Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Icebergs and lighthouses

There was a patch of blue in the sky when we got up this morning, so we decided to drive down "iceberg lane" on our way out of St. Anthony.  But by the time we were at St. Anthony's Bight the sky was overcast so the icebergs were not shining as they had been on Monday.  Nevertheless they were exciting to me.

I was able to take some pictures and to speak with a local whose home was at the end of the road turn-around.  He said it was unusual to have so much ice in August.  The miserably cold, wet summer they've had kept the bergs from melting completely.

There was a little "sales table" in front of one home at which you could buy some iceberg ice for $2.50.  You have to admire people who try to turn a circumstance into an advantage!  We passed up the offer and headed back toward Dear Lake, intending to work our way slowly back to St. John's taking in as much of the sights as we can along the way.

We took Hwy 432 (Grenfell Trail) back to 430.  From the St. Anthony airport corner to Roddickton corner it was a good new road.
This is one of the many private gardens we have seen alongside the highways in this Northern Peninsula.

Between Roddickton and Plum Point there was 20 Km. of very rough road--speed limit of 50 Km/hr.  On this roadway we saw three abandoned Tim Horton's coffee cups.  Later back on 430 I stopped bought a cup of take-out and discovered they were not Tim Horton's, but Mother ---- (forgot the name).

This part of the trip reminded us very much of northern Ontario, especially where there were rock cuts alongside the road.  I guess there's a reason that Newfoundland is called "The Rock."

We decided to leave 430 and go to Port Au Choix where there is a National Historic Site.  Hoping to stay here overnight we dropped in to Jeannie's Sunrise B and B and were happy to get a lovely room.

The visitor centre explains the history of habitation on this point of land, dating back to about 5,000 years ago.  The first people to make use of this very rich seacoast area were the Maritime Archaic Indian people.  They were followed by the Groswater and Dorset Paleoeskimos, then the Recent Indians, ancestors of the Beothuk.  The earliest Europeans came in the 1700's: Basque, French and English fishermen.  There is a representation of an ancient home, plus very many interesting artifacts that have been recovered here.  There was a particularly rich burial ground that yielded many clues to how the peoples lived here.

Our final stop was at the lighthouse at Point Riche.  This looks out over the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which at this point is so wide you cannot see the other shore, even with binoculars.  I don't know if the lighthouse is still in operation, but rather doubt it, as the door was boarded up.  There was no sign giving information about the history of this lighthouse, but it seems in excellent repair.

Just a note on bakeapples.  We had heard of this fruit, but had no idea what it was.  I took this picture at the Salmonier Nature Park.  We were guessing that these were bunchberries.  When we took the guided tour at L'Anse Aux Meadows, we learned that these are bakeapples.  I was given one to taste and was surprised to find they take like applesauce!  Later the guide at the Visitor Centre there explained the name.  The French called these "Baie Q'Apelle," which translates to "the berries that are called...."  But the English picked up only this first part, and not the actual name, so they became bakeapples.

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