Sunday, 4 December 2011

Arrival in Burgeo

Meeting Everyone

We have another long drive today as we must drive north to Deer Lake to pick up our clients and then all the way south again to Burgeo; a round trip of more than 500km. After breakfast I walk down the hill into town whilst Carolyn goes and fills up the van with fuel. On the way down I am surprised to see a train lined up beside a small lake. As I approach it turns out to be a railway museum. It's too early to be open so I just wander around and take a few photographs. Unfortunately the weather is a bit grey and overcast. I find out later that the Newfoundland railways were built in 1882, ran passenger services between 1898 and 1969, and finally closed in 1988.


Unusually the railway was built on a 3’6” gauge and the main-line from St. John's to Port-aux-basque was a distance of 538 miles and took about 25 hours. It must have been quite a ride. The first picture above is a mural painted on the side of the Railway Museum building. The line to St. Johns is now a cycle/foot path and forms the first part of the Trans-Canadian Long-Distance Trail.


Carolyn has some trouble locating me as I am wandering about but eventually she picks me up and we start off on our long drive. As is usual in these parts the road was long and straight and lined with pine trees. The road signs saying ‘Moose Next 50km’ were augmented with others that said ‘Caribou next 30km’. Of course we saw neither Moose nor Caribou. We drove past the impressive Long Range Mountains and several picturesque lakes, including Blue Lake and George Lake.

We pulled off the road at Corner Brook to do some shopping; we needed stuff for our picnic lunches over the next few days. A few miles further on we came off the Trans-Canadian Highway to pass through the small village of Pasadena. We were looking for a picnic spot along the shores of Deer Lake itself but we couldn’t really find one. On arrival in the town of Deer Lake we drove up to the B&B where our guests are staying. They weren’t there. Apparently they were expecting us later, but we did manage to track them down to a pizza restaurant where they were having lunch. We introduced ourselves to Bill and Janice, and Ian and Debbie. They weren’t really surprised as they’d seen our van laden with canoes pull into the parking-lot. After lunch we picked up all the gear they had brought and started our drive south to Burgeo. This meant re-tracing our route back past Corner Brook until we reached the turn-off for Burgeo. This road, about 150km, was only built in 1979 to connect Burgeo by road. Before then Burgeo could only be reached by the inter-coastal ferry.

Burgeo is a small fishing town, with a population of about 1600, which these days doesn’t even have much fishing especially as since the moratorium on Cod Fishing, of 1992, the local fish-plant has closed.


We arrived in Burgeo about 4pm and after checking into out B&B we had a short walk around the town. At the store we purchased some beers and wines and then dropped into the local museum. It was drizzling and overcast but surprisingly the sun came out in the early evening so I went up to the look-out point to take some photographs.


When we sat down to dinner I was aghast to find that we were to eat Moose stew. I was of the opinion at this time that the Moose was a fictional creature and I was loath to eat something that I’d never seen never mind believed in the existence of. I did eat it. It was great.

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