PLANNING: STAGE 4

This is where things begin to gel ….. and get a bit more complicated.

Scratching out a rough itinerary listing where I’d be on what day and what I wanted to see there I was getting closer to making a reservation for the ferry.  Given all I’d read about how these ships get reserved well ahead of time, I resolved to take the leap and quit equivocating over what day I’d go.  I now had a firm reference point and could begin putting markers on maps.

Found some more material to read and tried getting smart about camping reservations. I spent two days doing more research and fine-tuned my initial itinerary.

It was at this point, having thought 2 weeks would have been enough for Newfoundland, I realized I was wrong.  Again.

So now I resolved to stay 19 days.

Here’s the itinerary as it stands right now for Newfoundland:

Day 1:  Arrive about 7 PM at Port Aux Basques and weather permitting, do some scenic driving before sunset. Camp at J.T. Cheeseman Provincial Park.

Day 2:  Margaree; Cape Ray lighthouse; Smokey Cape; Table Mountain hiking; Grand Cordroy beach; Harbor Point and Cape Anguille lighthouses. Camp at Blow Me Down Provincial park.

Day 3:  Bottle Cove beach; Southhead and Woody Point lighthouses; Gros Morne National Park; Tablelands trail; Lobster Cove and Cow Head lighthouses; Arches Provincial park. Camp at Shallow Bay. (possible return to Gros Morne on departure)

Days 4 and 5:  Point Rich lighthouse; L’Anse aux Meadows; Santana trail; Carter’s View trail, Viking dinner. Marilyn’s B&B near Viking settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows for 2 nights.

Day 6:  King’s Point (most of the day is driving) Campground or boondock near Grand Falls. Given the route re-traces what I drove on days 3 and 4 I hope to catch things I missed due to weather and time constriants.

Day 7:  Bay of Exploits; Black Head trail; Twillingate. Camp at Dildo Run Provincial Park (yes, that’s the name!)

Day 8:  Fogo Island; scenic touring. Camp at Terra Nova National Park.

Days 9 and 10:  Trinity and Bonavista; hiking; touring. Hostel at Trinity both nights.

Day 11:  Dildo (Come on!  You wouldn’t go there?); Harbor Grace; Cupids and Shakespearean production. Camp at Cupids.

Day 12:  Placentia; Cape Mary’s Ecological Reserve; Cataracts Provincial Park.  Boondock or campground.

Day 13:  Witless Bay for whale and bird watching plus touring and lighthouses.  Camp at Chance Cove.

Day 14 and 15:   St John’s; Torbay; Signal Hill; Quidi Vidi, Cape Spear.  Camp one night; B&B another.

Day 16/17/18/19:  Return to P-A-B and take in sites not seen on the west to east run.

Of course, the uncertainty of not knowing about evening accomodations resulted in my making early reservations at various places where I knew that boondocking would be difficult.  So far I’ve firmed up nine nights’ worth.  The last 4 days will be catch as catch can.  Still working on something for St. John’s.

Doing all this research and map perusing is when I realized that since I may never be back this way I ought to capitalize on the opportunity and check out Nova Scotia Province  and the Bay of Fundy on the New Brunswick Province side.  Of course, it was not possible to stop at just one thing.  So there I went again into the travel forums for a better idea of what I faced.

Getting to see the tidal effects in the Bay of Fundy (noted for having the highest tidal actions anywhere in the world) would involve great timing and a little luck with weather given some of the more dramatic shots include colorful fishing boats resting on solid ground backdropped by blue skies.  The tides roll on about a six hour schedule so if I were to be able to get what, in my mind’s eye, would be great shots I’d have two chances to do so:  going to Newfoundland and returning from Newfoundland.

So now I know where to go and the best places try taking photos.  All I need is cooperation from the weather gods.

There’s also a beautiful scenic drive from Halifax to Baddeck that I’ve read should not be missed.

And Cape Breton.

And Acadia National Park in Maine.

So basically, then, my planning is done.  All I need to do is write everything down in a notebook along with reasons I want to visit specific sites to make sure I can prioritize the time and maximize every opportunity.

Yes, it will be hectic.  I may get little sleep given sunrise/sunset times but I’ll have plenty of time to rest when I get home.

I figure if I want to relax, sleep and be lazy I can do that at home.  While on the road I am driven. which might explain why few would ever consider “vacationing” with me!  🙂

……a few days go by …….

That’s about it for planning. Things are pretty well set. The only thing left is to begin.

Check back about the 1st of July where I will begin the actual trip journal.

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