Friday, July 11, 2014

Our 48 Hour Adventure in Newfoundland

We’ve just come back from a 48 hour adventure in Newfoundland, and what a road trip that was! If you’re thinking of visiting Newfoundland anytime soon, you might find some valuable tips in this blog post, or just a good laugh. This is a long blog post, but well worth a read!

This is our second trip across Canada, but this time we’ve included Newfoundland in our road trip adventure. It was kind of a last minute decision and we really only had 3 days to spare adventuring to and from Newfoundland.

For those of you who don’t know, there’s only 2 ways to get to Newfoundland: by air or ferry. Being that we only had a few days to spend in Newfoundland, we chose to fly to St John’s, Newfoundland from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Travel tip:
Surprisingly, it’s extremely hard to book a hotel or car rental in Newfoundland during summer months. The island is not only busy with tourists during summer months, and has a short supply of rental cars, but also tons of conferences are held in Newfoundland each year.

Because we had only booked this part of our trip a week before we arrived, we couldn’t find any available rental cars, or hotels in the St John’s area. The only available car we could find was 4 hours from the St John’s airport. After many phone calls to various rental places (and even car dealerships), we finally gave up and rented a U-Haul pickup truck. Generally when we go on road trips, we don’t usually rent hotels, as we spend most of our time moving from city to city, and switch between driving and napping. Given that our only option to move around the island was in a U-Haul pickup truck, this made for an interesting adventure.

We started off our journey around the St John’s area. We made our way up to Signal Hill and Cape Spear, but it was too foggy out that day to see anything, so we decided to move on with our list of things to see and do in Newfoundland. This led us down to Ferryland (1 hour south of St John’s), also known as the Colony of Avalon. There’s a lot of history behind this little town, and with the promise of iceberg spotting and a historic adventure, off we went to Ferryland. We ventured up towards the famous lighthouse in Ferryland, but halfway up the pathway, we decided it was too foggy out to see anything, and while turning around, we got our U-Haul pickup truck stuck. By this time it was starting to get dark out, and the fog was beginning to thicken. We really had no choice but to abandon our truck, and walk back into the little town for help.

Our knight in shining armor
After a half hour wondering the little quiet town of Ferryland, we finally found a person (and cell reception)! The man happened to be a doctor doing local house calls. He also happened to own a big truck with a winch on it, and was able to pull us out of the ditch we were stuck in. We told him of our road trip adventure, and how we planned on travelling around the island during our short stay. Dr Peter Morry was nice enough to let us spend the night in his basement suite, and even gave us a copy of his book.

One of the best things about travelling is connecting with local people, and learning little things about the villages that you wouldn’t otherwise know about. Dr Morry gave us an amazing history lesson of Ferryland, the local people, showed us some paintings from a local artist and gave us a small tour of the town. His hospitality was amazing, and it was wonderful to hear that this was “The Newfoundland way,” to be nice to everyone.

Our adventure continues:

The following morning, we left the good doctor’s house nice and early to continue on with our journey. We ventured back to Signal Hill and Cape Spear as the morning was clear enough to see the sites around us. Up on Signal Hill we spotted several icebergs and a whale. If you want to go whale watching in Newfoundland, you can either go on a whale watching tour, or sit up on Signal Hill and patiently watch the waters. You’ll eventually see one. After venturing to the most easterly point in North America, we made our way up to Bonavista, a town most popularly known for iceberg spotting and the “official” landing site of John Cabot, who discovered North America in 1497. We spent most of the day touring around Bonavista chasing icebergs, and visiting the John Cabot statue. After dinner and a beautiful sunset, we headed back to St John’s. Our trip to Newfoundland was short-lived, but in true Road Trip Blogger style, we crammed a ton of things in our short time there.

We arrived back in St John’s early the next morning. After a brief nap on the side of the road, we went for a morning walk along the wharf, then off to the airport for our flight back to Halifax.

My Newfoundland Regrets:
After our short 48 hour road trip around Newfoundland, we left this amazing island with a few things still left on our to do list.

I’m sad we didn’t have the opportunity to be officially welcomed to Newfoundland by being screeched-in. This is the traditional Newfoundland way of welcoming in non-Newfoundlanders to the province. It consists of a shot of screech, a short reception and the kissing of a cod.

More time
Sadly, Newfoundland was an afterthought when planning our latest road trip. This left us with a very short window to explore Newfoundland before having to leave again. We were able to see some amazing sites while there, but you really need a week (if not two) to experience all that Newfoundland has to offer.

Have you been to Newfoundland before? Leave your comment below and let us know what kind of adventures you got up to.

You may also like:

18 Fun Facts About Newfoundland
9 Fun Things To Do In Newfoundland

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