Airstream Time

Exploring North America in an Airstream

Posts from the ‘Chez Martha’ category

Bonavista and Puffins

Sunday, August 25, 2019

We drove the coast road north along Bonavista Bay. The coastline here is beautiful with crashing, blue-green waves. It was about an hour to Bonavista. 

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We walked along the Bonavista harbor on a beautiful day, and went into The Mathew Legacy, a building housing a reproduction ship, The Mathew, that John Cabot landed at Bonavista in 1497. He intended to sail to Cathay, but instead discovered New Found Land. It was the only place he landed his small ship (75’x20’) with a crew of 19. 

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He was Italian, raised in Genoa, moved to Venice, and his real name was Giovanni Caboto. He was commissioned by Henry VII to make an expedition across the Atlantic. He returned to England, reporting his discovery. He is thought to have perished on a return trip in 1498. https://www.history.com/topics/exploration/john-cabot

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The reproduction is very cool, and you can walk on and around the ship, which has actually made the voyage across the Atlantic. It is not a big boat, but then Diego’s father made a historic trip across the Atlantic on a raft. It would have been more fun to have seen the ship out of the building, but it had been so windy, they probably wanted to protect it inside, and it is a very cool building.

We walked around town, then drove to the lighthouse for lunch with a spectacular view.

Got the chips?

Don’t forget the chips!

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Driving east along the coast to find a puffin viewing area outside the cute village of Elliston. You can walk out a peninsula and view across 100 yards of sea to an island, or more likely a stack where puffins have a breeding ground. Little burrows dot the top of the stack where heavy grass grows. They stand guard over their burrow for a while, then jump up and glide down the side to get a fast start. They must be outstanding fishermen, because in short order they return with a small fish to feed the young. They land and are down the hold in a flash. Then they pop back up and stand around a while before they are off again. They fly with great speed. I tried tracking with the camera, but it was tough to follow. But then, it was great sport.

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On a beautiful Sunday, lots of people made their way out to watch. It was fun to listen to the comments and screams as these little birds put on quite a show. 

Driving out, we stopped at a beautiful, sandy beach, where people were swimming, and two guys were surfing with wetsuits on. As I walked up a rock hill, like a sand dune, I asked a man ahead of me if he was going for a swim. “Not me”, he said. He was from Come By Chance at the neck crossing over to the Avalon Peninsula. You have to love these names. He said, “How about Dildo? Didja go there?” Laughing, he said Jimmy Kimmel made it famous on Saturday Night Live. “There’s nothing there, but everyone goes for a visit because of it.” The town has made Kimmel honorary mayor. The man was with another couple, and their wives were collecting these smooth, oval rocks to paint. It’s a popular thing in gift shops, and they are cool.

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He asked where we had been, impressed that we had been here so long. He said it is getting more popular for travel now. I suggested they not advertise it. It might ruin it. He said, “It isn’t  always this pretty. This is a beautiful day.” I told him how much we loved it, but maybe we should stay to see what winter is like. He said, “Well, you might not want to do that”. 

We drove back down the coast toward camp, noting places to explore tomorrow. 

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Clarenville and Trinity

Saturday, August 24, 2019

We took our flat tire to Clarenville, about an hour from our camp at Lockston Path Provincial Park. There was a Goodyear place, but it was closed on this Saturday, so we went across the street to Canadian Tire. Their tire service was closed too, but the rest of the store was open. A nice lady took my information, and I left the tire for repair next week. We would pick it up on Wednesday on our way out. 

We went to Co-op Grocery to get a few things. On the way out I noticed a barber shop. I was looking pretty ratty, so I went in. Unlike any barber shop I have ever been in, I was gawking around when a big lady in her 30’s with bright crimson hair said, “Have a seat over there Love. I’ll be there in a minute”. I took a seat in the barber chair. A girl was under a dryer behind me, and a young man was probably waiting for here. I didn’t want to turn around and look around, but I did my best looking in the mirror. It looked like they sold an interesting variety of things as well as cutting hair. 

A wonderful, large picture hung on the wall to my right. It was a bar with James Dean behind the bar. Elvis sat at the bar, drinking a Coke, looking at Marilyn Monroe talking on the phone. Humphrey Bogart is reading the New York Times, but I couldn’t read the headline as my barber came over, apologizing for keeping me waiting.

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We had an interesting conversation about living and working in Clarenville, Newfoundland. She had married and moved to Alberta for a while, but got divorced and returned with her son, who is now 12 and still gives her hugs. I was also trying to decipher her tattoos, but didn’t want to be too obvious, and the conversation never stopped. Her personality was somewhere between a veteran waitress and a pirate, not hesitant to tell it like it is. Before I knew it, she was done, but I kind of hated to leave. I went to the register to pay another big lady with darker hair and also tattoos. She said with a smile, “What did you do? She usually isn’t that nice.” I paid and left a nice tip, then talked to her for while. She had traveled around Canada before returning to Clarenville. She had a dentist friend who works in Virginia, but couldn’t come up with her name, searching contacts on her phone. She also had married and had a son, but had died at 15. She showed me a picture in front of her barber chair. He was a handsome kid, hugging his then attractive mom. So sad, I wanted to give her a hug, but patted her on the shoulder and told her how sorry I was. What a terrible thing to lose a child, especially an only child. We said our goodbyes, but I wanted to somehow come back for another haircut in a few weeks. Like any good barbershop this is a place you could just drop in to talk and hear the local news with these cool ladies. 

There was a farmer’s market today, and Martha loves a farmer’s market. It was a little place, but the people were pouring in. Right on the TCH, it has a great location. Like most, there was jewelry, handmade products, jams, cakes, pies, paintings and vegetables. Homemade ice cream was my first stop. Then I talked to a lady whose paintings of Newfoundland I liked. Meanwhile, Martha collected some things.

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It was a cool, blustery day that kept changing all day. It got cloudy and rained a bit. Then it looked like it would clear up, but 5 minutes later it would rain again. At 61 degrees with a 15-20 mph wind, Newfies were wearing shorts and T-shirts, but then people were wearing all kinds of things up to big jackets and hats.

We went to Trinity, a pretty, little town on Trinity Bay. We started to walk the cute streets when the rains started again, so we went to Dock Marina Restaurant and Gallery for lunch. It was busy with locals and tourists. Martha had a seafood chowder and I had cod fish and a salad instead of the usual chips. 

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Root cellar

Mussel farm

Mussel farm

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We thought about going for a hike, but the weather was too unpredictable, so we went home for a hot shower and a fire. We cooked hamburgers, corn and beet leaves over the fire. 

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Coals are just right

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