Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day 17: Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We had a complicated plan for the morning that involved putting on a load of laundry, then going out to a Where to Eat in Canada restaurant in Rocky Harbour for breakfast. It had rained overnight and was still drizzling, so we were happy to be going out - unfortunately we arrived there to find a sign saying “Closed Tuesdays”! So, it was back to the campsite for cereal and oatmeal... at least it had stopped raining.

We loved the rugged beauty of Gros Morne park; every corner was another spectacular view, and the road climbed over a couple of minor mountains as we wound our way up the coast. Having villages inside a national park seemed odd at first, but they add to the scenery once you get used to it. The low-hanging clouds over the evergreen-clad hills reminded us of Scotland again.

Up at Port-aux-Choix we stopped for lunch, at the Anchor Cafe. It was a straight-up casual seafood restaurant, with delicious chowder. Will had his usual salmon, Mike took a break from seafood with lasagna, and since I couldn’t decide I had their fisheries and ocean platter - scallops, shrimp, cod, halibut, and salmon, prepared in a variety of ways. Afterwards we stopped nearby to look at the site of an ancient Maritime Archaic burial ground, then to the Port-aux-Choix welcome centre to learn a bit more about the five waves of people arriving in the area over 5000 years; the Maritime Archaic indians, two types of Inuit over time, another First Nations tribe, and then finally the Vikings.

Continuing north we got almost as far as we could before dark; in the tiny village of Quirpon (which seemed to consist of a church and an RV park) we found a spot for the night, then drove up to L’Anse-aux-Meadows for dinner at the Norseman. We noticed that although we were seated right away, the service was a bit spotty; the table next to us got noticeably better service, getting to order first and waiting far less time for their bread, water, menus, and eventually food. We learned later that the party of four was the Honourable John Crosby, former Lieutenant-Governor of Newfoundland, along with his wife and another couple. (I still think an excellent restaurant would give everyone the same level of service.) The food was good, anyway; Will’s salmon came with red cabbage, and my squash soup and goat cheese salad were excellent. We shared a couple of desserts and bought a CD from Wade Hillier, who was providing the evening’s dinner music. As they were leaving both Mr. and Mrs. Crosby stopped to say a few words with us, both of them commenting on how well-behaved Will was during dinner.

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