A Bleak Landscape Greets Us

A Bleak Landscape Greets Us
Argentia Newfoundland, Canada

Argentia Newfoundland, Canada


September 8, 2009

A heavy dose of caffeine and a hearty but not gourmet breakfast and we felt better, arriving in Argentia, Newfoundland at 11:00 a.m. It was a gray day, had rained overnight and Argentia was not at all what I expected, it is a spit of flat land in the most desolate looking country that is only made worse by the gray skies, gray water and low hanging clouds . . . why did we come to Newfoundland?

The first little town was Placentia where we stopped for some fresh produce having depleted our supply before boarding the ferry. The store was well stocked and we found all that we needed. Next stop the liquor store conveniently across the street. It too was well stocked for such a small town and the gentleman stocking shelves was very helpful and chatty. He had just visited a relative in Victoria so was familiar with our area. George found an interesting beer in a beautifully sculpted bottle – Innis and Gunn, a handcrafted smooth Scottish beer with hints of toffee, vanilla and oak, aged in oak for 77 days before bottling, can’t wait to taste it. Too tired to drive far we settled on the first campground on the map, in the town of St. Brides only an hour from the ferry but a long hour through featureless landscape similar to tundra. The roads hugged the shores dipping down to sea level through small settlements and then back up to the highlands. We encountered potholes that tested the suspension on the van and finally found our campground; St. Brides full service RV Park, Restaurant and Pub with hot showers and wifi. It sounded good in the write-up and did offer everything as advertised but I guess I pictured something else in my mind. We drove into a good-sized flat gravel parking lot with a large house on the road and a menu offering moose stew and fresh halibut – that would be the restaurant.

A couple ran the “park” and the restaurant from their home. George spoke to the wife about a spot for the night to which she replied that we might not want to stay as they currently had no water and the electricity had been out the night before. She did offer that her husband had gone to town to get a part and would definitely repair the pump today. We were far too tired to drive another hour or two so selected a site as close to the house as we could get. I guess I forgot to mention the wind that had been buffeting us since arrival, it was ferocious, blowing across the highlands with nothing much to moderate it. When the husband returned he unlocked the door to the basement where the showers and restrooms were located. Entering a musty smelling basement, through a dark recreation room and down a dark hallway to the restroom with one light bulb over the sink and no light in the stall, probably a good thing. I didn’t even venture into the showers . . . why did we come to Newfoundland?

And then the rain started, blowing winds and rain all night.


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