The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly….Red Bay, Labrador

Red Bay

Red Bay

Day 83             August 31, 2014             Part 2

Red Bay, Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

THE GOOD……

We could count on one hand, the number of cars we saw on the road between the ferry in St. Barbe, and Red Bay. We stopped a few times along the route to take in the enormous size of the place.

IMG_5311

War Memorial

War Memorial

War Memorial

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

Curling Champion!!!

Curling Champion!!!!

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

A whole lotta pretty countryside

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

On the way to Red Bay

The little village of Red Bay was, well, little. And so pretty! We ate lunch at the only restaurant in town, Whalers Restaurant, where for the first time, we tried bakeapple pie. Verdict: Bakeapple pie is delicious and I should eat it every day to stay happy!

Red Bay

Red Bay

Red Bay

Red Bay

Red Bay

Red Bay

Red Bay

Red Bay

Bakeapple pie!

My new favorite food group….Bakeapple Pie!

After lunch, we visited the whaling museum. Basque whalers in Red Bay were some of the first Europeans to arrive in Canada…..a fun little fact that might come in handy at a trivia party.

Red Bay

The view from the whaling museum

This place was proving to be small and mighty. But, it was a long way from anywhere, and from what we could see, there were only about 6 other tourists in the whole village. But I can assure you that all of us were having the adventure of a lifetime!

Red Bay

Red Bay

Red Bay

Red Bay

Red Bay

Red Bay

Red Bay

Red Bay

Red Bay

Red Bay graveyard

Red Bay

Red Bay

Red Bay

Red Bay

End of the paved road. Red Bay

End of the paved road on coastal Labrador. Red Bay

 

 

Red Bay

The other dirt road out of Red Bay.

Red Bay

Red Bay

The day had already been jam packed full of stuff to do and see, but the best, and worst, was yet to come. Mark had purchased a t-shirt in the gift shop at the restaurant that said “I hiked Tracey Hill.” And so, we had to hike it.

Tracey Hill hike, Red Bay

Tracey Hill hike, Red Bay

Tracey Hill hike, Red Bay

Tracey Hill hike, Red Bay

Tracey Hill hike, Red Bay

Tracey Hill hike, Red Bay

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Tracey Hill hike, Red Bay

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Tracey Hill hike, Red Bay

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Tracey Hill hike, Red Bay

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Tracey Hill hike, Red Bay

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Tracey Hill hike, Red Bay

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Tracey Hill hike, Red Bay

Tracey Hill hike, Red Bay

Tracey Hill hike, Red Bay

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Me and Trixie

Tracey Hill hike, Red Bay

Tracey Hill hike, Red Bay

The pics from our hike, pretty much say all there is to say…Absolute Beautifulness!! Including stops for photo ops, it took us about an hour to hike to the top. The entire hike, top to bottom, we only saw one other person.

THE BAD……

The sun was setting, and we slightly hurried back down to avoid being caught in the dark. We made it in plenty of time. And so did the ferocious and infamous Labradorian biting black flies. Apparently, sunset is when they come out to suck the blood of the ignorant.

The flies were on us like, well, like biting black flies to ignorant people. And they were biting us something awful. We ran to the space shuttle, brushed the flies off of each other and off of the dogs, and jumped inside.

THE UGLY…..

In those, oh, say, 8 seconds that the door was open to the rig, at least 20 of those freakin’ flies got in with us. We spent the next 15 minutes killing black flies. And it was disgusting. Those little freaks are full of blood, so every time you kill one, you have a mini blood bath on your hands. That shit was everywhere….on the windows, on the window shades, on the off-white wall covering. Yuck!!!

When we were satisfied that we’d killed them all, we drove back to the RV site for the night. And we didn’t dare go outside again, so we just hung out inside and tried to clean up the carnage from the kill. It was during that time that I noticed that I had huge welts on my neck from the fly bites. Two in particular, one behind each ear, made me look like I’d been abducted by aliens.

Red Bay

Stuck inside the space shuttle. And yet, we still had a nice view!

Red Bay

Last light, from inside the rig, on the side of the gas station!!

But, alas we were safe. Safe and tucked into our little RV spot, which, by the way, was one of 4 parking spots, with hook-ups, on the side of the Red Bay gas station. But, we weren’t going outside, so we didn’t bother to hook up to anything. We just hung out, ate dinner, and contemplated how the hell anyone could survive life with the infamous biting black flies!

Grandpa Was An Iceberg Hunter… & Other Adventures in Labrador

Ferry boat @ St. Barbe

Ferry boat @ St. Barbe

Day 83        August 31, 2014         Part 1

St. Barbe, Newfoundland to Red Bay, Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Another day, another ferry boat ride. First thing in the morning, we got in line for the ferry over to Labrador. Technically, the ferry takes you to Quebec (the Province, not the city), and then you drive to Labrador. And technically, you could drive across Canada, through the province of Quebec, and across Labrador on the Trans-Labrador Highway, and never get on a ferry, but we like ferry boats, and we’re not so crazy about unpaved roads. We met a few people who’d done the drive, and word was that the long unpaved parts were pretty brutal.

Ferry boat @ St. Barbe

Ferry boat @ St. Barbe

Fiona, on the ferry

Fiona, on the ferry

Goodbye, Newfoundland

Goodbye, Newfoundland

Time to be creative on the ferry

Time to be creative on the ferry

Time to be creative on the ferry

Time to be creative on the ferry

Proof that we came from aliens!

Proof that we came from aliens!

So, here we were, on the ferry to Blanc Sablon, Quebec. The ride was less than an hour and a half, and smooth sailing all the way. There weren’t many people on the ferry, but we did manage to meet a nice young couple who were on their way to see her grandfather in Mary’s Harbour.

They told us that they would have about a 1.5 hour drive on an unpaved road once they reached Red Bay. Red Bay, the end of the paved road in eastern Labrador, was our destination.

The couple also told us that her grandfather would have drinks waiting for them that were made with iceberg ice. And technically, yes, ice from icebergs. And in case you’re wondering, yes, her grandfather does actually go out on a boat and chip off ice from icebergs! 

Apparently iceberg ice is super dense and lasts much longer than the ice cubes that we all are used to. I see a great benefit there…no longer having watered down drinks from melted ice. I wish I could grow an iceberg here in southern California.

Upon landing in Quebec, we took the road east and crossed into the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. We’d made it to Labrador!! And it was looking as if we were in the minority. Labrador was even more sparsely populated than Newfoundland. And the landscape was vast and beautiful!

Arriving in Blanc Sablon, Quebec

Arriving in Blanc Sablon, Quebec

Which way to go!

Which way to go! Labrador…go right!

Still in Quebec

Still in Quebec

Still in Quebec

Still in Quebec

Not in Quebec anymore!

Not in Quebec anymore!

The Non-Fjord Fjord, Shopping For Garbage Bags, and The Mighty Wind!!

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Day 82      August 30, 2014

Gros Morne National Park to St. Barbe

Newfoundland, Canada

This morning we got an early start so that we could make the 10:00 am boat tour on Western Brook Pond Fjord. Since the pond is now cut off from the sea, the fjord isn’t technically a fjord anymore. The Canadians know this, they admit it publicly, and yet they still call it a fjord. Obviously, it’s better for business. It’d be much harder to sell tickets to a “boat ride on a pond.”

We parked in the parking lot, and hiked almost two miles to get to the fjord-pond. The hike was pretty, but when the fjord finally revealed itself…now that was spectacular!

Western Brook Pond Fjord in the distance

Western Brook Pond Fjord in the distance

Hiking trail to get to Western Brook Pond Fjord

Hiking trail to get to Western Brook Pond Fjord

Hiking trail to get to Western Brook Pond Fjord

Hiking trail to get to Western Brook Pond Fjord

Loading on the boat for the fjord tour!

Loading on the boat for the fjord tour!

The two hour boat tour was amazing. The scenery was gorgeous! We went all the way to the end of the fjord, snapping photos the entire the way.

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord

When the boat turned around to head back to the dock….Holy Crap…that’s when the mighty wind struck us! My hair was flying around like it had a life of its own. The guy in front of us had his hat whipped right off his head and into the water.

Due to the wind and choppy water, our boat was rockin’ and rollin’ side to side most of the way back. The funny thing was that we were all sitting on these very slippery bench seats. And I was wearing my very slippery camping pants. Every time we rocked to one side, I’d slide down the bench…and then I’d slide right back to where I started when we rocked the other way. Damn camping pants. Note to other travelers…if you do this boat tour, wear pants that are a little more grippy!

The hike back to the Space Shuttle

The hike back to the Space Shuttle

The hike back to the Space Shuttle

The hike back to the Space Shuttle

The hike back to the Space Shuttle

The final view of the fjord

With one adventure behind us, we set off on another. On the way north, we stopped at a little store to buy garbage bags. We asked for help when we couldn’t find them. The clerk kept saying something about billybooties, or something or another. Couldn’t figure out what she was talking about. Finally, with a line of very patient people forming behind us to check out, she escorted us to what she was talking about…the garbage bag brand was “Billy Boots!!” Billy Boots Garbage Bags! And to be exact, we needed the small size ones, the Baby Billy Boots. For some reason, we thought this was hilarious, and the whole rest of the day we kept saying, as fast as we could, “Baby Billy Boots, Baby Billy Boots.”

Next stop for the day would be Port au Choix, a National Historic Site of Canada. What we found when we arrived, was a town with gale force winds, and nothing opened, not even the Visitor Centre and Museum. Hmm. Interesting. Maybe it was too windy for anyone to go to work. Doubt that. Newfoundlanders are hardy people and a little wind wouldn’t keep them at home…would it?

Back on the road...

Back on the road…

Port au Choix

Port au Choix

Port au Choix

Port au Choix

Look what we found @ Port au Choix.

Look what we found @ Port au Choix.

We found the RV park in town. It was pretty amazing. Right on the ocean! But the wind!!!! The wind was brutal. No wonder there wasn’t anyone there. We could have just parked for free for the night, but we were honestly afraid we might tip over in the middle of the night.

The uber windy RV park on the beach. Too windy for glamping!

The uber windy, completely empty RV park on the beach. Too windy for glamping!

Port au Choix

Port au Choix

Taking pictures of each other getting blown away at the beach in Port au Choix

Taking pictures of each other getting blown away at the beach in Port au Choix

Port au Choix

Port au Choix

Port au Choix

Port au Choix

Port au Choix

Port au Choix

Port au Choix

Port au Choix

We needed to find someplace safer to spend the night. With no other options here in Windy-Town, we got back on the road. We ended up at the RV park in St. Barbe, right across the street from the ferry landing that would take us over to Labrador the next day.

It was still super windy in St. Barbe, but we were at least parked in a bit more protected area in the RV park/parking lot. The cool and odd thing about this place was first, that they had the fastest freakin’ internet you’ve ever seen. The second cool thing, was that the bathrooms and showers were luxuriously large and extraordinarily nice! And remember, St. Barbe is, arguably, in the middle of nowhere!!! What a treat and great way to end the day!

Real Time Update

Following another spectacular day in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, the Space Shuttle is currently docked for the night in a gravel parking lot/rv park, next to the ferry terminal in St Barbe, Newfoundland.

The wind is howling outside and even though we’re parked, it’s making us rock and roll. And, did I mention that it just started raining?

Amazingly, I’ve got a great internet connection here and have managed to upload  some of my backlogged posts.

Hoping to catch the ferry to Labrador in the morning. However, if it’s too rough and nasty out there, we’ll postpone it until later in the week.