If you have ever wondered what the landscape of Canada might have looked like before settlers cleared land and established towns and cities – visit Newfoundland. With an area of approximately 110,000 square kilometers, it is an island of rugged shores, mountain ranges, and forests. Small villages dot the coastline.
To get to Newfoundland, you can fly or take the ferry over. We were hoping to take the ferry from Sidney, Nova Scotia to Port Aux Basque (year round south-western port) and then return from Argentia – the seasonal eastern port. Due to some mechanical issues, a couple of the ferries were out of service– and so Marine Atlantic had to cancel some of the crossings and reschedule a number of reservations. We ended up catching the ferry at Port Aux Basque for both crossings – about 6 1/2 hours each way. A really comfortable way to travel.
First roadtrip in NFLD took us through Deer Lake towards Gander. We stopped at King’s Point to tour the whale pavilion. King’s Point is a tiny coastal village of 675 people. In 2001 a humpback whale and her calf were caught in nets – the baby was freed but the 50 tonne cow died. The dead whale was towed over 100 kms by boat to King’s Harbour where volunteers spent hours removing blubber and meat from the carcass. The skeleton was put into crates and submerged in the salt water for the marine life to strip the remains from the bones. The skeleton was then shipped to Drumheller for paleontologists to prepare it as a museum display, and then sent back to King’s Point where the King’s Point Whale Pavilion opened in 2010. Total cost of the project was $700,000. Our guide was very knowledgeable about the skeleton and humpback whales. Great attraction off the beaten path.