THE TRANS-LABRADOR HIGHWAY 2010
This is the index to a series of pages relating to a journey around the Trans-Labrador Highway in October 2010.
It has always been my ambition to go to Labrador, ever since the late 1960s when I was a child reading books like The Land God Gave to Cain. That kind of book fired my imagination and as a result, Labrador went quite high on the list of places to visit.
A second motivation was to do with a dispute I was having over an article I had written in 2005 about the Roanoke Island colony in Virginia . which led to a bold assertion from a bystander that implied that the coast of Labrador could not be seen from Newfoundland. And with a challenge like that, well, one just has to, doesn't one?
The third motivation was that up until December 2009, if you had travelled the Trans-Labrador Highway from Baie Comeau to Goose Bay, you were stuck there and needed to negotiate your way out on one of the freighters that plied the coastal settlements - either the Sir Robert Bond or the other ship, both of which connected with the Labrador Coastal Drive from Blanc Sablon (and the ferry over to St Barbe in Newfoundland) to Cartwright, at a price that bore no relation to any kind of reality and with your car in a shipping container, so I was informed . But all that changed when the Labrador Coastal Drive was built right over the mountains and the Eagle Plateau from Paradise River to the Trans-Labrador Highway about 10 kilometres from Goose Bay. Now you can drive all the way to Blanc Sablon and the proper car ferry, so now is the time!
Finally, an almost-last-request from a dear departed friend was to "keep an eye on my daughter and make sure that she's okay". And when aforementioned daughter went off to study for a year in Canada at exactly the same moment that I sold an apartment in Brussels and thus for once in my life I actually had an ample amount of spare cash, then a possibility became an absolute certainty.
So what will you need then in order to circumnavigate the Highway?
A final word or two of warning. DON'T WANDER AWAY FROM YOUR CAR. And for at least four good reasons -
I'm sure that you can think of others.
On the subject of bears, bears can smell food for miles. If you are not sleeping in a hotel but in your car, camper, tent etc, then when you have cooked and eaten your evening meal, wash up and clean everything thoroughly, and then move on another 20 miles before bedding down.
That way, you will avoid the arrival of unwelcome visitors during the night.
And so, dear reader, now that I have scared you to death, let battle commence.
GK Chesterton once famously said that
"the traveller sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see"
I worked in the tourist industry long enough to know that most tourists see what they are told to see.
But that is by the way. I went as a traveller with no Guide Book, no tourist leaflet and no internet printouts. I just went, and found things to see as I drove around. I probably missed dozens of thing of interest.
You have the benefit of having read my notes and so you might be tempted to go as a tourist. But don't. Go as a traveller and find things for yourself.
I ought to mention by the way that what I recorded on my travels is what I did and not what I am recommending that others do. My notes are simply for interest and the purposes of sightseeing. You travel this road at your own risks and perils according to your own ability and that of the vehicle that you have chosen for the route, keeping well within your own limitations.
Talking of my notes, I have very strong views about many things, and my opinions do occasionally come through in my writings, as you will notice. Much of what I have written is based on my observations and there is always the possibility that I have overlooked or am unaware of something important. If I'm totally wrong about something, about it.
If you disagree and can be pleasant about it, then and we can chat about it. If you disagree with me but just want to have a rant, then get your own website and rant on there, like I have done on mine.
The internet is a wonderful platform for free speech and we should fight to preserve it - free speech, I mean - at all costs. Censorship is the tool of petty tyrants and bullies, because they don't have the intellectual capacity to engage in coherent debate.
One final point.
If you have found my web pages to be of value and interest to you, please consider using the links to "Amazon" in the left-hand column of each of my pages when you place your next order. Your goods remain at the same price but I receive 4% commission on the sale. It would help my financial situation greatly.
Not to mention the fact that all labour deserves its rewards of course.