NEWFOUNDLAND

VIKING DAWN

It’s somewhat ironic how Canadians are such amiable people, when amongst the first European settlers to arrive here were the descendants of a mass-murderer from Reykjavik. As penance for slaughtering Eyiolf the Foul (including impaling several members from the Thorngest clan) Erik the Red was banished from his homeland for a period of no less than three years. Not one to bide his time on a distant rocky atoll, this most volatile of vikings loaded his boat with a grizzly crew of savages, several sack loads of horned skulls, swords that flashed in the midnight sun and enough mammen axes to fell a forest. Perched on the prow of his boat, eyes screwed against a westerly gale, Erik set sail for a new and mysterious land worthy of pillage. By around 950 AD he arrived on the shores of a vast continent of snow and ice, proclaiming, “Men will desire much the more to go there if the land has a good name.’ Not willing to allow a few minor details to derail his vision of paradise Erik named this new country Greenland, when in reality Whiteland might have been much closer to the truth.

It was Leif Erikksson, Eric the Red’s son, who a few years later ventured north along the coast of Greenland and crossed the Davis Strait. Skirting icebergs and polar bears and glacial storms, he eventually landed on the northern shores of what is today Newfoundland. Much like his father before him it appears Leif had an eye for the main chance: he named this new land Vinland (wineland) when there wasn’t a vine to be had within a thousand kilometres! But that was to miss the significance of the event. It was one hundred thousand years earlier that man first ventured beyond the African continent, striving northwards and eastwards, crossing Asia and the Barents Straits and into the Americas. When Lief landed on the shores of North America he came face to face with the indigenous Indians and thereby completed mans circle around the world.

_DSC4035
AN EXAMPLE OF A PEAT HOUSE BUILT BY THE VIKINGS IN L’ANSE AUX MEADOWS.
_DSC4032
SOME OF ERIK THE RED’S DESCENDANTS KEEPING WARM BESIDE THE FIRE.

COASTAL ROAD TRIP

For the traveller, both Newfoundland and southern Labrador are all about the coast. Inland lies tundra, marsh, impenetrable forest and enough mosquitoes, black flies and midges to provide a lifetime of itching. In southern Labrador not even the shoreline provided respite from their constant attacks: on the 8th of August we took the ferry from Newfoundland to Blanc Sablon, southern Labrador, though within 48 hours we were heading back. It was enough time for us to grasp the reality of life in such a remote corner of the world. A young couple on our return ferry had to take their dog to a vet in Corner Brook, Newfoundland (a one and a half hour ferry ride across the Strait of belle isle, followed by a three hour drive to Corner brook) because it was quicker for them than going to the vet in Labrador.

Like all islands the weather in Newfoundland was changeable by the hour – the one consistent meteorological theme was that we arrived in a rain storm and we left in one. In between, thankfully, we enjoyed a lot of sunshine and in such conditions the island proved the perfect destination for a coastal road trip.

MANY OF OUR BIVOUACS OFFERED EXCEPTIONAL VIEWS. THIS IS SUNSET OVER THE GULF OF ST LAWRENCE. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
L’ANSE-AMOUR, LABRADOR. THIS IS ALL THAT REMAINS OF THE WRECK OF HMS RALEIGH, ONCE THE FLAGSHIP OF THE ROYAL NAVY’S NORTH AMERICAN SQUADRON. ON THE 8TH AUGUST 1922 THE VESSEL WAS 1.5 MILES FROM SHORE WHEN SHE SWERVED TO AVOID AN ICEBERG AND PROMPTLY RAN AGROUND. ACCORDING TO JEFF WYATT, THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER ON THE DAY, “THAT WAS THE ONLY ICEBERG IN THE STRAITS OF BELLE ISLE …” THE WRECK WAS DESTROYED BY THE ROYAL NAVY IN 1926.
RED BAY, LABRADOR. BY THE 1540S, FOR ABOUT 80 YEARS, WHALERS FROM THE BASQUE REGION OF SPAIN AND FRANCE WERE HUNTING WHALES AND PROCESSING THE OIL AT NUMEROUS PORTS IN SOUTHERN LABRADOR. RED BAY, KNOWN TO THE BASQUES AS BUTUS, WAS ONE OF THE LARGEST AND BUSIEST, BEING HOME TO AS MANY AS 1,000 MEN. THIS IS THE WRECK OF THE BERNIER, WHICH RAN AGROUND DURING A STORM IN 1965.
CRAB POTS STACKED ON THE QUAYSIDE. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
A PRIVATE HOUSE AT SHIP’S COVE. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
WOOD STACKED READY FOR WINTER, A COMMON SIGHT IN NEWFOUNDLAND.
THE MAPLE LEAFE INSIGNIA IS NEVER FAR AWAY.
TABLELANDS, GROS MOURNE NATIONAL PARK. THE TABLELANDS APPEAR SO DIFFERENT TO THE REST OF NEWFOUNDLAND BECAUSE THEY ARE A RARE EXAMPLE OF THE PROCESS OF CONTINENTAL DRIFT. DURING A PLATE COLLISION SEVERAL HUNDRED MILLION YEARS AGO A SECTION OF THE EARTH’S MANTLE WAS FORCED UP THROUGH THE CRUST, LEAVING THIS DESERT-LIKE ENVIRONMENT.
ANOTHER VIEW OF TABLELANDS IN THE GROS MORNE NATIONAL PARK.
TRAWLERS IN TWILLINGATE HARBOUR. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
THESE FISH BOXES ARE NOW USED FOR GROWING VEGETABLES. I SUPPOSE THIS MAY BE A GOOD INDICATION OF THE STATE OF THE FISHING INDUSTRY. A MORATORIUM WAS CALLED ON ALL COD FISHING IN 1992, DECIMATING THE ISLAND’S ECONOMY. THE FISHERY HAS BEEN PARTIALLY REOPENED RECENTLY. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
OUR BIVOUAC IN TRINITY EAST. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
HOUSES IN TRINITY. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
THE WATERFRONT IN TRINITY. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
BEACH BALL IN TRINITY. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
MANY OF OUR HIKES ENDED PREMATURELY IN FIELDS OF BLUEBERRIES. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
ABANDONED BOAT, MABERLY. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
THE ROCKS OF CAPE BONAVISTA. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
THE LIGHTHOUSE AT CAPE BONAVISTA. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
THE CHURCH OVERLOOKING THE LAKE AT OLD BONAVENTURE. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
FISHING STAGES ALONG THE NORTHERN PENINSULA. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
STORM GATHERING OVER THE LONG RANGE MOUNTAINS. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
SAILING YACHT ENTERING GOOSE COVE. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
THE PUFFIN COLONY AT ELLISTON. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
THE SEAT OF CONTEMPLATION, MABERLY. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
THE FLEET HIGH AND DRY IN BONAVISTA. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
A TRAWLER PASSING CROW HEAD. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
SUNSET OVER CAPE BONAVISTA – ANOTHE GREAT BIVOUAC. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
THE BLACK FOX OF BONAVISTA. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
FIREWEED THRIVING ALONG THE SEASHORE. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
A REPLICA OF AN OLD INDIAN CANOE MADE FROM BEECH BARK. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
THE ENTRANCE TO A ROOT CELLAR. BEFORE THE ARRIVAL OF THE REFRIGERATOR ALL PERISHABLES WERE STORED IN ROOT CELLARS TO PRESERVE THEM. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
CAPE RACE LIGHTHOUSE, SOUTHERN AVALON PENINSULA. THE MEN WORKING THIS LIGHTHOUSE WERE THE FIRST TO RECEIVE THE TITANIC’S DISTRESS SIGNAL. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
THE BEACH AT BELLEVUE. NEWFOUNDLAND)
THESE FOSSILS AT MISTAKEN POINT ARE SOME OF THE EARLIEST LIFE FORMS ON EARTH. THEY DATE BACK 560 MILLION YEARS. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
STILL WATERS RUN DEEP, THOUGH NOT ON THIS OCCASION. GETTING MY FEET WET SEARCHING FOR HIDDEN TRENCHES BEFORE CONTINUING ON OUR WAY. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
THE VIEW FROM RED HEAD COVE TOWARDS BACCALIEU ISLAND. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
A TYPICAL FISHERMENS WHARF. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
THE GANNET COLONY AT CAPE ST MARY HAS TURNED THE CLIFF WHITE. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
THE GANNETS PREENING THEMSELVES ….
…AND ON THE WING.
A VIEW OVER GRATES COVE. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
GRATES COVE. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
ROWING IN THE BAY OFF CUPIDS. (NEWFOUNDLAND)
SUNSET OVER CAPE ST MARY’S. (NEWFOUNDLAND)

ST JOHNS – CAPITAL OF NEWFOUNDLAND

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “NEWFOUNDLAND

  1. Super, il suffit d’évoquer le manque de nouvelles pour en obtenir illico!!! Terre Neuve éternelle semble avoir tenu ses promesses…

    2017-09-05 20:39 GMT+02:00 CITY OF MYTHS, RIVER OF DREAMS :

    > cityofmyths posted: “VIKING DAWN It’s somewhat ironic how Canadians are > such amiable people, when amongst the first European settlers to arrive > here were the descendants of a mass-murderer from Reykjavik. As penance for > slaughtering Eyiolf the Foul (including impaling seve” >

  2. Cool trip!

    Meant not to be sarcastic!

    Hamba kahle T&J

    On Tue, Sep 5, 2017 at 8:39 PM, CITY OF MYTHS, RIVER OF DREAMS wrote:

    > cityofmyths posted: “VIKING DAWN It’s somewhat ironic how Canadians are > such amiable people, when amongst the first European settlers to arrive > here were the descendants of a mass-murderer from Reykjavik. As penance for > slaughtering Eyiolf the Foul (including impaling seve” >

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s