Thursday, July 31, 2014.
We spent the afternoon biking and wandering through Quidi Vidi, an old fishing village that is located next to St. John’s in a tiny harbour. There is also a little brewery there that makes Iceberg beer. Part of the wandering lead us to the waterfront of the downtown harbour in St. John’s. The George Street Music Festival starts this week, there are different musicians playing every night and George Street is blocked off. It is a street full of bars and restaraunts.
We met up with Darryl, Cheryl and Ben for supper at Classic Cafe then began our hike up the road through the old Battery, over the front deck of a homeowner to begin our way up the beaten pathway to Signal Hill. What a scenic hike! The trail is right on the edge of the cliff. When we wanted to look at the amazing view, we had to stop so we wouldn’t loose our footing.
It was breathtaking in any direction from we looked. At the coastline, back to the harbour, out to the ocean, back to the trail we just climbed, ahead to the Tower. So beautiful! To top it off, there was a perfect sunset to lead us down the trail. Thank you Darryl, Cheryl and Ben . . . it was a spectacular evening!
Distance ~ 24 km. Winds ~ 5 km/h
Temperature ~ 22 – 30c sunny, hot, humid
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
From 1895 to 1966, 78 million tons of ore was shipped from Bell Island, the world’s largest Submarine Iron Ore Mine. Only 10 square miles was mined of the 70 that is here. The model of themine showed the underground layout of the mine. It was interesting to see how riddled with tunnels it is under this island. The mine was deep and went 2 -3 miles at a 10 degree angle right under Conception Bay. Shovelers had to load a minimum of 1.8 tons each 10 hour shift for only 12.5 cents an hour. During early operations horses were used to pull the ore cars up to the surface. The lived underground for periods of time in stables, some worked for 16 years.
After the tour we checked out the island, held on our brakes down the steep incline back to the ferry, rode into St. John’s and set up base camp at Pippy Park campground.
We left Harbour Main and continued on hwy 60. We rode through Holyrood, Conception Bay South, Paradise, St. Thomas, then finally arrived at Portugal Cove – St. Philip’s. There after several mountains climbs -so hard- we caught the ferry to Bell Island. Only $4.50 for the two of us.
Distance ~ 55 km. Winds ~ none
Temperature ~ 18 – 28c foggy, then sun + cloud
Monday, July 28, 2014
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!
Last night once we were settled in our tent and all was quiet, we could hear the whales resting at the surface of the water. We could hear them breathing out their blow holes. Crazy, at home we hear locusts, crickets, spring peepers, frogs and toads. Here the locals listen to the whales breathing! This morning we woke up to heavy fog. That really changed the look of the landscape.
Our first stop on the road today – Bay Roberts, the first two Trans Atlantic cables landed here 1910 by the Western Union Telegraph Co., one lead to Cornwall, England and the other to New York, USA.
Second stop – Cupids. A historical land and archeological dig site. The first recorded English settlement 1610, lead by John Guy, in what is now Canada. We had a great tour guide!
Next – Brigus, what a cute village. Darryl Pauls suggested we stop at the North Street Cafe, we weren’t disappointed! Then onto see Brigus Tunnel.
Our last stop was in Harbour Main, where we set up camp. This town has a fresh water stream running into a built up stoned in area, that is almost like a giant pool, before it drains into the harbour. One of the townsfolk, Gus, told us a couple of weeks ago it was full of capelin. They are a type of fish similar to, but bigger than smelt and when they come to shore to spawn it is called rolling. When the tide came in, so did the capelin, the pool was so full of live and dead capelin when the tide went back out. The town had to get vac-truck to clean up the mess. He said the pool was pure silver from the colour of the fish.