Readers of the previous pages of this missive will know that in Autumn 2010 I had come to Canada and was here for many reasons, one of which was to travel the Trans-Labrador Highway from start to finish.
And so having completed the bit around Labrador and arriving on the shores of Newfoundland late one evening, I discovered that I had a 5-day wait for a ferry back to Cape Breton Island. Not another torpedo attack on the Caribou by a submarine of the Kriegsmarine (if you have never been out to the wilds of the deeply-rural parts of Canada you won't be aware of all the excitement that can take place here) but an engine breakdown this time.
"Ahhh well" said our hero, in philosophical mood. It's not quite the
"J'y suis, j'y reste" of Marshall MacMahon but more of a
"Hier stehe ich - ich kann nicht anders" of Martin Luther. I resolved to use the opportunity to have a quick look around the island.
The first thing you'll need to understand if you are a European like me, is that maps of North America drawn from a European perspective totally distort the region and give a totally misleading idea of the sizes and distances. Newfoundland is HUGE.
For those of you with an interest in military or transport history Newfoundland is definitely the place to visit. It played a crucial and long-undervalued role in the aerial conquest of the Atlantic and in the battle against the U-boats in World War II and it's my intention to put this right as much as I can.
There is a host of other interesting and important historical places to see and to visit and below is a list of what I actually managed to do.
And in 5 days too?
Newfoundland is huge.
i........ St Anthony
ii....... The Vikings at L'Anse aux Meadows
iii...... The Viking Trail
A brief interruption here - if you are simply following the circular route of the Trans-Labrador Highway back to Baie Comeau you need to skip the next few pages. Otherwise, come with me around the rest of Newfoundland.
iv...... Trans-Canada Highway - Deer Lake to Gander
vi...... East to the Avalon
vii..... Avalon South and West
ix...... Cape Race
x....... Avalon's South-Eastern Coast
xi...... Cape Spear
xii..... Signal Hill
xiii.... St John's
This is where we rejoin the circular route
xiv.... South from Deer Lake
xv..... Stephenville and the Battle of Long Gull Pond
xvi.... To Channel-Port aux Basques
xvii... The South-Western Coast