(For those reading this for the first time, you might want to look at “About” before continuing)
Well . . . that’s it, I’m eating in the car from now on. First the Man and Lady ordered COD TONGUES as an appetizer tonight and then the Man, realizing that the only way he’ll have a close encounter with a moose, ordered Peppered Moose for dinner. He’s one sick person. When they got back in the car all they could talk about was the cod tongues. Apparently they aren’t the actual tongues but the muscley part underneath. The Man said they tasted alright but that they are quite chewy except for the glob of jelly like stuff in the middle. I think I’ll stick to grass!
Speaking of moose, our Newfoundland moose spotting count is up to fifteen not counting the dead one on the Man’s plate. By the way, I forgot to tell you about our chat with another couple in another viewpoint the other day. Just say ‘moose’ to a Newfie and they’re ready to pull out their treasure trove of moose stories. This couple was telling us that the moose was not native to Newfoundland but a pair were brought over from New Brunswick. Apparently they didn’t get along so they had to bring in another pair who liked each other a lot. And now there are 110,000 moose in Newfoundland. The caribou, who are native here, are down to 500. I think the moose are eating the caribou. It was quite embarrassing because the Man was itching to tell HIS great moose stories and I had to bite his ankles to stop him from bringing out his pack of moose butt photos!
Wednesday it started out really rainy as we drove up the Viking Trail north. We thought it was going to be a day of driving and not much adventure. By early afternoon it had cleared up and we were treated to some more incredible Newfoundland beauty. We decided to stop off at Port au Choix which is the first of two archaeological sites that the Man thought we would like to see. They had a great interpretive center explaining the arrival of the four different cultures to that particular point covered with plants and berries that were beneficial to their survival along with the sea life.
Port au Choix
The archaeologists could tell the four distinct groups by the design of arrowheads found in the area. Theses groups lived in the area from about 3500 BC to the present. It was all very interesting and there were dig sites that weren’t accessible to us.
Then we went to an area called Phillip’s Garden which is a flat limestone ‘shelf’ to the shoreline eroded into pockets filled with peat. Because of the high lime content the plants are stubby and alkaline loving types. Lots of wild berries and unusual wild flowers cover most of the rock in thick layers. The natives used it for medicinal and food sources. It was very beautiful, blue Atlantic waves on eroded cliffs.
From there we continued to head north when we noticed something strange on the sides of the road. Small fenced off areas about 32′ x 32′ (10 metres x 10 metres) with cultivated rows of potatoes growing in them – every kilometre or so. We couldn’t figure it out until we picked up a book on the local lore and it told us that after the highway was built in the 1960’s people found pockets of good soil to grow things in which was a novelty so they drove many kilometres to claim these small areas to garden. Another thing we see are many huge piles of cut firewood along the side of the road. Often there is a snow mobile sled beside the piles. Apparently locals have wood lots and cut their wood early and in the winter haul it back to their houses by snow mobile. There is an extensive snow mobile trail throughout Newfoundland. We’ve seen lots of trails and bridges built for them. The people here on the coast seem to be very resourceful and don’t waste anything. It’s very beautiful now but you can see where winter would be very difficult with high snow and by the look of the windswept vegetation, cold and windy. In some places there are no trees around the houses for protection, just the wind blowing right off the Atlantic. Makes me thankful for my woollies.
The Man had a talk with a local Newfoundlander today but didn’t know what they talked about because he couldn’t understand a word he said. The Man just kept nodding his head apparently at the wrong places because the Newfie said, “I guess I’m talking too fast, little hard to understand.” But it seemed a pleasant enough exchange.
Last night we ended up in St. Lunaire which is almost as far north as you can go in Newfoundland. Another quiet fishing village with incredibly beautiful small natural harbour. Everywhere you look there are beautiful sights to see and the Man’s neck is getting sore from whipping around to find the next shot. You can’t go more than ten minutes without finding another new and beautiful vista to gaze at and it’s amazing how the beauty just goes on and on. People have been wonderful. Very good food – well actually the grass tastes just the same as everywhere else, but the Man and Lady talk about their meals ad nauseum.