Newfoundland and Labrador

Here you’ll find travel reports about Newfoundland and Labrador. Discover travel destinations in Canada of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

32 travelers at this place:

  • Day48

    Late Night Drinks

    September 19, 2017 in Canada

    At night we did an after dinner drink tasting with one of our favorite bartenders. As we are crossing the Atlantic Ocean it was quite bumpy. This bar is in the front of the ship so it was totally empty except for us. Interestingly our favorite drink was called The Stabilizer🥃.

  • Day50

    St John's, Newfoundland

    September 21, 2017 in Canada

    Today we toured St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland, whose harbor was the center of cod fishing and trading. We drove to Cape Spear, the most easterly point in North America, with magnificent views of the city and coastline.
    Along the way we stopped at Petty Harbor, one of the oldest fishing harbors in North America.
    Signal Hill was our next stop and is referred to as “The Lookout”. It was also where Marconi received the first wireless transatlantic signal in 1901.
    Now we have been on the most westerly point in Europe and the most easterly point in North America.
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  • Day15

    Land ahoy after four days at sea

    September 6, 2017 in Canada

    We are making an unexpected stop at a place called St. John's (not the one in the Virgin Islands thankfully) in NewFoundland Canada as we evidently have a medical emergency and someone has to be taken off ship. No, it's not either Ed or Bill.

  • Day15

    Food Report

    June 19 in Canada

    So one of the things that people always say when they travel is that they look for the "local secrets". I'm no different. So far however, in Newfoundland, things have kinda backfired. Tim Horton's is their version of Dunkin Donuts. Every truck stop has a "Tim's". (I've used them for their free wifi). And throughout my travels, I kept hearing people talk about "oatcakes". So I tried one knowing that from a chain, it wasn't going to be very authentic. It was actually okay. The history also surprised me. Apparently these oatcakes were a Scottish staple that is kind of like a less sweet oatmeal cookie but cooked on a griddle. And usually eaten with ale. Hmmm. That seems like an odd combo.
    I also had the experience a few nights back of finding a food place where there were a zillion cars in front. Actually, mostly trucks. I walked in and it was totally like the scene in Animal House where everything just stopped for a second. There were literally twenty five or thirty men all gathered around tables. Eating, talking, enjoying each other. Since I had no food in my truck, I forged ahead and sat myself down in the corner of the room. A waitress came over and said, "Don't mind if they stare. They are just wondering who you are". Now THAT'S a small town! She told me that they had just started serving Rappie Pie for the summer. I asked what it was and she said it was a traditional Acadian fish cake. Served with chow-chow. Say, what?! It was incredible. And I don't mean that in a delicious way. Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to eat pretty simply. Not much in the way of processed food or carbs or things that are fried. So when two big fat cakes arrived I dug in only to find that it was mashed potato with cod mixed in. Slathered in green pickle and onion relish(that's the chow-chow). I was all about having a couple of bites to enjoy the experience. Just a couple of bites!
    Because I'm such a quick learner(haha), a couple of nights later I saw a huge line outside a little truck. I admit, I got kind of excited. Turns out, it was hamburgers and onion rings. Hamburgers with "all the fixins" in Newfoundland means mustard, ketchup, sauted onions, lettuce and tomato. On this 39degree night, it was really good. But here I was eating this food, again! I only felt a bit guilty.
    Strike three came when I followed a big crowd into a diner. Everything, literally everything, was fried. So my new vow is to assume that crowds are like seagulls at the beach. They always go for the french fries. (Unless there are peanut butter crackers, right Vaughan?)
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  • Day15

    Time Travel(1)

    June 19 in Canada

    Many. many people can trace their roots back to Newfoundland. It doesn't make it any less powerful to do so. At the urging of two of my sisters, I specifically started this trip near Conception Bay. It turns out that the museum I visited had a whole floor of Newfoundland and Labradorean archives. I started with the knowledge that our Grandmother, Ella Stevenson Hall, Mother of Anson Louis Hall, was born in Harbor Grace, an outport of Conception Bay.
    The archivist was really helpful and pointed me to the baptismal records. Not knowing Ella's religion relegated me to pouring through a few books but I eventually found her record! It is the last one on the page pictured below.
    Ella Stevenson(no middle name, though used for Marcy's middle name!)) was born to Mark and Hannah Stevenson. (This was who Shannah was named after). Her birthday was October 5th 1886. She was baptised, in St Paul's Anglican Church, on November 7th, 1886. They lived in a neighborhood called "The Hill". Mark, ironically, was a listed as a fisherman. Though we have some family folklore that has him as a mail boat captain. I looked five years in either direction of Ella's birth for siblings but found none.
    According to dna testing that Shannah has done, there is also an Inuit influence in our genes from Dad's side. This museum was filled nods to the impact of the native tribes that inhabited this place of extreme, though austere, natural abundance.
    A little silly story is that almost everyone I've run into is enthusiastic and warm. Traits I love about the Halls! When a woman selling me tea referred to me as "sweetie", "love" and honey-dear" in the span of two sentences, I said. "I've been wondering. How do you elevate these endearments for someone that you actually love?" We had a good giggle.
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  • Day15

    Just because....

    June 19 in Canada

    Rainy, windy, cold in St John's. I took a good nap after the time in the archives. I woke up and decided that I would start heading toward Harbour Grace. I kept driving and found myself pulling into this hardscrabble little town at dusk. With a history of production and aviation, it seems that things have slowed down quite a bit. A few teenagers darted out into the street on bikes. A couple of ATV'ers were rolling around. One gas pump. One corner store. There were a few ships in dry dock. And then I spotted a church and decided to check it out. It was St Paul's Anglican Church. The one that Ella Stevenson had been carried into by Mark and Hannah Stevenson to be baptized. Apparently, the oldest stone church in all of Newfoundland. Built in 1835. I touched the door with the weird knowledge that my Great Grandparents had touched the same door in November 1886. One hundred and thirty two years ago. Cool, powerful energy. It was getting dark and cold but I wanted to maybe find the neighborhood that was "Hill". There was really only one section of town that made geological sense and even though all the houses appeared to be new, I think this might have been our Grandparents' neighborhood.From the elevation you can see the steeple of St Paul's between The Hill and the harbour. .Read more

  • Day18


    June 22 in Canada

    I fell asleep while parked in a little spot at the bottom of Crow Head Hill. Lulled by the wind whiffling against the truck and the mournful bellow of the fog horn from the lighthouse sitting on the hill above me. The fog was indeed thick. As appears to be the norm, the fog rolls in around dinnertime and then clears at some point late the next morning. Sometimes, earlier, but usually not. After a good sleep I woke up early thinking of whales. I drove up the hill to the lighthouse and was gifted to a show. Humpbacks right in the cove below the lookout. They were behaving in a way that seemed odd to me in that they were literally surfacing on the edge of the rocks. The bright white outline of her fin was visible in the clear water. She finally left this cove and headed back down the coast where I had walked the day before. I hopped in the truck, drove down a ways and scrambled up the steep incline to get to another overlook. I was still only about 6am so no one else was around. As I panted up the hill, dressed in twelve layers, and rubber boots, all topped by my huge patagonia deep winter coat, I was surprized that the exertion didn't really generate enough heat to get warm. It was that cold. Low 30's was my guess by the looks of my bright red hands. It wasn't much of a deterrent when motivated by whale searching. I climbed up to the top of the rise just in time to simultaneously see and hear a big blow of air as the humpback surface. I had timed it just right! I sat and watched for as long as she was feeding there and then followed back up to the lighthouse one more time when she backtracked down the coast. There were a couple of women there this time to share the experience with.We oooed and aahhed together until the whale left and then I went in search of coffee. Once caffeinated, I went to a little lecture at the Boat Builder's Museum! I learned about the boats and why they were built, traditionally, with really low sides to make for ease of hauling nets. They would actually use two boats in tandem that would each take a side of the net eventually bringing the boats side by side with just a little pocket of net, filled with fish, in between them. From there they would scoop the fish up into the boats to finish the catch.(see photo #3).
    Now it was about 1:30 on this beautiful warm(high 60's), sunny day. I was hungry and decided to stop at the Crow's Nest Cafe which was perched, pun intended, halfway up the hill overlooking the town of Crow Head. They were out of lentil soup so I settled for a cup of chili that was warm and filling. While there, a couple sat down and we began to chat. The banter between tourists seems to flow from the starting point of "Are you travelling from the east or the west?". When we established that we had both come from the east, the woman said, "Well I can't recommend places for you to go but we can share what our highlights have been so far." That quickly moved to them telling me that the little pennisula that I had skipped in my hurry to get to Twilingate was their favorite spot so far. They raved about a tiny little town with a tea shoppe where they had watched whales from the patio. So the beauty of the way I'm traveling?...I hopped in the car and backtracked, like my humpback friend had done that morning, back down the coast to Greenspond Island. I've included a picture of the road I traveled which is Newfoundland's version of rush hour. Five o'clock, Friday afternoon. First weekend of summer. It's not quite this desolate but there are definitely big stretches of quiet between "Outports". The radio stations actually report animal sightings as part of the news.(And during this stretch the "top 40" station was playing traditional Irish music and sea shanties.) "Moose sighted on the off-ramp to Gander. Be careful out there folks". What a lovely contrast to Fox News.
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  • Day20

    In Texas it's Football

    June 24 in Canada

    I made the decision to blow through Gros Morne National Park, for now, to spend a couple of days way up north. It was a weather decision. More rain predicted for the south with much less of a chance north. People are talking about the weather. There is a mix of snow predicted for tonight in lots of locations. Below freezing predicted tonight here in the north. This is, even for Newfoundland, a late and cold beginning of summer. If you look at the first photo, which to me looks like a "hook'em horns" gesture, you see that the little finger is the north wing of Newfoundland. I'm way up in the fingernail! I drove through a cloud/fog/rain obscured view of crazy mountains (with snow still visible in lots of patches) to get as far north as possible. I got hungry and tired around Port aux Choix and boy, am I glad I did.
    The sun was getting lower(it was about 7:30pm) and I was doing my scan for a safe place to sleep. There was a sign for an information station and I followed that through town. As I rounded the bend at a little harbor, I noted a couple of fishing boats. As I headed up a hill, I saw vehicles lined up overlooking the harbor. I pulled in and here's what I found: In this town of 896 people, give or take, it felt like half of them were on this hill or across the bay on the opposite point. Mostly trucks. Everyone with binoculars. Old people. Young women with babies. Whole families. I counted 37 vehicles at one point. And the object of everyone's attention was a little fleet of fishing boats. Four of them. And three small skiffs.
    It was like a Friday night football game in Texas. I found the whole scene fascinating. A boat would drop a huge net and the skiff would take the end of it and loop it back around to the boat where it would be attached to the arm that would reel it in when the fish were caught. It looked like there were three or four crew on each boat, plus a captain. There was a single fisherman in each skiff. I learned, when fishing for salmon in Alaska, that when there is a river with people lined up, the lead person had the best chance of catching a fish. Once that person caught one, it was etiquette for them to retreat and move to the end of the line. At this point everyone would scooch a few steps toward the sweet spot to take a turn at higher odds. It looked like the boats were adhering to something like the same system. It was then that a woman pulled up next to me in a maroon colored truck(that's her in photo 2). I put my window down and asked if she knew what they were catching. She said 'capelin'. Which are the beautiful herring-like fish that are the target for the whales that love this area of the world. I told her that I was figuring that everyone on the hill must know the people that are fishing in front of us. She said, "Yes! That's my husband down there." Her guy was one of the people in the skiffs and the fish are not usually right there in the bay where everyone can see them. That made this a big event. She said that they had been fishing since four that morning and we talked about how tired and hungry and sore they must be after a day on the water. I asked if the four boats were working as a team or were they in competition with each other. She said that they all helped each other to the point that they share catch at the end of the day. Meeting her, hearing the story, made me appreciate even more, where the fish I eat come from and what effort is expended to make that happen. The other aspect I thought about as I sat there and watched were the conditions. It was 30 degrees on land. And it was summer. These people are doing cold, dangerous work every time they go out.
    I sat and watched, with everyone else, and they just kept at it. The sun got very low, a rainbow appeared(!!) and they just kept fishing. At one point, one of the boats had their nets out so their engine was off. It started to drift toward the shallows so the skiff, with a tow rope attached tried to pull it into deeper water. With a full haul in it's belly, the boat was too heavy. The other skiff, and it's skipper, had already been loaded one of the other ships and we all watched as they scrambled to get that skiff back into the water with it's human. And then watched as they motored hard to the foundering ship to add additional tow power. Crisis, for the moment, averted.
    At about 10:00, as the sun was setting, I finally left with three trucks still there. I slept in a spot overlooking the beach bundled into down coats(2) and a hat and my hood up. I soon got toasty and slept hard until just before sunrise when I got up to head further north. Next stop is St. Anthony's which is the northern tip of Newfoundland. I could see Labrador to my left. And I saw eight moose on this ride after not seeing any yet in Newfoundland! The last two photos are just weird tidbits of info: You might see the moose in the road way off in the distance. In the foreground is a small pothole. The roads here are mostly terrible. HUGE potholes everywhere. So happy to have a truck. The last photo is this weird phenomenon I keep seeing everywhere. The random, floating-in-space door. I asked some people about it this morning and they laughed and said, "It's a Mother-in-Law door." Seriously, it gives you an idea of the amount of snow that is possible. When the ground floor door is buried, you don't have to climb out a window.
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  • Day24

    (Please read post "Not Always Green Garden First!!) Green Garden continued....As I neared the coast I could hear the waves and the gulls and the screech of an eagle. I knew I was close and as the trees parted, I was rewarded with the view in photo one. The trail took me along the coast, past trees doing the "gangsta lean" away from the wind, toward two tent platforms for those who wanted to sleep out here(yes, please!). That would have been fun if I had timed it right. I'm always kind of scanning for animal signs on a trail. A moose print in the mud or a gnawed on branch or a poop or two. The trail had been pretty devoid of that so far. But then, what is that? A hunk of fur caught on a twig. Looks kinda fuzzy. Bear-like? No. Fox-like, maybe. And then, up ahead, I saw a tiny little face peeking out, ahem, dare I say "sheepishly", from beneath a pine bough. what the heck are they doing here? As I got close, with the aforementioned tell-tale poops becoming more prevalent, I saw that the one little face was attached to a whole flock of random grazers. By the length of their wool it looked like they had been out wandering for awhile. Now I know why the Garden is Green. Sheep poo will do that!
    As I drove away from my walk I came to a little town of Woody point and a wool artists shop. I stopped, just to complete the circle. I had to share her sign because of the distance marker at the top of the sign. Cute, right?
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  • Day25

    Facebook Syndrome

    June 29 in Canada

    I left Blow Me Down and started to drive south with the feeling that I was starting to wind this part of the trip down. The travelling thing, that everyone experiences, is that when telling the story to others, it is all the highlights. I'm no different. Social media is not filled with everyone's hard stuff. Traveling is awesome and I love it and I'm thankful I'm getting a chance to do it, but there is a flip side. The uncomfortable times. The wanders that turn into dead ends. The lonely times that seem to get closer together as the travel extends. The eating differently. The missing of sons and a daughter-in-law and a certain grandbaby. And the tapping on ones' shoulder of work responsibilities. Those things don't disappear completely so it makes me want to be really focused on enjoying the times of good weather and interesting places. That didn't necessarily happen on Thursday.
    Thursday was a driving day. I decided to check out Stephenville. That took a few minutes and I had a great bowl of turkey soup there. The rain was on and off as predicted. Nearby Harry's River is a famous fishery and I had a goal of getting to the river, watching some people fish and maybe finding someone to guide me for a bit. (Fishing is prohibited in NFLD without a guide). From Stephenville, I drove back down the highway and turned off toward the intersection of the river. A really good comedian came on the radio and I started to laugh. Loudly. Raucously. ( scroll to about 12:25 in this 30 minute clip for Charles Haycock) So I was howling, crying laughing. No idea why he strikes me so funny, but as I turned off the highway and started on the side road to Harry's River the road suddenly turned into the Amphibian Death Road. Suicidal frogs were suddenly EVERYWHERE!!. I tried to dodge the first one. "No!", I screamed out loud. I tried to dodge another one. "Jesus!". Good lord, they where everywhere. They would be crouched, sitting still and just as I swerved away they would sproing right toward me! What the heck?!!! Meanwhile, Charles Haycock was saying things that were so funny. I was laughing and swearing and bouncing over potholes. Well THIS was a memory. When the river appeared it was super anticlimactic. A bridge. A couple of houses. One little store. With a house attached. It was like someone had turned their front room into the town convenience store. Chips, candy, bread, milk, lotto tickets and beer. All one would ever need to get through. No fisherman. So I got out, walked a bit of the river. In the rain. Steeled myself for the return trip on Squished Frog Road and made a plan B. I decided to head toward Burgeo to finish off this southwestern tour. I headed down the highway, gas tank at 3/4 full and took the turn off to Route 480. Through the mist I could see that the landscape was turning tundra. I drove. And drove. And started to feel a little skeevy. About an hour and half in, having seen one car and no sign of anyone living here, and, more importantly, not a single gas station, I realized that I was either going to turn around or go for it. I kept driving. And then things got sketchy. The road was horrible. Huge potholes everywhere. The rain and fog came in HARD. I had about 25-50m of visibility and was only driving about 45mph. It was the first time in Newfoundland that I've felt alarm bells. About two hours more, with the gas tank needle dropping, I rolled into Burgeo. Population: under 1000. It was pouring. I could see nothing except a little neon "open" sign in the window of (you guessed it) a small, white building. I parked, walked in to find another classic NFLD house/restaurant/convenience store. I took a seat at the aluminum table with metal chairs. A woman came out of the back with a candle in a cupcake and I could hear the one other group in the place start to sing happy birthday to a five year old. There was a tv mounted on the wall above me. It wasn't a flat screen. In fact, it was a big, square, heavy tv like the one Mom and Dad had in their bedroom in Attleboro. It was tuned to a local station and the news was being broadcast in that old-school font I remember from the beginning of computers. Black background. Blue letters being scrolled across. "Residents are being asked to do a better job with their dogs. Feces on the dock is making it unpleasant for our fisherman." "Happy 75th birthday to Bobby O'Neil" "Please note that the driving test instructor will be in town on July 15th to offer licence opportunity for the summer season". I'd never thought of how that worked in a small town! What if you failed your test and the DMV person wasn't going to be back for another couple of months?!
    I ended up having a beer and another bowl of soup before heading out to find a camping spot. There was, conveniently, a provincial park and I stopped at the office. A little note was taped to the window which said, "Gone for a bit. Feel free to look around". I got back in the car, now feeling soggy, and drove around the campground. There were a couple of big rvs that looked like they were parked for a stretch. Lots of open spots. I picked one, parked and climbed in the back. The torrential rain had proved too much for my set up. The end of the bed was wet. There were puddles on the floor. Even the window by my head had leaked. First time I can remember for that. And then the weather turned bad.
    Thunder and lightning. Torrential rain. Sheets of rain!. I grabbed my yoga mat, laid it over the wet part of the bed to keep my sleeping bag dry. I grabbed my bath towel and scrunched it up to stem the drip near my head. I clicked the nightlight on and picked up a book to ride it out. As the storm abated, I could hear the waves crashing. I had no idea I was this close to the beach. When I woke up, despite the weather still being pretty foggy, I (once again!)found a really pleasant surprise. I was near a beautiful sandy beach. I made a big breakfast burrito with eggs, avocado, salsa and a little cheese. And then I went for a walk on the beach. Later, with the fog still thick, I decided to drive out of town and stumbled on my favorite little fish shack so far this trip. Maybe I'll make a house like this someday!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Newfoundland and Labrador, NL, New Foundland - Labrador, Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador, Terra Nova e Labrador, Newfoundland och Labrador

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