Mary and I won the daily draw for the front seat kitty-corner from the driver. We face huge front windows—a panoramic view—three steps above Shawn, our driver. On our way to Bonavista, the road had wide curves. He slowed, careful not to tip the bus. I hoped tilting too far wasn’t possible.
I found the ride awfully bumpy for a one-year-old modern bus. Something wrong with the suspension, I wondered? “Mamma,” I said when we hit a particular curve. Said is a weak description. I believe I yelped or screeched loud enough for the driver and our tour guide across the aisle to hear. Shawn’s eyes caught mine in the rearview mirror, a wicked grin on his face. “These aren’t government roads,” he said.
I hadn’t noticed there were no signs anywhere warning of sharp turns or anything else.
Bonavista Quick Facts:
- Rivals St. John’s in early days of fishery
- Tourism is big here
- Dungeon Provincial Park is a phenomena
- Small puffin colony established at the top of the cliffs
- Lots of cemeteries on both sides of the road
- Cemeteries: Anglican (large one); Pentecostal, United, Jehovah’s Witness, Salvation Army, Seventh Day Adventist, more and some new ones
- Nine windmills produce enough energy for 600 houses
A fishing vessel, Ryan’s Commander, ran into a storm in 2004 after dropping off fish. Empty, it capsized. Four crew were saved; two lost their lives. A helicopter had to release one survivor to the ocean because he would have smashed into the cliff. This was also at night. The pilot thought he saw a glimmer. One of the survivors was on the cliff—the glimmer was his watch—saved him.
At Dungeon Provincial Park, we stopped for photo opportunities.
What you want to know about puffins:
- Puffins: Images
- Puffins can dive 200 feet to get a capelin
- Their nest has two chambers, one for the chick, the other as the lavatory
- They mate for life
- Live for 20 year and do not come on shore
- Come to land to nest in June when capelins come
- Leave chicks on the cliff
- Literally throw the chicks into the water at night. Use moon as guidance system.
- They cannot lift off land
- 500 young birds landed on pavement
- Puffin Patrol has saved 3,000 – 4,000 puffins
- No longer throw puffins in air because black seagulls wait and attack them
- Saved, recorded, and thrown into the water instead
The cod au gratin was dry at lunch, a little better in the center. My disappointment overpowered anything positive. Wow. The salad was generous with raspberry dressing on the side. A large slice of fresh white bread and butter accompanied the lunch. The coffee was delicious and the service great!
After lunch, the Interpretation Center (a self-guided tour) was opened just for our tour group.
A legendary appetite:
Ryan Premises National Historic Site of Canada: only the dining room had furniture and crystal glasses on shelves. Almost every room had a fireplace. It was built in 1869 and has shifted at least a couple inches on the side = cracked walls and sagging stuck doors. I must learn to check pictures have turned out before assuming the click took when I snapped a picture. I am missing all the pictures taken in this house.
While we waited for the group to congregate at the bus afterwards by mid-afternoon, Shawn said the temperature had soared to 26 degrees Celsius. He received a phone call shortly afterwards and crossed the road. A car stopped; he handed a package to a young lady passenger. On his heels beside the sidewalk, they had an animated conversation for several minutes. I paid no attention to the driver. Oh, the wonders of the 21st century.
We passed a church with a wedding in progress, but the bride and groom were not in sight.
Headed to the hotel, Francis popped a Daniel O’Donald music DVD for our ride back. By 4:30, we were about a half-hour from the hotel but stopped at an Ultramar Gas station for drinks and whatnot.
Mary and I had supper at the hotel dining room with Ann, who was traveling alone with our tour. She’s so reedy, a light breeze might blow her over. Our eyes bulged when she ordered a seafood platter: 8 mussels, shrimps, crab, and rice. She also enjoyed a large glass of red wine.
Mary chose linguini with vegetables, but I had little appetite and chose Caesar salad with chicken. I can’t believe the truckload of croutons in this dish.
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On the lighter side:
A guy calls the hospital to asked about Sammy Jones, a patient in Room 302. “Sure, connect me to the Nurses’ Station.”
“He’s eaten three meals today, and doing fine. If he keeps improving, he will be discharged Wednesday. Are you family?”
“No, not family. I’m a friend—no, I’m Sammy Jones in 302. Nobody tells me anything!”
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Next on June 17th – The First English Settlement
© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles.
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