This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (http://rbmartiniv.smugmug.com).

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Codroy Valley

The day began at 9:00AM as we boarded a tour bus for a sightseeing trip through the Codroy Valley in Southwestern Newfoundland.  The weather was very pleasant, sunny, and not hot.  However, on the inside of the bus it was a bit too warm, at least for Carol Ann and me.  We were sitting approximately in the middle of the bus and I believe it must have been warmer towards the rear.  I’ve already had my rant on Maritime buses and their not-so-efficient air conditioning so I won’t bore you by repeating it.  Needless to say, I was very glad to get off of the bus but not eager to re-board at each stop.  Stepping from the bus to the outdoors was so refreshing.  Like an ice cold beer after you have worked for a couple of ours outside in the sun with the temperature in the 90’s and high humidity.

I only wish there could have been more stops, although with the stops we did make we didn’t make it back to the RV park until a little after 5:00PM.  I realize that if you sign up for a tour such as ours with 44 people, that buses are necessary to transport a group that size from place to place when sightseeing.  I really don’t know of any other way it could be done.  Perhaps the bus tours could be limited to half-days instead of whole days.   See everything over two days instead of cramming it all into one day. Then you would have time to take your car and find great locations for your photography.

This is the most fantastic country.  It is rugged but beautiful.  You have the ocean, mountains, lakes, ponds, rocks, trees, and interesting architecture all in a relatively small area.  We drove past a lot of very nice photo-ops without time to stop.  Most people resorted to taking photos, as the bus drove past, through the windows with glare, reflections, and grime just to have some kind of photographic record of where they had been and what they had seen.  I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  I’m a little too picky and would not have been at all happy with any I took that way, even though I may kick myself later. I felt a little frustrated as we drove by so many beautiful places without stopping to take photos.  I know that I am being somewhat unreasonable because if we had stopped for photos everywhere I wanted to, the tour would have taken three or four days instead of one!  Do you realize how long it takes to unload and reload 44 people through the one door on a bus?  It is a fairly slow process, at least ten minutes I would guess.  That would be five to get off and five to get back on.  Then there is the time you would need to spend at the location to get a few good shots. 

Of course, if you were expecting to go on a “photo safari” you shouldn’t be going on a 44-person tour with prearranged stops.  I will say that I was quite pleased with the amount of time we were allowed to spend at the Rose Blanche lighthouse.  It was really a terrific site for photography, even though the sun was directly overhead.  You can’t always be at a choice location at the time of the best lighting.  You have to do the best you can whenever you are there because you may never be there again.

Our last stop was at a small mall in Port Aux Basques to pick up some needed groceries and other items.  I bought a six-pack of beer for $18 and some-odd cents.  It was “Iceberg Beer,” which boasts being brewed with 25,000-year old water (from icebergs).  They did have some cheaper beer for about $13 a six-pack but I wanted to try the iceberg stuff.  Plus, something inside of me would not allow me to pay $13 for a six-pack of something akin to Bud or Miller Lite.  It seems that beer, wine, and liquor costs about twice as much in the Maritimes as in the US.  I don’t see how there could be very many alcoholics here.  Who can afford to drink that much?  It would also be tough on smokers.  I can’t quote prices, as I don’t smoke, but I believe that cigarettes are at least $8 or more a pack.  I can’t imagine paying $80 or $90 for a carton of cigarettes to smoke with your $45 to $50 per case beer!  No such thing as a cheap date up here.

Tomorrow we travel north, about 234 miles up the coast, to Portland Creek for one night at the Mountain Waters RV Resort where we will be treated to a moose stew dinner (I can’t wait).  We will only be there for one night.  After that I am a bit confused as far as the itinerary goes.  We leave the RVs somewhere (I believe St. Barbe) and take a ferry to Labrador for an overnight in a hotel.  We are a little worried about having to leave our three cats alone in the RV for two nights.  It should not be hot and although we will not have electricity our generator has an automatic feature that will start it if the thermostat calls for air conditioning and shut off when the thermostat turns off the air conditioning.  We will also leave a few windows slightly open just in case.

2 comments :

Croft Randle said...

Your mysterious item is a Sea Urchin!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_urchin

Croft Randle said...

To be more precise, a sea urchin skeleton.