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Newfoundland – 2, Port aux Basques – Corner Brook – Deer Lake

4 Aug

When staying in many provincial parks, such as we are doing during our time in Newfoundland, it is worth it to buy the family park pass (approx. $20) – as each park will charge you about $5.00 to enter, plus the cost for each nightly camp site. However, Newfoundland is unique in that it allows you to park your RV anywhere you like (at no cost), provided that the location does not have a sign for no camping. This is apparently not that common, and while you do not have electricity or internet for that night – it can potentially save you some money (as each camp site costs about $15-$35).

Our first night’s camp stay was at JT Cheeseman, conveniently close located to the ferry in Port aux Basques.  The campground itself is appropriately named after the “piping plover” – a nice little, protected bird that was nesting there.  Emile & I took a wonderful, early morning hike (yes, we both woke up at 5:30 am – don’t ask me why!) to the local beach – which was a 2 km trek through some lush forest and bird reserve (where we saw blue herons and many other stoic and beautiful birds) – it was so serene – incredible quiet and beautiful. When reaching the ocean, we sat on the shore admiring the waves and early morning mist when all of all of a sudden, at a distant shore line, a fishing boat appeared. Due to the mist we couldn’t see anyone on the boat – so Emile deemed it to be a “GHOST BOAT” (he must have read too many Scooby Doo adventures) – but I agree, it did appear a little creepy for a while!

From Port aux Basques, we continued…to make our way to Corner Brook, where we stocked up on food for our next few days – and bought the kids some colourful, funky, skinny jeans, complete with matching shirts & sunglasses – mainly for their upcoming time in Europe. It was nice to see that they finally showed some interest in dressing cool – and although they still prefer their comfortable sport outfits, and call these regular outfits “fancy clothes” – there seems to be a glimmer of hope for their fashion-conscious Dad – who will undoubtedly like to teach them his sense of style in the near future.

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Overlooking Corner Brook, you’ll find the gorgeous Bay of Islands, where we found the perfect picnic spot.  “Our little piece of heaven” consisted of a wonderfully secluded cove (yes another one with no-one on it – private beach all to ourselves!), gorgeous warm ocean water, overlooking spectacular mountains.  As it was a nice, hot day, the kids were thrilled to stay there and swim the rest of the afternoon. Filou noticed that there were a lot of dead crab shells on this beach, and he pleaded with me to help him collect them. Some of these shells were white, others still a beautiful orange (all found on the beach amidst dried seaweed and the occasional dead jelly fish!). Of course, we are trying to teach the children not to take away from nature – but instead take its beauty with us in our memory (or snap a photograph).  Filou loved the crab shells so much, we decided to make a nice display and snap a shot!

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That night we stayed at a very uninspiring camp ground just past Deer Lake airport – however the park was a privately owned and therefore provided laundry and hot showers (both quite welcome at this point), and all the facilities for us to recharge our RV.  After already some substantial amount of driving behind us, we took it easy this morning, and Anthony ventured into our first bout of homeschooling!  After some initial push-back (it is not September yet- why are we doing school stuff?), Emile and Filou realized it was actually fun to write about their travel experiences so far, and that Papa who they first couldn’t see as their teacher, wasn’t such a bad one after all.

Now it is onto Gros Morne Park, one of the Newfoundland highlights we were all very much looking forward to!

Newfoundland, Canada – 1, RV and Arrival

4 Aug

The province of Newfoundland, Canada has always drawn me, as I’d listen to the tails of immense natural beauty and incredibly friendly folks. So for our last stop in Canada, we have decided to rent a Canadream RV ( and tour this province by motorhome for close to 3 weeks.

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This “house on wheels” is incredibly well equipped and smartly designed. Making it our home for a little while is a big thrill for Emile & Filou who enjoy their sleeping arrangements – a cozy, private nest above the driver’s seat.  Also, for the first time, Emile gets to sit in the passenger’s seat and is both helpful and entertaining as Anthony is driving hundreds of kilometers to get us to the many beautiful sights of this gorgeous part of Canada.

After picking up our recreational vehicle in Halifax, and some basic operational instructions, (which were clearly needed as in the first 5 minutes we almost took out the top of a tree!)– we drove our ”beast“ to North Sydney to take the ferry.  The Marine Atlantic provided a comfortable 7-hour ride over to the island (we paid a little extra to have a room with 2 bunk beds which was well worth it!).

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The dinner on the ferry was “pas terrible” according to Anthony and indeed it was not very good at all.  I always assumed that the food in Newfoundland would be similar to that of Nova Scotia but indeed an assumption was all that it was. What Newfoundland might lack in food quality it makes up in absolutely stunning scenery everywhere.  The province is more gorgeous in every way than I could have imagined (with it rugged shore lines, gorgeous secluded coves & beaches, and stunning forestry).  A few days in and already, we feel thankful to have included this part of our country in our itinerary – as it will certainly give us a deeper appreciation of the beautiful nation we call home!

Our tour of Newfoundland: 17-day loop that includes:  North Sydney ->Port Aux Basques->Corner Brook->Gros Morne National Park ->Twillingate->Trinity->St. John’s ->St. Brides/St. Vincent->Argentia.