When I heard that I could see whales, mountains, fjords, Viking habitats and …ICEBERGS I knew that Newfoundland was the destination for mine and my partner’s first vacation together.
We decided to drive the entire length of the west coast up to St. Anthony’s, we took our own car on the ferry from Sydney to Port-aux-Basque. Our destination for the first part of our adventure was Rocky Harbour, which is half way through Gros Morne National Park, driving off the boat at 7pm meant we did not get there until 11pm. At the entrance of Gros Morne our headlight illuminated a sign that warned ‘4 Moose/Car collisions to date this year’ (gah!), we were on edge with eyes peeled into the dark for what was the longest drive of my life. At one point in the horizon we saw them … those long legs trotting ahead of us, we slowed and waited for him to run down into the ditch. What a relief it was to land at our cottage!
Our time in Gros Morne was amazing; it is so beautiful and diverse. The boat tour into the fjord at Western Brook Pond was stunning even though the sun went away and the rain/hail started half way through (brrrr!). The Tablelands were one of my favorite parts of Gros Morne, it is this rusted red barren desert area because of peridotite soil that was pushed up from the Mantle hundreds of millions of years ago. Inner science geek made an appearance that day!
The drive to St.Anthony boasted lots of small communities and beautiful scenery, you can Labrador across the Strait of Belle Isle and the strait was peppered with small icebergs. We swung by L’Anse aux Meadows, it was a great spot to wander around and see how Viking once lived. Upon arriving in St.Anthony, we headed out to the look off point and saw five icebergs nearby. That night we bravely tried moose spring rolls (delish).
Our iceberg adventure was led by Northland Discovery Boat tours, the guides were excellent and extremely knowledgeable, check out their Facebook page… see the June 19th post (that’s me!). At the beginning of the tour we saw a couple humpback whales playing near the coast before we set off towards the bergs. Titanic music set the mood as we approached a beautiful blue iceberg, we were able to get close as it was stuck in place and we did not need to worry about it flipping. This was one of the most memorable experiences of my life, so peaceful and majestic. The iceberg harvesters were out that day loading their boats with Iceberg chunks destined for bottled water and vodka! We fished out our own piece of iceberg and enjoyed some iceberg-siciles.
The drive back to the ferry was long (10 hours) and direct without too many stops but I loved being able to take in the beauty of Gros Morne again. The nighttime ferry back was great as we got on early, settled in and woke well rested for our five hour drive home.