Labrador we camped at Pinware Provincial Park where were taken with the antics of the whales feeding on capelin in the waters just off our campsite.The photo below is taken from the trailer.
The friendliness of the people in Newfoundland is well known, the Northern Peninsula is no exception. The brakes on the trailer weren’t working properly so we pulled into a garage in St Anthony.The owner said he didn’t have time to check it out that day but would give us power hookup and a place to park for the night.The next day they removed all four wheels and hubs and did the necessary repairs. We braced for the invoice but were happy to pay the 147 dollars requested.
The highlight of this leg was the time spent with friends Jim and Verna in St Paul’s. We took in a lobster dinner and a community breakfast, played cards, drank wine and reminisced of earlier days.