Bonavista Peninsula, Newfoundland – southern shore


After staying the night in Clarenville, we head out Balbo Drive and onto the NL 230 toward the Bonavista Peninsula. The two-lane road stays inland for a stretch but then we pop out at the coast at Trinity, a lovely and colorful village. There is a lighthouse on the other side of the bay in the distance, a church steeple, white picket fences and a feeling of stepping back in time.

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All the villages of Newfoundland were built on the coast by settlers and until the past century were only accessible by boat because roads weren’t built until then. So access to each small village is usually gained by a spur road off the highway, meaning you backtrack from each one to get back to the road and travel further up the road. As we entered and left Trinity we pass a mussel farm (which I thought was a jet ski race course) on a lake (they call them ponds here) filled with buoys.
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On to Port Rexton and Trinity Bay North and Port Union, an experimental community established in 1917 as a community for workers of the Fishermen’s Protective Union – sort of a socialist/communist community – where everyone worked together for the common good.

On through Catalina and back inland for the stretch to Bonavista and then on to Cape Bonavista. In 1497 John Cabot, or more accurately Giovanni Caboto (the English hired an Italian to explore and claim new lands and history usually records the English version of his name), reportedly landed here and opened the expansion of the world into North America.
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Just a mile or so south of the cape is Dungeon Provincial Park where there is a double window worn by the sea into the rock below.
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We go on to Spillars Cove and take in the view, and then on to Elliston, home to more than 100 root cellars, and Maberly where there are Puffin tours galore.
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Back to Bonavista for a night at the Harbour Quarters and a dinner at Skippers downstairs of fish and chips, bakeapple *(aka cloudberry) cheesecake and a Quidi Vidi Iceberg beer in its lovely blue glass bottle….I have a thing for blue glass and sea glass.
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One of my favorite movies is The Cowboys with John Wayne. He plays Wil Andersen a Montana rancher trying to get a crew together to trail his cattle to market in Belle Fourche and can only find a bunch of local boys to help with the task. The trail is rough and dangerous, filled with rustlers and potential for death in the weeks/months ahead. Wil asks his wife, Annie, if there is anything she would like from town….and she replies “you home safe…and a string of blue glass beads.” She says that she doesn’t need material things but treasures the man she loves above all else but that since he only goes to town once a year or less often that him bringing her something pretty would be treasured….lovely….and I’ve been in love with blue glass ever since.

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