By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers
I’m going to wrap up this series about the Maritime plus Newfoundland-Labrador with a quick list of things that are indelibly etched in our minds. I will be writing more about all these and more on my own website –ontopoftheworld.bz – in the weeks and months to come. I invite you to join me there.
The poem above by David Boyd is what I consider symbolic of the way of life throughout most of these four isolated provinces that touch the Atlantic Ocean and its maritime arms. It’s my impression that the people of this land are fighting valiantly to retain their independence and the lifestyle that has manifested for more than 400 years. It’s a struggle.
David Boyd is a fighter – he has spent years and great energy preserving the historic fishing culture that generations in his family have enjoyed. A tough, but very satisfying existence for the fishermen that, for many reasons, is losing out to a complex tapestry of current conditions.
David is the proprietor of the Prime Berth Heritage Centre in Twillingate, Newfoundland. Go to the website www.primeberth.com for extensive information, more than I can explain in a blog.
TOWNS – I’m going to be brief, since I’ve written about all of these over the past four months:
Twillingate, NF, was a favorite, a small town center of activity and interesting shops, plus the site of one of our favorite mini-hikes across from Peyton’s Woods RV Park. It was also where we were introduced to Ugly Sticks, which I have written about several times.
St. John’s, NF, probably had more interesting sights than any other city. I would call it a definite “must visit.” (Not to be confused with St. John, NB, which was also interesting.)
Lunenburg, NS, with its seaside downtown and beautiful gardens, plus nearby beautiful Mahone Bay and the Blue Rocks.
Bonavista – Very interesting town with the St. Matthew’s Legacy, a typical Newfoundland small town with traditional structures.
HIKES — Maybe “strolls” is a better term, since we didn’t have extensive time to wander far and wide, but we did take mild excursions to immerse ourselves in the pastoral surroundings.
Cape Onion, NF. The grassy trail takes off from the historic and critically reviewed Adams House, boarding the shoreline and then ascending via wooden steps to a meadow high above the aqua waters pounding the rocks below.
Elliston and Spillar’s Cape, NF – We were the “early birds” arriving at the cliff across from the
island of puffins at Elliston, where we were treated to a show that included a puffin waddling five feet from Monique – an absolute highlight of the entire six-month journey. On recommendation from a tour-bus guide, we left there and went to Spillar’s Cape nearby for another puffin experience, plus a vista of better-than-postcard proportions.
A quote from a sign in a restaurant in Twillingate: “And there you find yourself, Seemingly in the middle of nowhere, And oddly enough, It’s exactly where you want to be.”
EVENTS: Without a doubt, the Tattoo and Screech In are at the top of our list, but we saw plays, museums, government buildings, forts, gardens and much, much more.
OTHER FAVORITE MEMORIES – As part of a caravan, we were in different places almost every day or two, seeing different things in our own vehicle (we pull a travel trailer), in cars of newly-made-friends, on tour buses, from tour boats and a schooner, and walking. Here are a few other topics that come to mind:
Creatures — Eagles, ospreys, moose, caribou, deer, a fox, and livestock grazing peacefully in verdant pastures.
Scenery – The Atlantic and other great waters; glacier-sculpted hills, rocks, lakes and rivers; fishing villages; icebergs (not many this summer), Jellybean houses in St. John’s, the Bay of Fundy.
Food – Lobsters, cod, haddock, salmon, crabs (depending on the seafood season), Poutine, Denair, fish & chips, Tim Horton’s bakery/coffee shops; much more that we either sampled or didn’t want to try.
I have to mention again that each of the Atlantic provinces is unlike the others, except that they all have evolved around fishing and have histories that are linked with the explorations by Europeans, and therefore are somewhat similar. Going to any and thinking you’ve seen it all is a mistake.
And finally, for the sake of those who qualified as Newfies, “Long may your big jib draw.”
From the “Never-Bored RVers,” We’ll see you on down the road … or at www.ontopoftheworld.bz.
© All photos by Barry Zander. All rights reserved
Because of the numerous Spam comments on this site, the comments section has been deactivated. Please email us at [email protected] and I will pass along your comments. Learn about Alaska and see travel photos at ontopoftheworld.bz (and much more to come when time allows).
COMMENTS TO PREVIOUS BLOGS
FROM DAN LEFFEL — I have been enjoying your blog for some time now! My wife and I are signed up for the Fantasy RV Tour on June 17, 2014, to the Canadian Maritimes. It has been something I have wanted to do for many years. If you don’t mind, I have two questions:
1) I am on the fence regarding taking my tow vehicle. We have a 35′ Class A motorhome, and I am not sure if it will be worthwhile to bring our tow vehicle (Honda CRV SUV) on the Canadian Maritimes tour. What would be your recommendation? Do you think we will need one during the tour? How often did you find yourselves wanting to drive your personal vehicle on the tour, away from the campground?
BARRY’S RESPONSE: While ride-sharing was always available during our caravan trips and a very few members of the group did not have towed vehicles, I feel you will be missing out if you are dependent on the whims and wishes of others. Some folks who availed themselves of the kindness of fellow travelers expressed their desire to be able to take off to see things of unique interest to them. These long trips to far-away places are not something you’ll do often; I vote in favor of having a vehicle to make the most of the opportunity.
2) My wife is still on the fence about whether or not she really wants to be away from our grandchildren here in TX for the 60 days this trip would take for us. We are part-time RVers and have never been on an RV trip this long. The Fantasy RV Tour is 48 days next year, plus it will take us 5 days driving each way to get to/from TX to the tour start/end. So in total we will be gone from home for 60 days. Are there any words you can offer me, based on your experiences on this year’s tour that might help me convince my wife to go in 2014? I have heard it is a great trip!
Thank you so much for your blogging and any help you can provide!
BARRY’S RESPONSE: Of course I think she should go, but obviously I need to support my positive position. We have been on caravans of 58 days to Alaska and 48 days to the Atlantic Provinces, to which you can add the travel days to and from the launch points. We were joined by about 40 couples, almost all of whom are grandparents with the cutest and most outstanding grandkids. I am very sure none regretted being away for that long.
Secondly, this is not like being stranded at sea for months. With Internet, Skype and telephone service, your wife can communicate and hear those little voices everyday, if she desires.
And, finally, I don’t know how many grandchildren were excited to receive Inukshuks and other souvenirs brought back by doting grandmothers, but the opportunities for your wife to show she thinks about her offspring’s offspring often are around every curve wherever you go.
FROM JIM LAIR — Barry…. I am enjoying your comments about New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. I recently spent eight nights camping at St Martins, NB, Halifax, NS, Baddeck, NS and Kensington, PEI. I wanted a flavor of each of the Provinces and this initial trip certainly provided that. All three areas are magnificent and I most likely will return next year, as there is more to see. Thank you for your continued good work and interesting articles about your travels.