If anyone knows me they know I have a strong sense of adventure and a true love of nature. I really had no plan on going to Newfoundland until I became aware that a friend of mine, Lexi, was living in St. Johns - we got talking and the next thing I knew I was planning a two week road trip to Newfoundland.
It's interesting planning a trip like this because it doesn't actually feel real until you get on the road. The day I left was absolutely beautiful - I couldn't ask for anything more. The car was completely packed and I pulled out of the driveway with a destination 2,700 km away.
Driving for two and half days by myself was a really good experience. I feel that most people feel uneasy when thinking about sitting in a car by yourself for that long - but I feel it was a wonderful experience. I was able to listen to more music than I ever have in two and a half days and I found myself truly enjoying my own company. I began talking out loud and becoming so relaxed I was comfortable enough to let out a solid laugh when I found something amusing. Maybe I was just going crazy... but it felt good.
The first day I was able to make it from my home in Brockville all the way to Fredericton, New Brunswick. Just before I hit Montreal my GPS died and I realized the charger wasn't working. At first I thought this was the worst thing that could happen but thankfully I realized my Blackberry had a GPS. I was actually able to use my Blackberry to navigate the whole two week trip... with the help of actual paper maps. After getting through Montreal's horrible traffic the rest of the day was a breeze (I had the windows down the whole way).
The first day I only really took one photo because I was literally driving all day.
I ended the day in Fredericton, New Brunswick. I decided to sleep in my car that night so I drove around the city to find a good parking lot that I wasn't going to get hassled in. I found an abandoned hospital and parked in its back parking lot between the building and a river. Before bed I made sure to grab a beer and a few shots of whisky in celebration of a very long day of driving. I didn't realize how creepy the area I parked in was until I decided to sleep. Oh well, I'm still alive!
The car I drove the whole trip and my hotel that night:
The next day I had to make it to North Sydney, Nova Scotia to make sure to catch my ferry to Newfoundland. This day was really exciting for me because it was my last day of driving before actually being in Newfoundland... it was also the first day I got to see my number one love - the ocean.
I arrived in North Sydney a few hours before the ferry left so I took a few photos while waiting...
The ferry ride was 14 hours and travelled all night. At first I was really excited to be on the boat and heading into the ocean but it lost it's excitement once I had seen every inch of the boat. I headed to the bar and grabbed a few drinks to help keep me amused. There was a horrible acoustic artist playing that was so bad he actually made me leave - probably a good thing considering how expensive the drinks were.
A few photos of the ferry:
That night I ended up sleeping on the floor in a room of other people snoring. It was a long night.
I finally arrived in Newfoundland on the third day of my trip. It was early and I was super excited to have finally arrived. Only another two hours driving and I finally arrived in St. Johns, Newfoundland. This was the last time I'd be driving alone for the whole trip.
Houses in St. Johns were painted to match the boats coming into the harbor...
St. Johns harbor:
Introducing my co-pilot for the trip... Lexi Fisher! She was a HUGE help for the trip. She did most of the navigating while I drove and she also cooked basically all of the amazing fire cooked meals. Without her the trip wouldn't have been even close to the success it was. It was also nice to have the company throughout the trip - we didn't know each other very well before we started so it made for a lot of interesting conversation getting to know each other.
We stayed in St. Johns for three days to give me a break from driving. Throughout those three days we frequented the many bars on George St., I officially got Screeched In, and we got ourselves further prepared for the ventures ahead.
Here's Lexi the night before we left for our trip around the coasts of the province:
We left early the next morning. We had our trip pretty well mapped out but we made sure we had the freedom to adjust it as we went. A trip of this nature is not meant to be fully planned.
Our goal for the trip was to stay as close to the coast's as we could. The cliffs in Newfoundland are breathtaking and we wanted to see as many of them as we could. Our first destination was the Cape St. Mary bird reserve. What's cooler than a bunch of birds on the side of a cliff?
Driving through Newfoundland is interesting in itself. Unless you were on the one highway the roads were terrible. There were occasions where you would be driving forever without seeing another car or even a house. It was amazing. An interesting NFLD past time seemed to be shotgun drive-by's to road signs:
For our trip we made a point to spend as little money as possible - both because we didn't have much of it and it simply makes the trip better. We camped every night and cooked our own meals. We simply lived out of the car. Another one of our goals (or challenge depending on how you look at it) was to not even pay for camp sites. This proved harder in some of the major parks but there was a few nights that we we simply pulled off the road and set up camp.
The next day our first destination was the fishing village of Dildo. Yes, Dildo. Why did we want to go to Dildo? Because of it's name.
After Dildo we headed north to Terra Nova National Park. We were planning on not paying to camp but after a few hours of venturing around we realized that we had to pay for a campsite. Not too big of a deal considering it's usually under 30.00 a night.
A few months previous Lexi had hitchhiked up the eastern coast of Newfoundland and recommended we checked out a little island called Fogo. Next destination: Fogo Island.