10 July 2011

NL...you know I'll be back!

Newfoundland, also known as "The Rock"
(NL - part IV)

As you drive along Newfoundland's coastline you'll become aware of the many small, wonderful communities that exist.  You'll also smile a time or two as you read the road signs that tell you your location.  Just to share a few:  Bar Haven, Bay Bulls, Cape Onion, Dildo, East Tickles, Muddy Hole, Sunnyside etc. (link to:  Community Names of Newfoundland).  Oh how many times did I giggle over some of the names (totally not out of disrespect, I just couldn't help myself).

Do you ever ponder where times goes?!  If so, I can assure you that it escapes far faster when you're having the time of your life!  For my final day in Newfoundland (can you believe it, already it's the last day?!), seven of us ladies loaded into the van and made off for Twillingate, Iceberg Capital of the World. We stopped for statues of giant lobsters, museums, gift shops, delicious places to eat and to rehydrate. 

We even ventured to the lighthouse at Crow Head, Long Point Lighthouse is its name.  It sits beautifully 300 meters above sea level, offering one of the best views of the Atlantic Ocean and rocky coastline of Newfoundland.  For all the things you were most likely to see from here, today wasn't the day.  There were no sightings of whales, icebergs or seals unfortunately.  We did see some fishing boats and tested our fear of heights at the cliff's edge as the rugged breeze whipped at our hair and our outer layer of clothes. 

Our road trip continued along a twisty, hilly and narrow route. It curved this way and that, gaining elevation every kilometre we drove.  As we started to descend and make our way closer to the water, it was here, along the hillside that my pre-trip notions of what Newfoundland would look like were validated.  An entire town built completely within the rocky landscape.  A place where the ocean promised to meet those who lived there as soon as they opened their front door or pushed back the curtains to peek out.  Looking down at the water you could see fishing boat after fishing boat, all just waiting for a new day to start so they could head out to see what treasures the Atlantic would bestow them with.  Absolutely beautiful.

Our days adventure took us from this ocean-side haven, back up the hill to the Durrell Museum.  The day had gotten ahead of us and by the time we'd arrived there, it had closed up for the day (too bad).  I was able to peer into the windows and did get to see the enormous polar bear that greets visitors upon entering the facility.  Apparently he came in on a chunk of iceberg and terrorized the town for a few days before becoming this massive monument. Should've seen the claws on his gigantic paws, yikes.  From here we began our voyage back, stopping for a few more spectacular photo ops along the route, arriving home just before the sun went into hiding.

When deciding how we'd spend the last evening together, something relaxing and close to home sounded fabulous.  A small group of us gathered in the back garden bringing, chairs, guitars, lighting the bonfire and a list of very cultural and historically significant songs for us to sing. Combined with the energy and excitement of the 7 year old girl who got to stay up late to join us, this was an excellent way to capture the conclusion of my amazing first trip to the Rock.  As we sat under the starry Newfoundland skies, happy to be in each others company, there was no reason to think the night would ever end.

"You're kidding"?!? It couldn't be 3 a.m.?! "Oh No"... A few things happened at this moment of realization.  I jumped in the shower and scrambled to gather everything, while Stephanie packed my bags.  There was only an hour left before we had to be on the road to make it to the airport on time and we were absent a driver.  How had time escaped us?  A few phone calls (followed by a few no answers) and there was a strong feeling I wouldn't be making it home this morning.  

Around 4 a.m. our phone rang.  It was Tracey. She had gone home after our Twillingate tour this evening and had gone to bed.  She was absolutely sober and within minutes her car pulled into the yard, she was there to rescue us.  OMG.  I think I boarded the plane before I even realized what was happening ... wasn't I just at the campfire? Did I just say good-bye to the Girls? (thank you Girlies ... for everything)

The results from the Weekly Survey Question:  ever missed your flight?
25% of you have actually missed a flight.  I wonder how many of you from the remaining 75% have been close to missing one?  Sometimes, no matter how fast you run, it's just not fast enough eh? 

On this day, I was content and relieved to find my butt in a seat on the plane. I introduced myself to Ken from Toronto and drooled my way across the Gulf of St Lawrence while staring at the back of my eyelids.  I needed home for rest (that song was definitely written for moments like these). 

It was on this return trip that I questioned if I was really cut out for this travel thing. For the second time, within my first three consecutive trips to anywhere, my heart was broken.  I kept meeting these fabulous people and then saying "Thanks for a great time ... I'll see you when I see you" ... but then would leave wondering when or if that would ever be?!  :(  ... I find that part still sucks (here, there and everywhere), there are so many people I want to see and hang out with often, not just again. 

I've been fortunate enough to have visited this small town in Central Newfoundland almost annually since that first trip.  Summertime visits seem to be the most common, but I've been there during the winter and once in the fall.  I try to keep bringing first time visitors with me so that more and more of my friends can experience this incredible place, meet these amazing people (my extended family ... this entire town) and earn themselves the title of 'Honorary Newfie'.

I need to take some time to share the condensed versions of those other visits with you and tell you about East Coast Blend on the Rock 2010 (a weekend in St. John's, Newfoundland).  Thanks for coming to Newfoundland (if you've never been, are you now inspired?) ... As far as adventures go, we're very close to returning to the Caribbean (might as well get your sunscreen, travel mug and bathing suit ready).

I'd love to hear about your trip to Newfoundland (your screech-in too).  And if you're from there, maybe you have a favourite town or place that everyone should come see while they're visiting!?  Nobody knows the best kept secrets for travellers, than those from there!

Share your comments, your stories, your travel advice etc. in the section below (comments or reaction section) and give your answer to the weekly survey (top right of the blog page).  No sign up necessary, just a simple click :)  A little shy?!  Why not send me an email instead: holidayheidi@hotmail.ca

~ Holiday Heidi

1 comment:

  1. Again the smile is on my face :-) I love reading your stories and reliving all those fun times over and over!!! It's never long enough when you come "home" for a visit (and when you bring new friends for the first time is even better. AND I so can't wait to see you in 18 more sleeps ----Stephanie <3