Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland & Labrador

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UK-RV

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Hi Guys

Im going to try and keep you posted on our tour of Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland & Labrador.

Attached are some revised maps (MS Streets & Trips).

We've decided to head straight to Newfoundland as our main slide motor has broken and we can't extend it - we're booked at a dealer (Islander RV) for the repair.

We will take the 14hr ferry back to North Sydney and then tour Nova Scotia (attached map refs 13 to 14 dont show the ferry).

Then over to Prince Edward Island (PEI) on the Woods Ferry.

As and when we can get photos developed, we can add some pics (my digital is broken).

Paul

New Brunswick / Nova Scotia border to North Sydney

As soon as you enter Nova Scotia, you are greeted with a really nice Visitor Information centre.

There are loads of leaflets, free internet access, gift shop, restrooms and ice cream kiosk.

Several staff are on hand to answer questions - there is even a Bagpipe player outside in full clan attire !!

Around the car park are several excellent info boards detailing various routes around the Province.

There is a great photo opportunity at the centre - the Welcome to Nova Scotia sign with attached mini lighthouse, flower beds etc.

As we were late leaving Moncton (RV slide issue) we didnt have any time to stop en-route to North Sydney.

There are loads of info signs along the route - you could spend days just along this short 250 mile road.

We had planned to stay in Antigonish last night but were obviously playing catch-up. The town did look very nice as we passed along side it.

There was some great scenery along the way.

As you descend from Kellys Mountain there are 2 great pull-ins for photos. When it states 40kph at the bend at the foot of the mountain it really does mean 40kph as the bend is very tight.

We are staying at Arm of Gold CG which is just 3 miles from the ferry - I drove down there tonight and it was a straight road to the boat, no problems.

The CG is actually very pleasant ($31.50cdn for full hookup with 30A) with great views and free wifi.

Oh, we paid $1.17cdn a litre for diesel in North Sydney - thats 28p ($0.53) per mile compared to 18pence ($0.34) the last time we filled up in the US.

Well, I guess that's it for today.

Paul

 

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UK-RV

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North Sydney to Grand Codroy (Doyles)

We were due on the 10am ferry to Port Aux Basques and arrived at 8:30am.

If you are thinking of booking this ferry, you should be aware that their website lists a Motorhome and a car separately.

We booked the car (upto 20ft allowance) and the RV (31ft-40ft), giving us a total of 60ft.

However if you book separately you have to disconnect the car before you are allowed thru the pay booth.

You can actually just book an RV space and include the car in the total length, but it costs more than splitting them.

We measured 56ft in total and had to pay $17 more than we would if disconnected - even though we used 4ft less room.

But it was much less hassle to drive one vehicle aboard - especially at the other end.

We finally left North Sydney an hour late and were a further 1.5hrs late getting into Port aux Basques.

We needed a couple of grocery items we had forgotten and were able to drive into the Price Chopper supermarket (although we later found a much better supermarket a couple of streets away).

As we came from the supermarket, we found the road signs (for us) very poor and drove into the heart of downtown, with no way back out.

A nice couple pulled up and offered to lead us back the the Trans-Canada (TC) once we had unhooked, turned the coach and re-hooked again.

This was our first "contact" with the locals and we were very impressed by their helpful friendly way.

Once we got on the TC we headed to Doyles and the Grand Codroy RV Park.

If you get in late and dont want to drive the 30km to Doyles, there are 2 CGs en-route.

Grand Codroy is a very pleasant CG ($26 for 30A full hookup) but they dont have wifi.

We spent a day driving around the area and enjoyed the great scenery - but there isn't much else there, except for a Wildlife Museum (which we skipped).

However, there is a BIG problem with black flies around the area - I have now found 18 bites from standing outside for 15 minutes when packing the RV and connecting the car.

A local guy camping with his family explained that the flies are even worse toward the start of the season.

Doyles to Gros Morne RV Campground (Rocky Harbour)

We drove the 185 miles thru torrential rain (we had forgotten what it looked like) but arrived in Rocky Harbour to sunny skies and a brisk wind.

The CG is a gravel carpark ($25 for 30A full hookup) but it does have a weak wifi connection which is free.

We took a 10 minute stroll down to the beautiful harbour area and decided to enjoy a drink in the bar of the Ocean View Motel. Whilst there we got chatting to the barmaid (Alma) and found she originates from Labrador.

We also enjoyed a meal in the upstairs restaurant overlooking the harbour and with a great view of the evenings sunset.

Alma was a wealth of information on the area and even suggested a place we could see the Northern Lights to best effect. Unfortunately, it involved the 80 minute ferry to Labrador, a 6hr drive and then another ferry of 12hrs - we decided not to bother, but she took our email address and will hopefully send us some photos her son took recently.

The Motel has a show/group (cost under $10) on every Mon, Wed and Fri starting at 9.30pm and finishing "late" - I believe around 1am. Its (or they are) called Anchors Aweigh and has been running for over 10 years.

We've decided to take a look on our way back from St Anthony.

Whilst in the bar, I saw a bottle of Newfoundland Screech - which is rum from Jamaica, bottled on the island.

I asked Alma what a "Newfie Screech-In" was, as I had seen it in various tour brochures.

I (wrongly) assumed it was just a get together over a few drinks. When she explained that you drank a single shot of Screech - after kissing the head of a smelly fish, followed by doing a dance - we decided we didn't like rum that much anyway? ;D

Thankfully the flies have been kept away by the strong winds in the area - its a good job the sun is out as the wind is pretty chilly.

Diesel is $1.20 and regular ?1.13.

Tomorrow, we are off to St Anthony.

Paul
 

BernieD

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Paul

Kissing the cod isn't that bad. The shot of Screetch was worth it ;D

Hope you got to Earsl's in Rocky Harbour for lunch. The best meal we had on NF.
 

UK-RV

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Hi Bernie

The only Earls I can find is a Video & Convenience store - and "Earls Newfie Mug Up", located by the Harbour Seafoods at the far end of the bay.

We drove past the place yesterday and it seemed like someones garden shed.

Is that the place - and do they specialise in one type of food ie seafood ?

We are back here later in the week.

Thanks,
Paul
 

BernieD

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UK-RV said:
The only Earls I can find is a Video & Convenience store - ........
We drove past the place yesterday and it seemed like someones garden shed.

Is that the place - and do they specialise in one type of food ie seafood ?

Paul

That's the place. Ordinary looking restaurant in front. We couldn't duplicate the Fishermans Brewis anywhere on the island and I thoroughly enjoyed the fishcakes. Also the best we had on the island.

 

UK-RV

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Rocky Harbor (RH) to L'anse aux Meadows (LaM)

Today, Ann-Marie went out for her usual 6:30am 3 mile jog ? I turned over and nodded off.

On her return, she had a huge smile across her face. When she reached the gas station at the end of the road (1/2 mile) there were 2 huge moose standing in the middle of the fuel pumps. She said she just stood there and stared at them 20ft or so away. Then, the garage owner arrived to open-up and asked her is she was OK, to which she commented on the moose. He was clearly accustomed to seeing these impressive animals and just made a passing pleasant remark and off he went ? scaring the moose off in the process.

It has been twice now that Ann-Marie has come really close to a moose ? the first time at the road entrance to Denali NP, when she chose to walk back to the CG. She turned the corner and there was a huge moose standing in the middle of the path ? less than 15ft away.

Unfortunately, she didn?t have her camera on either occasion.

We left Gros Morne RV Park for the 230 mile journey northward along the 430.

En-route we passed several small villages (and gas stations, small stores, restaurants etc) nestled along the gently sloping coastline - everything from small seasonal fishing huts to pretty impressive houses, although most were small wooden homes. There were many thousands of lobster pots stacked by the road.

Once again, the scenery was outstanding the entire route ? we were less than 100ft from the ocean most of the way.

Exactly half-way between RH and LaM we found a really nice picnic area overlooking the sea ? there were no camping restrictions displayed, so we will try and stay here on our way back down the 430 (gps 50.87397, -56.99332). There is plenty of room for 2 RVs, with a selection of picnic tables and bench seating. The sunset here should be stunning.

The quality of the 430 was really good, except the last 90 miles which had a fair few bumps ? it is worth noting that 90% of the bridges require a slower speed as the joins are nearly always off.

There are a choice of 2 CGs serving the St Anthony (SA) and LaM areas ? Triple Falls just outside SA and Viking RV Park situated 2 miles from LAM. As neither offer a sewer connection, we decided to boondock in the area (there were places in both CGs in case we couldn?t find a suitable spot). Be aware that the CGs are generally small ? if there is a caravan due you will lose out. There are 3 caravans on the island at the moment. A good idea is to research the caravan tours and tour in the opposite direction ? that way you only cross each campground at one location rather than possibly every location.

We turned off the 430 onto the 436, heading further north to the tip of Newfoundland.

We headed to LaM ? past the Visitor Centre and Norstead Viking Village ? and found ourselves in the tiny hamlet with no way out other than to unhook the car. An old guy came out to chat to Ann-Marie and she couldn?t understand a single word he spoke ? the dialect on the island is a mix of Irish, Scottish and ?Canadian?, very strange but very pleasant.

We did find a really nice gravel parking area (51.59618, -55.52684) with enough room for 5 RVs if backed-in and which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean on 3 sides.

The views were absolutely stunning. The sun was out both days (although with a chilly wind) and we watched the sun go down over Cape Onion in the distance. If we had managed to stay up late, I?m sure conditions would have been right to see the Northern Lights from this camping spot.

We walked ? mile to the replica Viking village at Norstead. At $8 each (and $3 to have your fortune told) it was not worth the visit ? we spent just over 30 minutes there.

We walked the 1 mile from our camping spot to the visitor centre for the Viking settlement unearthed at LaM. We already had our annual National Parks pass from Banff and Jasper and found we could upgrade ($30) to include all Historic Sites in Canada (as entrance here is $20, it will now only cost $10 to enter all other historic sites on our trip).

The visitor centre at LaM was well worth the visit and we saw a 30 minute film, viewed various exhibits and took a guided tour of the ruins (mounds of grass). There are replica houses here with costumed guides (this is why the village of Norstead was not worth visiting as the same things are done here). Note : if it is raining you probably won?t want to visit as everything is very open to the strong winds etc. Also, there is no designated RV parking here, so you will have to take a few of the limited number of car spaces.

There is a Viking Feast dinner at SA, a fun evening with audience participation ? but we didn?t want to move the RV from our idyllic location and didn?t go (there is a supermarket in SA and we did see a couple of RVs parked there with slides out, so you may be able to dry camp).

We did spend an hour or so driving around the tiny coastal villages. In Quirpon, we came across a ?French bread oven? ? a clay oven, molded to the rocks by one of the small harbours. There were several picnic benches too. I assume there is normally someone out there baking - perhaps they have closed for the season.

Tomorrow, we are heading back to Gros Morne.

Labrador

We had originally planned to go across to Labrador, but decided against going.

We?d read various trip reports on the internet and got a feel that the trip was just OK, but nothing special. As it seemed we were still recovering from the choppy seas of our fishing tour in Bass Harbour, followed by an unwell feeling across from Nova Scotia, we didn?t want to face even the 80 minutes to Labrador.

Also, if the black flies at Doyles were anything to go by, we?d been told they were far worse in Labrador. Apparently, they spray the areas each year but were late doing so this year.

L'anse aux Meadows (LaM) to Rocky Harbor (RH)

Well, she did it again. Up at 6:30am for her run, she got a 1/4 mile away and came across a moose in the road. She rushed back to the RV for her camera, but it ran away when she approached.

We left LaM at 10:30am and arrived at the picnic spot mentioned earlier at 1pm, so we decided to stay for lunch and head on to RH.

We?ve driven past several small villages and roads leading to others, that you could spend a week along this stretch of road ? unfortunately our schedule doesn?t allow it.

Tonight, we are going to the Anchors Aweigh show at the Ocean View Motel in RH.

Paul

PS Is anyone reading this ?










 

Tom

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UK-RV said:
PS Is anyone reading this ?

I sure am Paul. Thanks for posting. Do us a favour - at 6.30am tomorrow tie a camera around Ann-Marie's neck.
 

Betty Brewer

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UK-RV said:
I Is anyone reading this ?

Paul,
I am reading it word for word and taking notes for my 08 trip.  I am also enjoying the moose spotting's of Ann Marie.  I guess I might start jogging with a camera in my pocket, but then since she does this at 6:30 am I will never ever replicate the times.

Good  info.  sounds fun!

Betty
 

Mike (ex-f-221)

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Paul,
I read this and I follow you on your trip. You are so kind giving the gps-coordinates. So i start Google-Earth and see where you are at the moment. The same with Betty and the Alaska-Trip.
 

Wendy

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Don't know about anyone else, Paul, but I'm reading it. I figure the odds of my getting to the Maritimes are better than my getting to Alaska.
 

Tom

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Wendy,

We need to do the maritimes again, allowing much more time. Let us know if/when you decide to head that way.
 

Wendy

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Is next month too soon? Oh, wait, that would put us there in the middle of winter. But I'm definitely ready to go SOMEWHERE.
 

Tom

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We'll be in and out of our "other RV" for the next couple of months. (Maybe I should say on and off, rather than in and out).
 

Wendy

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Are you 'in and out' of the motorhome? and 'off and on' with the boat? Or is it big enough to be a ship?
 

Lorna

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I have read all your travel posts please keep them coming because I may never get to the Maritimes
 

Tom

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LOL Wendy, we'll be afloat much of the next couple of months.
 

UK-RV

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Quick Update :-

Anchors Aweigh at the Ocean View Motel

Absolutely fantastic !!!

This 5 piece Newfoundland group were the entertainment highlight (so far) of our entire RV tour - yes 7 months !!

They were due to start at 9:30pm and the place was full by 9pm - we did manage to squeeze in at the back.

The back, however, is only around 5 rows from the front? ;D

The small room holds around 120 people and has generally been full 3 nights per week for the past 10 years.

Even now, toward the end of the season it was full - although they appear to be reducing the number of performances each week toward winter.

If you go (AND YOU MUST) be aware that it goes on to around 1:15am - we didnt even notice the first 2.5hrs go by as we laughed, clapped, sang and tapped our feet throughout. They returned after a 20 minute break - it was just a pity that most people had decided to leave at midnight.

Paul

PS It's 2am now - I dont think even Ann-Marie will be up for a 6:30am run tomorrow.

PPS It's 9:30am now - no, she didn't manage to get up for the run  ;D


 

rhmahoney

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Paul:"It has been twice now that Ann-Marie has come really close to a moose ? the first time at the road entrance to Denali NP, when she chose to walk back to the CG. She turned the corner and there was a huge moose standing in the middle of the path ? less than 15ft away."

Must have been the same radio tracking collered female I saw on the path by the RR tracks at Denali 4 yrs ago and on the other side of the road munching shrubs this year. Caused a traffic jam both times.
 

UK-RV

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This one will be a short one :

Rocky Harbour (RH) to St Johns (SJ) via Gander (G)

We left RH for the drive to Islander RV in Grand Falls, where we were expecting our replacement slide-out motor - of course, it hadn't arrived, but at least we were planning to drive back this way. It just meant we wouldn't have those few days to ensure their work was OK before we left the island.

We made our way to Gander, where we found a boondocking spot at the Dominion Supermarket and Canadian Tire (currently being built). I will add the gps when I get to use my own pc again.

We left Gander for the drive to St Johns.

We had already completed the online reservation for Pippy Park but hadnt heard anything from them.

When we rang, they simply stated that if we hadnt heard back from them it was because they were full.

So, we found ourselves at Crossroads Motel & Trailer Park and were charged $28 to boondock 20 yrds from a small lorry park. We told them we wouldnt be staying the planned 3 nights after all. (it wasnt as bad as the CG in Moncton that wanted to charge $26+tax to empty our grey tank).

Then we found a new WalMart (gps to follow) where we boondocked for 3 nights (we did ask after the first night).

Here, we were treated to over an hour of motorbike racing around midnight each evening, but at least it was free camping.

With the exception of 1 day, we had heavy rain from the moment we had left RH to the moment we left SJ.

We were not impressed with SJ at all - we drove up Signal Hill but there was a cruise ship in and it was packed, so we left.

The morning we moved from Crossroads Motel, we had very loud grinding noises when we applied the brakes after reversing the coach, and had to wait until today to visit the Freightliner dealer. They had to change the front brake pads, disks etc (well something like that anyway). It was warranty covered but did mean another day sitting in the waiting room.

We also have a coolant leak from the engine block heater and an oil leak - but these can be done when we get to Halifax.

Tomorrow, we head to Gander for an overnight stop, before we get to Islander RV for the motor replacement, which has finally arrived.

Our remaining time in Newfoundland will be brief as we are racing toward the ferry.

Unfortunately, with the various repairs we were waiting for and the new ones we encountered, our planned visits on the island have been cut short - apologies for the lack of more useful info.

Paul



 

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