Given the amount of photos here, I really should have broken up what Newfies call "Central" into more blogs. Well, the damage is done and it's really just about the photos anyway. Aren't they amazing?
The ferry crossing was quite rough; the previous day's cancelled due to wind resulting in a delay for us. We were so glad we had listened to Mary and made rezies! Running a little late, we still tried to visit Port aux Choix National Park, only to find it was closed for the season. Drat! As I got out of the truck, the wind nearly took off the door. Fran then got out of his side and whoosh, the map blew right out of the cab. "The map, get the map!" I screamed. How Fran ever caught it is beyond me, but wrinkled and ripped, we continued to use it right across this island along the Trans-Canadian highway, making some detours north along the coastline.
First stop was Deer Lake for the night, where we stayed at a B and B. Fran and I were besieged by the hostess talking money, the host showing us his artwork, and a guest trying to give us traveling tips. Dizzy from the commotion, we quickly retired to our room. At times, it is a bit hard to remain social while on the road!
We next headed to Twillingate, a tiny town at the end of a jagged penninsula filled with the hills and rocks we've come to love. Most things were closed but lucky for us, the winery was opened! We toured the facility and sampled the wine, leaving with a few bottles of fermented juice from the berries we had been snacking on so eagerly. Next, Fran totally scored a cabin near Terra Nova National Park, where we could have a bit of alone time, both at home and in the park!
Our final stop in Central was on the Bonavista Peninsula; we happily stayed in the town of Bonavista as that was the only place that was still open and had people living there year round. Again, the coastline views were incredible as we hiked and ate berries around the lighthouse, a nearby place called the "Dungeon," and Arches Provincial Park. A statue devoted to John Cabot, a Italian (Giovanni Caboto) sponsored by England (thus the convenient name change!), marks the spot where he was credited for being the first European to "found" the mainland of North America in 1497 (after the Norse used it as a brief fishing stop-over). We visited the Root Cellar Capital of the World at Elliston (a dubious distinction) and sampled some splendidly prepared root veggies as part of another Jiggs dinner in the Tea Room in Bonavista. The historic nearby town of Trinity was overcast and pretty deserted, but we managed to see the last play of the season there, called Teresa's Creed at The Rising Tide Playhouse. The only actress on stage, Donna Butt, acted out the story of a local woman who had lost her husband to the sea. She told all kinds of stories about life at the time (mid 1900's) and even did her laundry on stage, using an old-time machine with a clothes ringer on top! It was powerfully moving and quite impressive for such a tiny theater. Well worth the 45 minute drive each way!
A true highlight of our tour of Central was hiking the Skirwink Trail, skirwink referring to a local seabird. Several people across the province had recommended the trail and we were not disappointed. The views of the coastline and the town of Trinity were particularly breathtaking; note how one narrow peninsula holds Trinity, then another jets out in the opposite direction with the lighthouse. The rocky outcropping are so unique to this area; it's so cute that people call them "tickle" amidst the other clever names such as dildo park and blow-me-down lane. Thankfully, the weather held out and we had a glorious day.