I’ve often heard people complain that there’s nothing but trees to see on Newfoundland’s Trans-Canada Highway. Really? Based on the drive we enjoyed last weekend I’d have to think this sounds like another good reason to travel with a qualified, local guide when you visit this province.
Undoubtedly, there are many stretches of our highway which seem to travel through the middle of nowhere – but that in itself is a thing of beauty. The island of Newfoundland boasts a land mass in excess of 100,000 square kilometers that contains less than half a million people; and over half of them live in the eastern most quarter, on the ‘Avalon Peninsula’. Thus there is an abundance of unspoiled wilderness for you to enjoy in what might be the last true frontier; albeit, one interspersed with many fascinating exhibits.
The first thing you will note on any of Newfoundland’s highways and byways is the diverse botanical mixture of wild flowers, lichens, trees, bushes, and ground cover that can be seen in every direction. Though often mistaken for lakes, ocean views frequently pop in and out of sight thanks to the varied coastal route, deep bays, and the fact you can stand no further than 100 kilometres from the ocean at any point on the island. Along the way you’ll note entertaining place names like ‘Boot Brook’ and ‘Come by Chance’ that perfectly describe the many pretty and interesting towns sprinkled throughout the province. You may even see roadside stalls selling fresh berries, rabbit braces, smoked salmon or bottled moose. There are literally thousands of rivers, an abundance of unique geological formations, and some of the most beautiful vistas imaginable. And of course, an ever-changing sky makes a wonderful traveling companion throughout the trip. Amazing really!
This past weekend my family traveled across Newfoundland and “down” the Great Northern Peninsula (In Newfoundland and Labrador we say we travel down North and up South…..not sure how the rest of the world managed to get this wrong!) We covered a total distance of 914 kilometres and the radio wasn’t on for a single minute of our drive. Instead we spoke of the many marvels spotted along the way – all of which are best described through the photos taken from the window of the truck.
Perhaps beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but you really have to open your mind to truly experience everything Newfoundland and Labrador have to offer.