Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Bergs: A Newfie Blog

--> Our gift from Wendy and Dennis: a colouring book and pencil crayons! I can’t wait to start colouring.

Dennis tries to light our fire one more time without success.

July 10: In the morning we have our scones and jam and coffee before setting off to line up for the ferry. Our timing is perfect and we drive onto the vessel nearly at the front. Despite a cool wind that has moved in during the night, we have a pleasant trip, watching the birds circle under the morning sun. We blow a kiss goodbye to our sail-ship iceberg.

Off we go to Trinity. With only a minor stop in Gander for munchies and gas, we power through to the little village. Here the trees are once more plump and crowded, filled in with bushes. Wild flowers complement the green with purple clover, yellow buttercups and white and orange daisies.

We weave through construction, annoying drivers, and gorgeous scenery in turn. When we turn off the Trans Canada Highway, we can glimpse the coastline through the trees, sparkling blue in the sun. Little coves and tickles, the bright colours of nature and people intertwined.

The sun follows us all the way. Just as we round the corner into the valley of Trinity Bay, we notice the cap of clouds that fits perfectly over the town. We’re in for a rough ride of weather!

After checking into our lovely rooms in the quaint B & B, Ericksen Premises, we enjoy a cold beer in the common room.

We take a walk around the village while we can do so. As Wendy says in our booklet, “Where else does the end of the rainbow have a street address? The gorgeous town of Trinity really does look like a film set.” The clapboard buildings, a church here, lots of B & B’s there, the Rising Tide Theatre, homes, even a bank, are all those deep, gorgeous Newfoundland colours, or at least trimmed with deep reds or greens. Crab and lobster traps line the ocean. The lighthouse beams outward.

Trinity seems to be the lupin capital of Canada. The purple, pink and white flowers are everywhere, lush and assertive and glorious.

After our walk we drink and laugh and talk in the common room once more. Dennis is supposed to be out scouting a trail to walk the next morning, but he suddenly appears with a lobster treat in hand. Sumptuous appetizer! He had to go through a lot of angst to get the lobster too. At least three beers and a Trinity hat were required.

Dinner at the Twine Loft is exquisite. We actually moan over the melt-in-your-mouth cod. As you can see from the antics on the way back (Where’s Waldo? Which of these does not belong?), we have fun.

Unfortunately, the rain sets in. There’s a weather advisory for tomorrow afternoon. We’ve booked a trip with Kris Prince on the Sea of Whales Adventure. They call and ask us if we want to switch to the morning, as they may not be able to go out in the afternoon.

Thus we’re up early once more. In a drizzling cool rain, we drive over to Princeton and meet Kris and Cory at the Zodiac. “Every year, 10,000 whales get a front row seat to go people watching.”

We look handsome and hardy in our orange Helly-Hanson suits.

We perch on the benches of the boat, ready for the adventure. In hail and rain and wind and cloud, that Zodiac sails over the sea, dipping into troughs of waves, crashing through the water. It’s magnificent! We’re chilled and crunched and tossed but we don’t care.

We see dolphins and eagles and a brief glimpse of the back of a sei whale. No fins or humpbacks come to greet us, as they have the last two trips. But we are mollified with the close encounter with two water and wind carved icebergs, one that looks flat enough to skate on, one that resembles a dinosaur with its head flattened on the sea, its legs tucked in behind. The aqua layers are stunning in the white ice and snow layers. Spectacular!

We see where The Grand Seduction was filmed. It turns out that the childhood home of one of our other passengers, Mark, was used in the movie.  We have a mug-up of hot chocolate and cookies, listen to Kris tell us about an arch of rock, a waterfall, the eagle chick, various species of whales and fish, his childhood on the sea.

I have to admit to a deep disappointment at no whale encounter. That’s been the highlight of my trips here. However, the icebergs almost take their place.

When we get back, we eat hot soup and enjoy some beverages of a social nature to warm up. Wendy has a hankering for more of those magnificent chunks of glacier. Kris told her there was a magnificent specimen up the coast. Off Vince and Wendy and Dennis and I go, wind-battered and knocked-about, but determined.

In Keels, we discover three beautifully shaped bergs, one that could be the twin of our sail ship from Fogo. Has it followed us?

We almost miss, but luckily spot from the road, the biggest one of all. It’s a slanted piece, huge, caught in the little cove near Keels. Getting lost means we check out more lovely harbour villages than we might have seen.

We make up for lost drinking time back at Ericksen’s, talk to other patrons of the Inn who are from Ottawa. The rain pounds the rooftops and the land now, a real punch from some aggressive clouds. Luckily our dinner is right here at the Inn, in Sophia’s Restaurant.

Another wonderful day and night! As the booklet says, “In a world oddly bent on conformity, there’s something very refreshing about a place that’s anything but. For proof, look no further than the towns of Heart’s Content, Heart’s Desire, or Heart’s Delight. Where you’ll come to two conclusions: why they call it Trinity Bay and the realization that in a land like this, colour comes in many forms.”

Our gift tonight: after nearly a full week of travel, detergent for laundering our step-ins.

July 12: Breakfast at 8 a.m. is more than satisfying. We’re in the cars and on the road to Grand Bank (Grand Banc) by 9:15. As we work our way south, the landscape changes often. From sea inlets and fat trees, to scrub brush and grass and giant rocks, along with those skinny evergreens bent over from the wind.

During the night, Trinity was lashed with a giant rainstorm, thunder and lightning, but we are gradually moving out of the rain into a cloud and sun mix.

We stop at an Esso station with a general store attached and washrooms. In Newfoundland, this civilized province, you can buy beer and wine at the local store too! As we leave, we notice the following sign: “Note that for every beer bottle returned, one must be purchased." Followed by this:

We also feel that happy warmer breeze on our faces! We even have to don our sunglasses.

The biggest place we’ve seen in days is Mary’s Town. There’s a Tim’s and a McDonald’s and a Sobey’s and even, horror of horrors – stoplights.

Then up over another hill, we sea the ocean, and the sign for Abbie's Garden B & B. Down a short road, through an archway, we enter another world! Exquisite gardens cover the property. Our rooms are well appointed and very clean. And, best of all, the sun comes out.

We spend the afternoon touring Grand Bank - a gorgeous place - and eating pizza and drinking on the deck, which is now bathed in sunshine.

We have the most delicious dinner, cooked by Donna. We meet another couple staying here and have great conversations throughout the meal. Afterward, full and happy, we get dressed a little more warmly for the nightly bon fire. We sit around the lovely orange flames talking - and Donna plays and sings us a song. Perfect! This is a place I could stay in a lot longer! Tomorrow we're off to St. Pierre (France!) after what I imagine will be a sumptuous breakfast.

Our gift from Cugina: Lobster Poop!
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