Saturday, August 14, 2010

Twillingate, Quidi Vidi and Pippy Park

We hooked up with Dave & Louise Wells in Campbellton, Newfoundland. Louise is Janice’s co-worker while Dave also happens to be the brother of an old friend of ours from Barriere - go figure. They had been staying at Louise’s mother’s island just off Lewisporte and were also seeing to ailing elderly relatives so we were only able to spend the one evening with them. Besides showing us around their old haunts, we saw some places we never would have come across on our own. Trouble was, I forgot my camera, so the only picture we have is of Louise and Janice immediately following the brief rain storm.

The next day we were on the road for Twillingate. That name conjures up storybook images for me while the town itself and it’s natural setting were a perfect match. It was mid-day on a grey day that we arrived at Twillingate but it was still as charming as any little town could possibly be. The next four pics are all Twillingate.

Following Dave and Louise’s advice we stopped at a local restaurant for Fisherman’ Brewis, (sounds like brews). Hard bread is soaked in water overnight, brought almost to a boil and then the fish is cooked in the water left behind from the bread. The bread is re-introduced, mixed with the fish and served hot. It’s accompanied by Scruncheons which are salted pork fat, cut small, rendered down and poured over the bread/fish mixture.

While neither the description or the visual of Brewis appealed to me, it was really delicious, and very filling.

Again as directed by Dave and Louise, we headed for Musgrave Harbour and Banting Memorial campsite. If the weather had cooperated it would have been an outstanding place to hang out, with the Atlantic Ocean just over the dunes from our campsite and Banting Pond (lake) behind us. As it was we caught the tail end of tropical storm Colin or Clyde or whatever it was. The weather was miserable and cold so we watched a movie while the laundry went round. Banting is so named because it’s where Dr. Frederick Banting (the Insulin guy) was killed when the plane he was in went down there. A replica of the plane beside the actual wreckage is featured in the campsite.

We decided to head for St. John’s, North America’s oldest city, in time for the weekend so we might take in some local music and so we could get “George faced on Shit Street.’ George Street is renowned for it’s wall-to-wall bars. We camped at Pippy Park which is only a few blocks from downtown and then took a ride around downtown, Signal Hill and Quidi Vidi, which is a tiny little channel of fish shacks and the Quidi Vidi Brewery.
The picture below is Quidi Vidi.

The pics below are of St. John's Harbour, some of the many brightly coloured houses in downtown St. John -it's not just a few painted like that - almost the entire downtown is very aged with brightly painted houses like these.The last is of the St. John's Harbour Lighthouse with a coast guard ship heading out to sea.

George Street is a bustling hub of activity on a Friday night. The first bar we were in had great local entertainment with a lot of hand clapping and foot stomping accompanying the performers. Between sets different groups of locals would just break into song - lots of fun. Our MLA in Kamloops is Kevin Kruger and he and his wife walked through the door of that first bar. I handed him my business card on the way out, and being the politician he is, I already had an email from him the next morning saying it was so nice to see me. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even know who I am. We went to another packed Newfie bar and saw a local but talented band playing genuine Newfie music where we danced, stomped and had too much to drink along with everybody else.

Our last day in St. John's, feeling a little under the weather from our night out in George Street, we took it easy on the sightseeing, save for Cape Spear, the eastern most point of land in North America. It's a spectacular setting with steep cliffs, tundra-like landscape, which is common all over Newfoundland, and crystal clear ocean. The pics below are all Cape Spear.

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