Monday, September 05, 2016

GTT Days 33-34

September 2 - Butter Pot PP, day 2
It feels like we've been gone for a very long time now, doesn't it? We haven't quite started the return trip yet. That won't be until Monday when we catch the ferry back to Nova Scotia. Meanwhile we went into St. John's to explore. As the oldest city in North America it has narrow winding streets, tiny row houses all brightly painted and a wee little harbour. 
It's a city in miniature. We of course went up  Signal Hill:
This is the Cabot Tower at the top of the hill.
We watched the re-enactor fire the noon gun:
I took this shot from inside the warm tower! It was windy and very cold and I'm still not feeling that well. We also went to the Visitors Centre and watched the film about the long and convoluted history of Signal Hill. Then we went exploring some more. Our van seems little when compared to some of the rigs people drive but it felt very large on St. John's tiny streets! Thom wanted to go to the Quidi Vidi Brewery to get some Iceberg Beer.
I mean if you can't see an iceberg at least you can drink one, eh? We're bringing home a 6-pack which is all we have room for. Quidi Vidi is adorable. Just below Signal Hill it's a "village" on a tiny sea cove:
Surrounded by cute houses (I found one I want right beside this pocket park I was standing in!) with artists' studios and also a long narrow lake with a walking trail around it.
By this point we were done and headed back to Butter Pot for the second night. It's about 20 minutes or so away.
September 3 - Butter Pot PP, day 3.
This was another day to explore St. John's. However first we had to stop in Mount Pearl (a suburb) again to get a big blue bottle of drinking water at the Sobey's. Our tank ran out and somehow all the water in the provincial parks is under a boil water advisory. There is nowhere to fill the tank so we poured the 18-litre bottle in which about half-filled it. That should at least get us off the island. We were surprised at how many places we've been this holiday with non-potable water. Are the standards higher, the water worse or are the bottled water companies just trying to make a buck? Or maybe they don't have enough money or time to test all the parks' water supplies to find out? Dunno but it's seriously annoying! We don't have enough propane to boil water for even one minute every time we need some. They don't say what the issue is either. Bacteria? That can be filtered if they bothered to put in the equipment. Oh well. We won't be back anyhow.   Where was I? Oh yeah. Today's adventure was to head out to Cape Spear, the farthest eastern point in North America:
This is the newer lighthouse but there's an older one:
It has the lightkeeper's home built right around it. I even found a handspun handwoven blanket in one of the rooms on a bed:
Sorry for the weird lighting but it had only a tiny window in the room. There's also a WWII gun battery up there. Reminds me of Washington State's Forts Worden and Casey. You know I have a thing for these rusting doorways:
We walked around some and then had lunch in the parking lot. I have a great story for you though. When we came over to Newfoundland on the ferry we met a young woman who was cycling across Canada. Leah had started in Tofino, farther west even than us, and we chatted a bit about her trip. A lot more difficult than ours for sure! Anyhow, today we surprisingly ran into her again as she made her way up to Cape Spear on her last leg of the journey! How amazing a coincidence was that?! Her family was there to meet her and cheer and we got a little involved as Thom volunteered to take photos with everyone's cameras for them. An amazing journey, most of all by herself, and in some pretty awful weather. Big congrats on such a huge feat, Leah! (Google: Leah Cycling Solo)
Tomorrow we head for Bay Bulls and a boat tour of the Witless Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Hope to see puffins!

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