We spent last night at the Stonewall Inn, a B & B in Spaniard’s Bay. Breakfast was served at 8:15, beginning with beautifully arranged mixed fruit, followed by scrambled eggs, sausages and toast. Just as we were finishing the other couple staying at the B & B returned from seeing their granddaughter off to her first day of kindergarten. The B & B is run by Ian. He retired to Spaniard’s Bay after his wife died, thought he should have something to do and converted his house to a B & B for the summer season. It has turned into a year-round business and he hasn’t had a holiday in 6 years. His 98-year-old mother doesn’t like it when he is away so he figures he will travel later. He sat down at the table with us all and we all had a great visit. We didn’t get on the road until 10:30.
We had thought of driving back up to Carbonear to walk the boardwalk around the pond but since we were late leaving we just went the 7 km to Harbour Grace. Harbour Grace airfield was the take-off or landing spot for many of the early trans-Atlantic flights, including Amelia Earhart’s solo flight in 1932 to become the first woman to do so. She was also the first woman passanger to cross the Atlantic in an airplane the year before.
Harbour Grace’s Water Street is a Heritage Street with lots of lovely big Victoria houses. Also along Water Street is the museum which was the ‘fortress’ house of the pirate Phillip Eastman who made the town his base from 1610-1614.
The town is also home to the oldest stone church in Newfoundland, St. Paul’s Anglican built in 1835. We wandered around the cemetery for awhile. Located there is the only known grave of an officer of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment who died at age 40 on July 17, 1799.
After we left Harbour Grace we drove down highway 60 to Cupid’s and the archaeolgical dig. The first English settlement was established in Cupid’s in 1610 when John Guy and 48 colonists came to the New World. The historians, from researching record,s were sure that Cupid’s was the location of the settlement but it wasn’t know exactly where until 1995. There has been an ongoing dig here ever since and they find artifacts every day.
They think this foundation was from a wharf building. The water would have been to this level back then. All the road and shore outside the fence are man made since the settlement.
We were going to go to the Legacy Center just up the road to see the artifacts and hear how they are cleaned and treated but there was a funeral at the church next door and all the Center’s parking spots were full as was both sides of the road for over 1/4 mile in each direction. It was getting late we had one more stop before we began our drive to Trepassey so we decided to get moving.
There is a National Historic Site at the next town of Brigus – home of a famous seafaring captain who sailed with Admiral Peary to the North Pole. We drove all over the place looking for it; found a nice little garden and a lovely family park, but not Hawthorne Cottage until we were on our way out of town. And it was closed for the season!
After we left Brigus we drove down Highway 90 to the southern tip of the Avalon Peninsula to Trepassey. The drive was through typical rocky shrub forest interspersed with many little ponds and lakes until we drove across a causeway at the bottom. Suddenly we were in a whole new place – we were in Saskatchewan or Manitoba. Flat, flat, flat. No trees, just grass and bushes as far as the eye could see. It was quite surreal! The coastline and the bays were lovely in the late afternoon sunlight.
We arrived at the Northwest B & B in Trepassey at quarter to 6, went for dinner and then came back to check our photos (and for me to write my blog) and settle in for the night.
John and I have talked about the Celtic lilt we hear in the Newfoundland accent and I mentioned it to him again after speaking to our hostess for a few minutes. “She sounds so Irish,” I said. Well, it turns out she is Irish! But we still hear that lovely lilt in the way the locals speak.