Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Take A Gander...the road to St. John's

As we travelled through Gros Morne park to Gander, I continued to be dazzled not only by the magnificence of the landscape, but by the vision that many people of Newfoundland seemed to share. The environment, conservation, and re-population of species, seemed to be an ongoing theme. I was impressed with how they took responsibility for past mistrakes and how advanced their thinking now was. At the same time, they were politically realistic with statements like "We have to look after ourselves since our few federal ridings don't make a lick of difference in the scheme of things."

One such conservation effort we visited was the Salmonid Centre where they are regenerating the Atlantic salmon (real ones not the farmed ones that some people eat). Wouldn't it be nice if in our children or grandchildren's time, there would once again be true Atlantic salmon, free from chemicals to help them grow, colouring to make them look appealing, sea lice, and so on?

It's impossible to include everything we saw into my blogs. I'm trying my best to give an overview and some of the highlights. Believe me, it's tough to select only a few high points of this magnificent trip. What was great for me might have been less so for others on the tour.

 I believe my second best day of the trip was when we arrived at the Cape Bonavista Lighthouse and puffin island. I did what I could with the camera I had. If you look carefully, you'll see the puffins and their nests. I could have watched them for hours. Puffins live ideal lives. After hatching their one egg, the youngster  goes out to sea and doesn't come back for two or three years until it's ready to have its own family...no sibling rivalry, no teenage angst, no massive food or education costs, no gray haired, stressed parents.

Someone else on the trip with a sharper lens sent me some unbelievable close up shots of puffins, moose, whales, and icebergs, all of which we enjoyed on this visit. Unfortunately, I can't share those images as they aren't my own. Here are mine.

Sadly, we had to say goodbye to the puffins far too soon. We headed to the tiny but historic and colourful fishing village of Trinity, named so because it was discovered on Trinity Sunday 1501. This town of only a few hundred has many museums and buildings which have given it heritage community status. We were pressed for time to explore this area to its full extent. Recent claim to fame was the use of the town to create authenticity in the movie "The Shipping News".

Lovely lupins were blooming in Newfoundland
    but had already finished in the other Maritime provinces.
Our evening in Clarenville capped another terrific day. The screeching in ceremony had us all doubled over with laughter. We were sworn in with songs and stories by an official citizen. He dubbed us with a paddle, after we kissed the cod, recited a lewd sounding phrase, and downed a jigger of screech to become an honorary Newfoundlander.

It was a late evening and tomorrow was another day. We would go to the provincial capital city of St. John's for more adventures.

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