Labrador Summary

Collapse of narrow trail
Collapse of narrow trail

Here is our final entry for Labrador. This was the one area that we planned to visit on this trip where Mike and I had never been to before. We could have done with fewer gravel roads and bugs but we even with all that we are very glad we came. The most “touristy” part of Labrador is the Labrador Coastal Drive. It is quite a small area. We had planned on spending about two days here. We were hoping to finally get out and do a bit of hiking around. Wouldn’t you know it, it rained for two days which meant that we stayed here for four days in total. The rain wasn’t all bad. It gave us the time to relax, clean up all the dust we had accumulated on gravel roads, do some fiddling around with our electronics, get some clothes washed etc. After two days of rain today, Sunday, was gorgeous. The temperature was 16C or 61F which I love for walking in. It was bright and sunny and best of all windy! This cuts down on the number of bugs tremendously and makes the walking possible. I should mention that yesterday, in the rain and fog, Mike climbed to the top of the tallest lighthouse in the province. He was lucky if he could see the ground. I didn’t bother. Today we took a lovely hike of about 6 km to a waterfall. Part way there the trail had collapsed. It was a bit dicey getting over the rubble as it was a straight drop down to the ocean if the ground started to move or slide as we climbed over it. I had strict instructions from Mike that if I was going to fall on this walk I had better figure out how to fall uphill. After all his warnings Mike was the one that slipped on the wet rocks on the runoff from the waterfall and went down hard. Luckily he didn’t break anything and was able to walk back out We are looking forward to doing more walking once we get to Newfoundland. We have heard that the bugs aren’t so bad there. Don’t think too badly of Labrador, there are often times in cottage country in Ontario when I don’t want to walk in the woods because of our mosquitoes and other bugs.

Most of the houses in Labrador are built with siding and they are immaculate. Even the smaller fishing villages, that you assume can’t be too well off these days, look crisp and clean. It would be nice if all our small towns looked this great.

A small fruit very popular in Newfoundland and Labrador is called bakeapple. It is known as cloudberry in other parts of the country. We were introduced to bakeapple on previous trips to Newfoundland. According to the locals in Labrador their berries are by far the best and they tell us that “everyone” agrees with that. Bakeapples are about the size of large raspberries and turn from red to gold as they ripen. I thought the origin of the name was quite interesting. Bakeapple is said to be an anglicized version of the French ‘baie qu’appelle….’ meaning ‘what is this berry called…?’.

Newfoundland is in its own time zone 30 minutes earlier than the rest of the Atlantic provinces. While most of Quebec has the same time as Ontario a small portion south of Labrador, like Labrador, uses Atlantic time. One exception in Labrador in the small touristy area around the Labrador Coastal drive. This is in the same time zone as the island of Newfoundland and different from the rest of Labrador. Today was really interesting. We started in Labrador, but we were in the Newfoundland time zone area. We went to catch the Newfoundland ferry but the departure town, Blanc Sablon, was in Quebec. Blanc Sablon is in a different time zone from Newfoundland and from most of the rest of Quebec. It is in the Atlantic time zone. The ferry terminal, in Blanc Sablon, posts all their departure and arrival times using the Newfoundland time zone which is 30 minutes different from the real local time. Assume that your ferry is scheduled for a 6pm departure from Blanc Sablon, Quebec which ours was. Most people in Quebec would think that meant 6pm Eastern time, a few people in the know about Blanc Sablon would believe that would be 6pm Atlantic time when in reality the ferry’s departure time was 6pm Newfoundland time which is the earliest of all. Don’t you just love time zones.

The people we met in Labrador had to be one of the highlights of our visit here. I would like to give another thank-you to Ruby and Val who hosted us for a few days. We met two gentlemen who were doing a similar trip to us at Gosling Lake. I had hoped that we might run into them again but I see from their website that they are already in St. John’s and we won’t get there for weeks yet. They said quite nice things about our meeting up in their article THE AFFABLE CANADIAN(S) at https://rubberboa.wordpress.com. Mike talked for ages to one fly fisherman fishing just outside our camper the other day. This fisherman fished wearing a mosquito net over his head but that just seemed to convince the bugs to attack his legs. Even with this level of discomfort he was having a great time. He was spending two months doing nothing but “chasing the salmon”, moving to fly fish wherever the salmon were running from one day to the next.

Here is a quick summary of our time in Newfoundland:
Flat Tires – 3 (thanks gravel roads)
Wrecked tire rims – 0
Bicycles at start of trip – 2
Bicycles currently in our possession – 1
Gravel Roads – endless
Wild flowers – lots
Icebergs – 1
Moose – 0
Wild animals – 1 (fox) big disappointment for Mike
Bugs – too many to count large and small
Speech – loved to listen to it
People – extremely friendly and hospitable

I am writing this having just landed on the island as Newfoundland is referred to by Labradorians. We arrived in the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland and are about to travel the Viking Trail.  We are spending the night in Flower’s Cove which you can see in the top picture.  We just pulled off to the side of the road in this small town on the water to camp for the night.  How lovely.  Mike and I are really looking forward to this portion of our trip. Newfoundland is probably our favourite place in Canada and we haven’t been here for a while.

Campsite in Flower's Cove
Campsite in Flower’s Cove

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