When we were planning our trip to the Maritimes we knew that since we were heading so far North we couldn’t pass up Newfoundland and Labrador. It seemed like whenever we spoke to fellow travelers about our plans there were two camps-they either loved it immensely or felt like it was okay but didn’t share in our excitement about it. Fortunately the camp of loved it immensely was quite large ! We were going no matter what anyone said. But it was exciting and set the tone for our trip when we were speaking with Daniel from New York who told us that Newfoundland would take over our souls-Daniel if you are reading this you were absolutely correct. From the moment our tires hit the pavement off of the ferry (and please do make reservations) we were in awe. I think our mouths hung open for most of the trip.
We were blown away by the grandeur, by the wide open wilderness feeling, by the stunning beauty. There really are not enough adjectives in the English language to describe our feelings about Newfoundland. Paris took over my heart and soul for the romance and magic of the city and its people; Newfoundland took over my heart and soul for the spirituality in its vastness and the magic in its beauty and the open huge hearts of its people. There truly is no other place like it. If you are giving any thought to making the journey, DO IT, you will not regret it, just be prepared that Newfoundland will always take up a large part of your heart and soul if you are willing to embrace it the way it will embrace you.
Caribou of Gros Morne and the Horses of Bonavista, Newfoundland
I mentioned the ferry, do make reservations ahead of time -if you don’t you will eventually get on but why sit in a campground in Sydney,Nova Scotia when you could be out exploring Newfoundland and Labrador ?
Marine Atlantic Ferry Ride and Grand Codroy Campground, plus great beer & food !
We booked the Marine Atlantic ferry from North Sydney, Nova Scotia to Port Aux Basque, Newfoundland. The sailing took almost 6 1/2 hours and could take up to 8 hours or longer depending weather, but typically it’s about 6-7 hours. We also reserved seats ( we didn’t feel the need to reserve a cabin). I’m glad we reserved seats because we were able to choose our location and the reserved seating was much calmer and quieter than the open seating on the deck below us. Price wise the seats didn’t add much to the round trip fare-$541 Canadian as you can see from below:
Our 23 ft measurement on the Adventurous was due to the Komo Carrier we have on the back. And we did change the return trip date twice with no charge-we loved Newfoundland so much we kept adding days to our journey and ended up spending 35 days total and could have easily spent another 35 !
We originally had been told that we could sleep over night at the ferry terminal which may have been the case at one time, but it’s no longer true. However we did stealth camp, shhh, at the nearby Canadian tire lot. Warning it’s quite noisy and bright at night because all the early bird truckers use the same parking lot !
Driving through Gros Morne, sadly we didn’t make the Fjords , weather wouldn’t cooperate.
Another word of warning-make sure you have full propane tanks before heading to North Sydney-we had a difficult time finding a pump that would fit the Roadtrek fittings -we never did. Unfortunately prior to departure we had to take time we planned on using for exploring the Sydney area to return to Halifax for some “Check engine light” issues-so we ending up topping off our propane in Halifax. But that’s another story-always the challenges on the road, right ?
But engine light and propane issues behind us, nothing really prepared us for our arrival in Newfoundland. We were like kids in a candy store and didn’t know where to look. We did take fellow Roadtreker, Campskunk’s advice regarding a campsite and stayed at Grand Codroy RV park just a short hop skip and jump out of Port Aux Basque. It was perfect and enabled us to relax, shower and walk off our sea legs and start our journey fresh the next day. We didn’t have reservations but we did call ahead to ensure they had space available.
Our plan for Phase 1, loosey goosey as it was, was to head north to Gros Morne,L’Anse Aux Meadows and the ferry to Labrador. All things not to be missed if you have the time.
L’Anse Aux Meadows-Viking Settlement, Newfoundland
We had beautiful weather while we explored the Viking settlement at L’Anse Aux Meadows. We didn’t plan on spending more than a day at the settlement, we thought it would be just a day trip. But we spent so much time wandering the village, talking to the people and walking the trails we ended up spending the night at a local campground-Viking RV Campground. Lucky us, we got the last spot
As we headed south in the Western section of Newfoundland we spotted an iceberg-we couldn’t believe it. Everyone told us it was too late in the season for icebergs-so glad they were wrong. I’ll tell you our iceberg touring story in my next post!
Our first week in Newfoundland exceeded all of our expectations. As our friend in Nova Scotia told us-Newfoundland will get into your soul and it certainly did. We could not believe how blessed we were to see and experience the beauty that Newfoundland offers. We will definitely be returning to this special corner of the world.
I have a great deal more to share with you about Newfoundland-until then, safe travels and happy trails.