Returning to Labrador


The ferry running from St. Barbe, NL to Blanc Sablon, QC runs a few times each day in summer but the schedule starts to lighten in September. It takes trucks, cars, locals, tourists, bikes, and nearly anyone or anything heading to or from the southeast end of Labrador.
St. Barbe, NL ferry to Labrador
The midday ferry leaves at 1:00 and arrives in Quebec about an hour later if the crossing is smooth. Today the seas aren’t rough but they are swell-ish due to high winds and storms, and enough to make a fellow passenger on the ferry spend his crossing hunched over a seasick bag. About 10 feet away, Brian and I get to sit and visit with a fellow traveler and Ottowan who is on his way to see Battle Harbor. I wish I had time to go that far north along the Labrador Coast but it will have to wait for another trip. We are only planning to go as far north as Red Bay to see the UNESCO World Heritage site (I seem to have a theme going with them this week) at Red Bay Harbour and the Basque Whaling Museum.
Red Bay, NL
Bike Trip Newfoundland Sept 9 K30 024
There are two museum buildings in Red Bay and the exhibit doesn’t disappoint. They are located on the shores of the bay overlooking the site of the San Juan underwater archaeological site as well as the wreck of the Bernier which has been decaying in the bay for nearly 50 years. It’s a long way from everywhere, but I’m so glad I made the trip.
Bernier shipwreck in Red Bay, NL
The weather isn’t great, with rain and wind. So after a dinner of fish and chips, it’s off toward Blanc Sablon again or anywhere between here and there to find a place to stay. The Pinware River and valley are incredibly beautiful and provide the perfect backdrop for the evening drive south.
Pinware River, NL
The next morning there is fog all along the coast so I don’t get to enjoy the view from the Point Amour Lighthouse at L’Anse Amour. But I do get to see the lighthouse in an eerie veil, and it’s still very beautiful. There is a historical site here as well, the L’Anse Amour Burial Grounds – and is the earliest known funeral monument in the new world. I’m amazed by the historical significance of this land.
Bike Trip Newfoundland Sept 9 K30 056
The road runs east and north from the ferry port in Blanc Sablon to Red Bay and then on to Port Hope-Simpson and places further in Labrador. But the #138 also runs west from Blanc Sablon to a dead end about an hour deeper into Quebec at a town called Vieux Fort. Most people don’t bother to drive up dead end roads, a new Newfoundland friend has told me recently, but that he also believes some of the best things to see are at the end of just such roads. So with that in mind, we head west. Middle Bay, as it turns out, is another old Basque whaling village and is really beautiful.
Bike Trip Newfoundland Sept 9 K30 071
Brador Falls is rushing this morning. Maybe it’s always like this, or maybe its the past two days of rain making it roar. The water is clear but with a deep brown color to it, provided by the millennia of land and life….and it rushes out toward the sea.
Bike Trip Newfoundland Sept 9 K30 063
I’m glad I’ve come back to Labrador. I have nothing but incredibly positive memories of this place and its people. I’d love to stay longer but cannot today…..so this place will remain on my must see list for when I can return.

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