Friday, 8 September 2017

Gros Morne, Woody Point - Tablelands

Friday
We're off to Newfoundland! We have been lucky enough to visit St. Johns area twice, and the Western side has been on our list for a long time, a little luck with some vacation time and we are on our way. We were lucky to have a quick visit with Kyle in Halifax, a great Thai supper, and nice to get caught up with his going on at University for his first week. Off to the airport for a 9:30PM flight, a quick 1 hour flight and we spent our first night at the Holiday Inn Express near the airport. Our plane landed around 11:30PM, picked up our car rental, in our hotel by midnight, love these small airports!

Saturday
What an amazing day we had today. Absolutely beautiful weather, but I'm not sure we are going to be so lucky for the rest of the week. Started off early this morning by driving to Gros Morne park. With this being Canada 150 celebrations all national parks are free this year, so a little bonus, no need to buy a park pass. Today we are staying on the south side of the park, about 1 hour drive from Deer Lake.


We had read about a guided tour of the Tablelands at 10AM so we knew it would be an early morning. First stop was the Discovery Centre. We were so early that we had time to do a little hike that is behind the centre with a great lookout. This will be our first of many scenic views today. Visited the centre, and got some ideas for hikes the next couple of days, then off to meet the guide for our walk.


Tablelands


View from lookout hike at discovery center

Turns out this moose at the discovery center is one of the two we saw the entire trip!




We thought we were off season, about 60 people showed up for the free guided walk at the Tablelands! It actually turned out to be very good, it was nice to understand a little about what we were seeing, otherwise for us it really would have just been a walk around a bunch of yellow/orange rocks, we are so not geologists. The walk with the guide took about 1.5 hours, then another .5 hour for us to walk out from the endpoint. Some beautiful views along the way. This is truly an amazing spot, one of only 4 in the world that the earths mantle is exposed. We are also introduced to the flower of Newfoundland, the Pitcher flower. Very interesting how they trap water in their leaves, which attracts bugs that drown (therefore named the Pitcher flower)
Pitcher Flower

Pictures from Tablelands guided tour









Following our hike we then went on to Trout River for some lunch, breakfast was long gone by 1PM. We had lunch at the Seaside Restaurant, fantastic fish cakes, seafood chowder and a fish burger, very yummy. I especially loved the mustard pickles with the fish cakes.


Not a bad view for lunch :)


After lunch time for another hike. First off walk along a rickety boardwalk that is not level by the beach, then turn up the path by the chicken coop to get to the 150 stairs that take you to the start of the trail. The girl that helped us at the Discovery Centre this morning told us this was her favourite hike that wasn't too hard around here, we know why! This part reminded us so much of Scotland and Wales, it just gets us so much more excited for what we have to see coming up the next few days.

Trout River boardwalk


Walk from Trout river, amazing views!


Town of Trout River

After we come back down from the hike walked along the beach and back to our car. Andre continued along the shore to get to the wharf and I drove the car to meet him at the end. I happened to park at an ice cream shop, did not take long for Andre to find me. No ice cream at lunch, so we made up for it now.

New wool socks for sale


Drying salted cod




Lobster season is done




Moose hunting started today, pop up camouflage store

Back in the car and we head off towards Woody Point for the night. We are staying at a 4 bedroom B&B, just one other couple is here with us. This is a very small town. We walked into town as I had read they have a liquor store, Andre picked up some Iceberg beer and I got a couple of Smirnoff ice. Along with some snacks for tomorrow because we're not exactly sure where our next meal will come from. When we got to our B&B there was a sign that we are welcome to use the kitchen, that we just need to tidy up when done. We decided to get some take out soup from a little restaurant and just eat at home, hoping that the ladies final for the US tennis open would be on TV. No luck for the US open on TV, but we do have wifi and I was able to download an app on my phone to watch. A bit of a blowout, and a really tiny screen to watch on, but I still enjoyed it.


Our B&B for the night in Woody Point

Woody Point lighthouse



Headed out to see if there was any sunset, no luck, too many mountains and the sun sets behind the mountains. Walked along the shore which led to a little path, we were following a woman with a small bag of groceries. We kept going along the path thinking it would join up with a road, but no luck. The woman in front of us went up towards her house and we asked if we could cut through her yard to get to the road. Of course she said, and then she asked if we wanted to see her studio. So off we go to the studio, which was actually the old schoolhouse that she had moved to her property. When she opened the doors, wow, what a view and an inspirational place to work. She spends her summers here working, then her winters in Montreal. After our little stop here, back to the B&B, chat with the other couple that are here from Toronto, then ready for bed at 9PM.  So looking forward to tomorrow, sunny weather forecast, and a boat ride planned!



Downtown Woody Point




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