Brigus Newfoundland, Canada
September 15, 2009
We awoke this morning to a cloudy sky but the sun quickly broke through by the time we had finished coffee and breakfast promising another beautiful day.
Our chosen route today took us south around Conception Bay and countless small settlements, villages, coves and harbors. Just outside the village of St. Thomas, not far from Portugal Cove, we began to see new housing developments in various stages of completion, countless new homes and numerous lots in the early stages of site preparation. We didn’t expect to see a housing boom; the communities looked prosperous but we haven’t seen any large employers in the area and don’t know what is generating the growth.
We find that each little settlement, village and town has something unique to offer; Topsail, has a lovely walking trail along both sides of the Manuel’s River, which was an early vacation spot in the 1800’ upon completion of the railroad line from St John’s, and the river still provides recreation opportunities for the area.
As we travel around Conception Bay we find it filled with little coves and harbors, we did not stop at every one but we did stop at some of the more scenic. Bacon Cove revealed the rusting hull of an old shipwreck but we could not find any information about it.
Having read that the village of Brigus was very scenic we took a detour to visit and indeed it was quite scenic. We learned that this was the home of Robert Abram Bartlett, considered the Greatest Ice Navigator of the century; he commanded the Roosevelt on Perry’s Arctic expedition in 1905 and accompanied him on the last relay of his trek to the pole. The town has erected beautiful steel sails monument to him at Bishop’s Beach.
Special features of the Brigus landscape are stone walls that line the rivers creating peaceful vignettes. Brigus has maintained a maritime character in the older homes and buildings that have been well preserved since the 1800’s. You can feel the history as you walk the narrow streets. We found a little café for lunch and had the scrumptious fresh cod chowder and fresh homemade blueberry crisp with ice cream yum!
Continuing a little farther north around Conception Bay we crossed the peninsula to Trinity Bay passing through the communities of Heart’s Content, Heart’s Desire and Heart’s Delight. Looking at the map we thought how could these be anything but delightful. Alas, we found OUR heart’s desire and heart’s delight in the village of Brigus.
September 16, 2009
It’s FREEZING COLD this morning but coffee and birthday greetings from family and friends makes everything a little better.
Not much diversion today after a drive through the fishing village of Dildo, and the best fish and chips to date in the town of Clarenville, even better than Chess’s in St. John’s although Chess’s fries were better. It is a driving day as we push west to Gros Morne National Park but first, Terra Nova National Park where we hope to spend the next day or two.