Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Parting thoughts on Newfoundland

This blog is dedicated to reflexions on Newfoundland, both good and bad.

Roads, traffic, and transportation

TCH 1 is a very good road – lots of four lanes and passing lanes, but not too many pullouts. The other roads in NL range from decent two lane roads to really rough pothole roads that you have to go slow on. Newfies don’t like to pass so they may follow an RV for quite a while. We were told that these were government workers who weren't in a hurry to get to work. And if the Newfies want to talk to someone or go pick some berries it is not uncommon for them to stop half in the road and half off. You just have to go around when it is safe. The ferries are decent. We took the short ferry over and it took 5 ½ hours. It was crowded but we found good seating in the game room. The loading and unloading was quick. We did hear a horror story that one of the ferries could not dock at Port aux Basques because of the wind and so it sat outside the harbor for over 30 hours waiting for the wind to calm down. We took the long ferry back (15 1/2 hours). It was very crowded but we found comfortable seating in the recliner room on the cabin floor just above the main dining area.


Of course, gas was very expensive. Our highest price for regular was $1.38 per liter and most of the time we paid 1.35. Milk and dairy products were very expensive - $7.50 for 4 liters of milk, $6.50 for a regular block of cheese. I started using powdered milk. Bananas were 95 cents per pound. Thank goodness we didn't have to buy any meat since we had so much fish to eat. Meat and chicken were very expensive.


You don’t know about their festivals, if they are going to be anything special. Twillingate was the best festival we attended – with lots of people and lots of things to do. The Viking Feast at Norstead in Northern NL was a joke. The people working there didn’t even know about it. The lobster festival at Cowhead had some things going on but the attendance was very poor.

The boondocking

It was incredible. You can park almost anywhere and most of the places we parked were very picturesque. We only got asked to leave one place (Rocky Harbor) because the local RV Park had some pull with the town council.

Weather –

Even the Newfies say is terrible. We had so many Newfies tell us that this was the worst summer, latest summer, the coldest, wettest summer that they have had in a long time. We were dressed in jackets, hats, and gloves for most of the time we were there. And thank goodness for our catalytic heater. You pay your money and you take your chances.

Fishing –

Because we went early summer we got in on some fishing seasons such as Halibut (which is only 1 day), cod and capelin. We bought a whole Halibut from a fisherman for the four of us at $5 per pound. We bought cod for $3 per pound and then Ron and Dean went cod jigging in Twillingate with the locals and we filled our freezers with cod. No need for a license. They chipped a chunk of ice off an iceberg to keep the fish cool. We went to the docks in Ship Cove and the local fishermen gave us a 5-pound bag of capelin. We pulled mussels off rope that had been brought in from a commercial fishing boat. They didn’t want them because they were muddy. We think that we got a lot of this seafood because we were there early in the summer.

Language –

Although they speak English their dialects are unique. They drop the letter H and put it in some places it doesn’t belong. It took us a long time to figure out what an ockey rink is. And some talk very fast – we had a hard time keeping up.


This is NL biggest asset. The people were so friendly. And they were very generous. We had people give us moose, fish, canned beets, canned mussels. We had three different people take us out in their boats for either fishing or just for a ride. And they loved to talk to us – commenting on our accent!

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