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NF: How long...trip detail ?'s

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Mar 14th, 2005, 07:12 PM
  #1
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NF: How long...trip detail ?'s

Hi all,

Thx to your informative posts (especially multi-posters--you know who you are), I have a wonderful foundation for my 17 day trip.

However, a few more details would help fine tuning the # of days to spend in each area:

How long does it take to see the viking site at L'Anse aux Meadows?

Has anyone been to the Norseman Restaurant dinner theatre? Is it pretty good or just "cheesy"?

Is driving from St. Anthony's to Twillingate too far for one day? (I looked up the km's so I know it's "do-able", I'm wondering if it's practical.)

If not, Deer Lake seems a mid-point for an overnite. Is there enough to do there to fill our day on the way to Twillingate? (We're already spending 3 nights at Gros Morne.) Or would it be better for us to do the long drive one day and then spend the extra night at Bay de Verde?

How long does it take to hike up Signal Hill?

Can the La Manche-Ferryland-Chance Cove-
Cape Race-Mistaken Point-Portugal Cove South
Trepassey-Cape Pine-St. Shotts-Peter's River
St. Stephens-St. Vincent route be reasonably done in a day and a half?

Lots of questions, I know it seems the more research I do on this trip, the more of NF I want to see! Thx a mint in advance for any insights...

(I planned to go to NF last year but your posts convinced me the 5 days I had were not enough...now, I am very grateful for all your advice and feel it will be worthwhile burning so many of my vacation days on this trip this year!)
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Mar 15th, 2005, 02:59 AM
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Hi,

You can actually drive to the top of Signal Hill, but I would guess a good 45 minute walk from downtown.

When will you be visiting the island? That will help me answer your question about timing of the Avalon loop.

cheers

Jerry
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Mar 15th, 2005, 03:29 AM
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Hi Jerry,

I'll be there the last week of June and the first week of July.

You probably recognize the route as yours! I lurked it and pieces of other info from others' threads. You provide such detailed amazing info (e.g., red fox hole/den!).

Thx for the info on Signal Hill, from some info it sounded like I might have to allot a whole day! I'm in St. John's for 2 days and was worried that it wouldn't be enough.

thx a mint!
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Mar 15th, 2005, 04:44 PM
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45 miniutes is a good estimate for the walk up Signal Hill. I do believe that there's a longer walk that takes you through town and the battery and along the coast, but we didn't get to do this, as a storm came up. Also,there are diversions {historical areas, museum, views} at or near the top. Time spent on any or all of these things could make the walk up the hill and back a longish excursion.

I remember an excellent insectarium housed in a converted old barn that I THINK was in or near Deer Lake, if such a thing interests you!

I would allow a couple of hours for L'Anse aux Meadows, an hour for the excellent guided tour, and another hour to wander around the museum and watch the video.

We didn't eat at the Norseman, but it sounded like it might be fun!
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Mar 15th, 2005, 06:20 PM
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HI Clam chowder. I hope you enjoy Newfoundland as much as we did.

WE hiked up to Signal Hill from Behind the Newfoundland HOtel downtown, up through the Battery and on up the cliffs. It was spectacular. I think it did take us about an hour. But don't forget you have to allow time to look around up there and to come back down again.
YOu should be ok with 2 days in St.John's.

I thik I'd be inclined to stop overnight somewhere and not drive from St.Anthony to Twillingate in one day.

La Manche, Ferryland etc can be done in a day and a half, but it depends how much hiking you want to do. There are parts of the failry new "East Coast Trail" that are really worth doing.
BUt, the answer your question, we were staying near Witless BAy and drove around to Cape Pine and St. Shotts and back again in one day.
If you want to see what remains of La Manche village, you must hike in...and it's well worth it. Perhaps allow a couple of hours to hike around the area.

As far as going to Cape Race, it's a long lonely drive in. ONce you've travelled in for 30 minutes or so, you will get the general idea. And the road stays just as rough allthe way, and just as lonely. At teh end, at Cape Race, there was only a light house...nothing else. and no one was around. IT was not open. So the second time we visited Newfoundland, we drove the road for 20 minutes or so and turned around.

Do be sure to do the O'brien's tour at Bay Bulls. The puffins will be nesting at that time.

Good luck and have a great trip.
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Mar 16th, 2005, 02:59 PM
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Thx a mint Molly2 and kodi for your insights. (I recognize your names too!)

With it, I've decided one night in St. Anthony's will be enough as we only plan to take a boat tour and visit L'Anse aux Meadows.

I've got a night in Witless Bay and 2 in Trepassey so it sounds like we'll have enough time to do a bit of hiking too!

The La Manche and Cape Race tips are things one can't find in guide books!

We plan to take a zodiac tour (from Elaine's B&B) and also have a half day kayaking planned for the area so we might pass on O'brien's. But everyone keeps mentioning it...anyone know if Elaine's zodiac tour goes to the "spout" and seacaves? (I know it goes to see the puffins).

thx again all!

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Mar 16th, 2005, 04:48 PM
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klam chowder, your itinerary sounds fabulous! We ran out of time and luck with the weather, and didn't get to La Manche. Do report back! We did, however, get to see lots of caribou and a bald eagle in the area you're visiting!

I think that you'll be very happy with Elaine's bed and breakfast. It's in a wonderful location; you can often spot whales right outside the windows! We went kayaking, but were sort of sorry we did. The water was terribly rough so it was extremely hard to navigate, and we lost a camera when a bug wave splashed us. Lesson learnedon't go out kayaking right after a storm - no fun!

We hadn't realized that Elaine's gave zodiak tours, or we would have done that. In any case, Elaine's very sensibly wasn't going out into rough seas. I'll bet it's a great time!

You will LOVE Newfoundland!
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Mar 16th, 2005, 04:52 PM
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Now how did that {rather appropriate} face get into my post? I didn't mean to put it there! I must have hit a button!
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Mar 16th, 2005, 06:20 PM
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Klam, if I go back to Newfoundland , I'll stay at Elaines B&B. I just checked out the web site and it looks great.
I also would take the zodiak tour too.
I didn't know about either of these things when we went, but both look great. I don't think you'll need to do O'Briens tour, since the Zodiak tour looks so good.

I don't know if you've seen this web site, but when I was researching our trip I came across this fellows site and pictures.

Go to www.geocities.com/nfldtours

Then go to 'click here' and then to La Manche tour. Amazing photos!
Have a look at his other 'tours' in Newfoundland as well.
If you do hike into LaManche, cross the bridge and hike a bit further along.
This was one of our favourite hikes.

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Mar 23rd, 2005, 07:25 PM
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Be sure to leave enough time before or after your L'Anse aux Meadows tour to do the Grenfell Museum in St. Anthony. There are actually two: one is a new interp centre, the other is Sir Wilfred's home, and both are "must dos". You'll also want to leave time to shop at the Grenfell Crafts outlet - probably the best place to shop in the whole province.
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Mar 25th, 2005, 08:24 AM
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You won't regret allocating 17 days to Newfoundland. We were there last summer -- 15 days, late June/early July -- and it was one of the best vacations of our lives. The scenery and sights and people are special.

I'm pleased you will be going to St Anthony. The whales and iceberg tour is fabulous and actually made be cry. On your way north (or south) you might stretch your legs at the Nurse Bennett Heritage House in Daniel's Harbor for 20 mins. or so. (She provided medical care in this remote area, as Sir Grenfell did in St. Anthony.)

I agree with those who said a one-day drive from St Anthony to Twillingate is a bit too much. We sent as far as Springdale, which was enough for us in one day. (Nothing special about that town.)

A tip: Late the night before you leave (I assuming from St John's), make sure your flight will be leaving, as the airport is often fogged in. We had an unexpected extra day in the city.

I look forward to reading your post-trip report and travelling vicariously to a special place once again.
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Mar 25th, 2005, 11:24 AM
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klam_chowder,

Thanks for the kind words.

A comment or two on the Avalon Peninsula portion of your trip.

I don't see Cape St. Mary's on your itinerary. It is a 'must see'. The cliffs and gannet colony are truly awesome. The interpretive centre there is also very good. For a small fee you can go out to the gannets with a local guide who can provide plenty of insights into the history and natural history of the area. You might see 3 species of whales from the cliffs here.

You could certainly do the 'Avalon Loop' you mentioned in 1 1/2 days ......but the whole area is very interesting and worthy of a longer visit.

Someone mentioned the Cape Race road as "rough and lonely" or something like that. It is [or was last summer] easily driveable in a small car -sometimes a bit 'washboarded' especially in spring before a grader can get in. There is one quite steep hill [the drook]but nowhere does it hug a cliffside or anything. The seascapes here are not as spectacular as Twillingate or Cape St. Mary's but there are great opportunities to enjoy the views.

Whale watching can be good from shore here.
This can be a good area for caribou but generally a bit later in the season.

At the end of this road is a small interpretive centre related to radio communications. [The first distress message from the Titanic to reach land was heard here.]

A local guide will take you up the winding, narrow staircase to the top of the Cape Race lighthouse. The history and mechanics of the light are very interesting - and on a clear day the view is very good.

I do recommend Cape Race as a spot you will long remember.

One note -early July is often foggy on the southern Avalon. The locals call it 'capelin weather' or 'capelin fog'as this was traditionally the time of year that capelin came in to the beaches to spawn in the tens of millions.

cheers

Jerry
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Mar 26th, 2005, 08:15 AM
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I agree with Jerry's advice about stopping at Cape St. Mary's. It is not to be missed. The birds are amazing to watch and I just can't figure out how the babies and eggs don't fall off. We have seen some of our most spectacular whale shows from those cliffs. It draws us back each time we are in NL. I also agree that Cape Race is worth the drive. About 1/4 of the way down the road is a pull off where you can park your car. About a 30 to 45 minute walk from tnere are some paleo (somthing or other) fossil beds that are unbelievable. You can see the sea bottom imprinted on the rocks, plus fern leaves. If you stop at the info center at the start of the road they can tell you how to find them. Once out at Cape Race it is easy to let your imagine run wild. In the fog you can sit and hear the sounds and imagine the signals from the Titantic coming in.
Lastly I do not recommend stopping for the night in Deer Lake. I'd find a place to stay closer to T'gate - perhaps Springdale or Grand Falls. Enjoy your trip. I wish it was me!!!

Kathy
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Mar 27th, 2005, 05:09 AM
  #14
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Thx a mint for all the additional info Fodorites!

I had hoped to stay at Elaine's for 2 nights but when I called a couple of wks ago, she was already full! (for anyone planning their own trip and reading this...places in the St. John's area are filling up already!)

moodie, thx for the Grenfell tip I hadn't thought of seeing that. It's the same location where the iceberg boat tour we're taking departs, so I've planned some time to see it after our tour.

Some days are quite busy but we have other days (like in Twillingate and Bonavista) where we don't have anything planned and will just toodle around. I've def got the feeling that that's the way to experience NF.

And yes, we will definitely be going to Cape St Mary's. We've modified our stays a bit so that we don't backtrack as much and changed one of our nights in Trepassey to Clarenville, as we head to St. Pierre from Fortune the next day.

Now that we've secured our Berry Hill campsites in GM, our final o/n booking is complete and I'm really looking forward to this trip. I'll be sure to report back!

Thx a mint all!
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