Saturday, August 6, 2011

Elliston and Rodriques Winery

We parked at a beautiful scenic overlook outside of Elliston on the Bona Vista Pennisula, just past the puffin viewing area.

Elliston is also the root cellar capitol of the world with over 130 root cellars in the area.

Some of the cellars are still in use today.

When we got to Elliston the weather was clear and sunny so I rushed over to see the puffins. They were so close – less than 20 feet away and I took a lot of pictures. Dean and I came back later and with his camera we got a lot of really nice shots. We also watched the whales playing in the bay. I saw (with binoculars) a humpback breach over 11 times. What a site! I wish I could have taken a picture.

On Sunday I went into Bona Vista. I thought that this was a very pretty city – narrow streets, colorful houses, lots of history.

I went thru the Ryan Premises Historic Site. Mr. Ryan traded with the local fishermen and built a large enterprise.

I went to Cape Bonavista Lighthouse. Again there were whales and puffins the cape. I took a trail outside the lighthouse that had many Inukshuks (stone monuments place to resemble a human figure. They serve as signposts much like our cairns do on the trails in the US.

Monday we moved to another Harvest Host member – Rodriques winery in Whitburne on the Avalon Pennisula. We parked on a hill overlooking the winery, which was a hospital in previous years. We did the wine tasting – berry wines such as strawberry, blueberry, cloudberry. Not as sweet as you might think.

Tuesday we drove to the closest Walmart for some shopping and the Harbor Grace to do laundry. We drove into Brigus – a cute little town and home of Capt. Bob Bartlett, famous Arctic explorer. His house, Hawthorne cottage, is a national historic site. Brigus also had a tunnel that lead to the beach. Dean and Chica are in front of the tunnel.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fish, Fun, and Folk Festival, Twillingate

The Fish, Fun, and Folk Festival in Twillingate, Newfoundland began on Monday, July 25th. We arrived in Twillingate early so we had the time to see some of the local sites. One of the best performances we saw while at Twillingate was the All Round the Circle dinner Theater at the little town of Crowhead, just outside of Twillingate. There was music and skits from seven performers and they were very entertaining. Plus the performers did the cooking and serving of a pretty decent meal. We had the cod and it was very good.

Also during the week I did the Top of Twillingate hike (more stairs!) which offer fantastic views of the town and countryside. Dean and I went on the Little Harbor hike just out of town, which went to a natural arch and then across the hills to a beautiful cove. And we both did a hike at the Long Point Lighthouse, looking for whales.

Dean and Ron went cod fishing twice during our week in Twillingate. One time was with a local fisherman and the other was just a local guy that Ron approached about going out in his boat. They fished the hand over fist method and caught their limit (5) in less than 2 hours. Our small freezer is filled with cod and we have been eating it every other night. Dean says that this was the highlight of the trip.
On Monday the festival started. Events for the day were a family fun day (kids games) at the baseball diamond and the lighting of the sign on a hill at night. We went to a local musical (The Shipwreck of the Begonia) written by a local with 6 local college and high school age actors. It was not great – just OK. We got out of the musical in time to see the lighting of the Festival sign and a few fireworks.
Tuesday, at the hospital pond was Senior day with free hamburgers and hot dogs, music, and a charity ping pong ball race across the pond. It was a beautiful day and really nice to see all the locals out in their finery.

Wednesday, Ron and Bernita joined in on the scavenger hunt and Dean and I did the Little Harbor hike. In the afternoon there was a “House Haul”. The locals moved this 100 year old building in the old fashion way – by placing logs underneath it and pulling with a rope. It was another charity event ($20 to be one of the pullers) and they did not move it very far until the front end loaders took over.

That night we went to the Masonic lodge to hear Terry Penney (2009 Music NL Songwriter of the Year) play and sing. He was very good but the Masonic lodge was a terrible venue – too much noise from the crowd.

Thursday was the busiest day. The Festival Parade started at 1:30 and there were people from all over NL there. The streets were packed. The parade wasn’t much but it was fun to see the floats, band, and costumed locals. Immediately after the parade the Opening Ceremonies began in the Hockey Arena. There were dignitaries who spoke and a craft fair, kids games, and lots of food. That night we went back to the Masonic lodge and TRIED to listen to Scott Goudie and Dennis Parker who are really good blues guitar players. We bought the two nights tickets at the Masonic lodge last Friday so we didn’t know about the poor acoustics or the fact that the Newfies don’t particularly care about the music when they want to talk. And this performance started at 9:30. The four of us lasted until 10:30 and then we went home.

Friday there was more entertainment at the arena, a giant bake sale, and lots of meals at local churches. Dean and I decided that it was time to leave so we did cleaning and maintenance chores today in preparation to leave on Saturday. I did watch the fireworks at 10:30 with some of the locals in the church parking lot.

Saturday there was more entertainment and more meals but Dean and I were ready to leave. We said goodbye to our traveling companions of eleven weeks – Ron and Bernita Poutney – who aren’t on any schedule and want to go slow. We are going to speed up since we are getting anxious to get home. We will really miss them – we had a lot of fun and laughs together.

Solomons, Sheeleys, Poutneys at Twillingate.