Monday, August 3, 2015

Newfoundland, Another World

It doesn't take long after getting off the ferry in Port Aux Basques to realize that you've entered another world; a world full of rocks, trees, rivers, mountains, wildlife, and beautiful people. Sounds just like (insert someplace else here) you might say. Not so.
Although I was more interested in seeing puffins, the rest of our tour group began their search for moose almost immediately. After all, it's an odd thing seeing that sort of wildlife on an island isn't it? The moose, so the story goes were transported to Newfoundland in the early 1900's and released near Gros Morne Park, our eventual destination. A few moose, after a century of living here, have become many moose....hundreds of moose....maybe more.

I was excited when we reached the park and I had my first moose sighting (see photo). Then....another. But seriously, by the time our trip was finished we had seen no fewer than nine real, live moose. One even crossed the road in front of our bus!

We stopped for lunch in Trout River where we were served delicious chowder, sandwiches, and bakeapple, or partridge berry tarts. What an interesting place. I loved this town and the fascinating people. Not only did they provide us with many opportunities for online shopping....
they regaled us with whale tales. Apparently, this small town of approximately 700 people was the site of nine ice trapped whales last year. One of these massive blue whales washed ashore and took up much of the beach area...over 76 feet long. What to do with a huge dead whale? There were headlines in all the large Canadian newspapers. For example, this one was in the National Post on April 30, 2014.

As the world waits for the Trout River whale to explode, the town grapples with the attention

Not wanting to show my lack of whale knowledge, I didn't ask the obvious question about exploding whales, what causes this to happen, and what would be the consequences of such an event. All turned out well, however, when the whale was picked up, towed away to rot someplace in Ontario (I'll refrain from political commentary here) where the skeletal remains will later become an exhibit at the ROM.

The shores of Trout River are whale free, smell free and safe from carcass explosion once again.
On we travelled toward our evening's destination of Cow Head, population 500. Here we would be spending the night at the trip advisor highly ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Cow Head.  The scenery along the way continued to be magnificent. When we arrived at the hotel, there weren't sufficient rooms so a few of us had the good fortune of being sent to cabins. What a treat. Not only were they spacious and clean, but there were two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, bath of course, and a fireplace. Awesome. I could see how this place was ranked #1 (even if there had been more options). 
After a good night's sleep, we would be off to Gander.

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