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ST ANTHONY

I left you last night, you may recall, sailing off into the gloom on board the MV Apollo from Blanc Sablon in Québec over to St Barbe here in Newfoundland for the next leg of my circular tour. You are probably wondering where it was that I went to next from there.

bed and breakfast st anthony newfoundland canada october octobre 2010

So here I am in St Anthony the next morning at my bed-and-breakfast. No photographs in between St Barbe and St Anthony because it was pitch-black and you couldn't see a thing.

Well, that's not strictly true. You could see clearly the lights of the towns and villages in Labrador, across the Strait of Belle-Isle. This nonsense about not being able to see Labrador from Newfoundland that I had confronted after writing my Lost Colonists page is ... errr ... nonsense.

And look at how the weather has changed. Glorious sunshine into miserable winter drizzle. Do you remember from yesterday morning when I was not too far from Red Bay and we were looking at the weather front massing over Newfoundland ? You can see what I mean now. I was pining for the Labrador coast already.


bed and breakfast st anthony newfoundland canada october octobre 2010

But I cannot let my bed-and-breakfast pass without any kind of comment. In fact I had to take a photograph of it otherwise you would never believe me if I tried to describe it to you.

Chntz and lace, well, maybe, but not for me. But this room was over-furnished to beyond the point of bad taste and resembled something of a tart's boudoir with pillows and cushions and curtains all over the place. I've never seen anything like it at all. I suppose that the owners would be proud of it, but the only word that springs to my mind is one that I would not care to use in a public place.

Having said all that of course, the owners would quite rightly reply that it is their house and they can do what they like with it and if I don't like it then I'm not obliged to stay in it.

Note the antler in the bottom right-hand corner of the photograph. I am not alone. The one-and-only Strawberry Moose is with me. And that of course reminds me - as I came out of the bed-and-breakfast to load up Casey I was just in time to see a pick-up drive past with a huge dead moose in its bed. I hope Strawberry Moose didn't notice.


So back into St Anthony's (the bed-and-breakfast is about a mile or so out of town) to fuel up Casey and to buy supplies, seeing as there were a couple of decent shops and petrol stations in the town. The proprietor of one of the latter had kindly lent me his phone free-of-charge to phone the b-and-b, and one good turn deserves another. He can have the profits from my fuel purchase.

pby canso catalina flying boat st anthony newfoundland canada october octobre 2010

But just before I reach the town centre there's a PBY Canso, or "Catalina" as we Europeans would know it - parked up at the side of the road.

Whether this is actually a wartime model I cannot really say but it belonged to the Canadian Government's firefighting service and was a "water bomber", used for dropping tons of water and the occasional scuba-diver, if you believe the rumours, onto raging forest fires in an attempt to extinguish them.

The reason for its being here is that one of the pilots of the fire-fighting service came from St Anthony and he was killed on duty fighting a forest fire somewhere. This is his memorial. I could make some kind of cheap and nasty crack about "well, at least it saved his family the cost of the cremation" but that would really be below the belt and of course I am not like that.

But what forest could ever catch fire in weather like this? This weather is dreadful and is quite a contrast from yesterday.

And scuba?
Self
Contained
Under-water
Breathing
Apparatus
Now you know.


And so having fuelled up both myself and Casey, it's time to leave St Anthony. But not before I can tell you that I have seen a sign for a swimming pool. There's even one of those here. I suppose it's an open-air one too, open the year round. Newfoundlanders are noted for their sense of humour.


I'm not going south from St Anthony's - I'm going north. This is because the most important historical site in the province, if not in the whole of Canada, is situated just a few miles north of here and no visit to anywhere close to Newfoundland ought to miss it out. Yes, we are just a brief stroll from L'Anse Aux Meadows and the Viking settlement.

dark tickle experience st anthony newfoundland canada october octobre 2010

But before we arrive there, we encounter another one in the long list of bizarre, obscure and downright humorous roadsigns that we've been encountering during our progress around North America.

If you want to learn, taste and experience the Dark Tickle then this is clearly the place to be. But I've heard about things like this on the internet and I'm told that there are even films about it, starring such famous personalities as "The Boston Dangler" and the like.

I'm giving it a miss. Even the free wi-fi spot can't tempt me.



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