Newfoundland – Bonavista

Dave warned us that Wednesday would be a long boring drive across to the eastern coast and he was pretty well right.  Except he forgot to mention the fog and rain. Nice and snug in our GT but Dave and Laurel got a bit damp especially when stuck at roadworks or passing trucks throwing up sheets of water.  Good thing they always seem to bounce back smiling.

We stayed overnight at a B&B in Musgrave Town at the start of the Bonavista Peninsula so a chance to cook for ourselves for a change.  The cooks came back from the store next door with more than enough food for dinner and breakfast for 8 all for the princely sum of $60.   The savings were somewhat offset by buying more wine.  The plan was to bbq the chicken and pork but after struggling to get either of the two outdoor grills to work we enlisted the help of Ted, the permanent tenant who had offered to help if we had any trouble.  This was when it became apparent that the Irish origin of many Newfoundlander’s was more than skin deep.  It turned out Ted had never actually used the grills and was just trying to be helpful.  Back to the kitchen and turn on the trusty stove…

The next morning, we continue the drive around the Bonavista Peninsula starting at Trinity which lays claim to holding the first court in North America in 1615.  Then to Bonavista village and the museum housing a replica of the ship sailed from Bristol in 1497 by John Cabot who was the first European after the Vikings to land on these northern shores.  Born Giovanni Caboto in Italy he made the smart call to move to Bristol where there was no shortage of funding provided by Henry VII to anyone brave enough to search for a northern passage to Cathay.


A few kms away we found Elliston where there was a chance to sight the comical Puffin birds.  Cartoon like faces and tiny wings which flap like crazy just to stay in the air – living proof that Darwin didn’t always get it right.

We park the cars at the only eatery in town and some of the team chat to a chap with a guide dog who is very interested in our trip and the cars.  He runs his hand over the cars feeling all the details and then asks if Dave’s car is red – how did he know that?  Simple, he could tell from the radiant heat compared with the other cars.

Road surfaces from Quebec onwards have varied from very good to fairly rough due to the effects of  winter freezing and thawing.  Road maintenance must be a nightmare and many areas are cash scrapped since the end of the resources boom.  The road south from Elliston was one of the more interesting – Newfoundland has a Targa event which everyone tells us is pretty spectacular and maybe this explains it.



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