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Old 08-29-2013, 02:39 PM   #46
Canuman OP
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I stand corrected. They are Cornus Canedensis, known as Cracker Jacks or bunchberries. Teaberries are Gaultheria Procumbens, and are also native to Newfoundland. Teaberries are also known as wintergreen. Both are edible, and look somewhat similar. Bunchberries are very high in pectin and have large seeds. They don't have much flavor, but are good if you're making jelly or have the trots. . .



Teaberries

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I've never heard them called tea berries before. We call them Cracker Jacks.
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:32 PM   #47
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Applicant_255 posted up a nice set of pictures on Flicker, but I'm unsure how to link them here. His album is located here, in case people wish to view them:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/applica...7635272754296/
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:28 PM   #48
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The weather is fickle on The Rock. We experienced heat, cold, very high winds and rain within the space of a week. Often, the weather can change within an hour. It's particularly marked when climbing to altitude. When crossing the Gaff Topsails, the temperature dropped about ten degrees Celsius from Deer Lake to the summit at 487 meters.

We mount the bikes and proceed up through graying skies past Rivers of Ponds, rejoining the 430 near Hawke's Bay. A quick stop in Torrent River topped up our tanks and introduced us to some native foods and the particularly warm ladies that occupy this sparsely settled area.

As for food, I can't say that the diet is very varied up in this area. Outside of the larger towns, what was available was fairly simple stuff. I buy a can of corned beef (bully beef), a bag of Purity "Hard Bread," and a bag of potato chips. If the Canadians are adventurous in anything, it's potato chips. My flavor of choice is "Perogy Platter." They're pretty good, but I have to say that they can't touch my Polish Grandma's perogies. Adam, true to his heritage, sticks with the "All Dressed." They're not cheap at nearly $4.50 for the bag. They're $2.50 here, although you can't get maple syrup flavor in the States.

I wanted to like Purity hard bread, I really did. There was something romantic about traveling through this hard land with proper iron rations. I worried through two pieces and donated the rest to the gorbies. I confess, hard bread is too technical for the southern palate.

Rich is looking for hot dogs. The gal at the counter is confused, and an animated conversation ensues. "Oh, you mean wieners m'dear!" She insists that we help ourselves to ketchup and mustard packets.

The women here aren't stylish. They're designed for comfort rather than speed. However, the warmth of their personalities shines through, as it does with most of the residents. People talk to one another. Whenever two or three or more are gathered together, there's an animated conversation going on. There's something very charming about having a total stranger call you "m'dear" or "m'love." They don't text. They cut out the middle man and talk as God intended us to do. The men come up, give a very direct handshake, introduce themselves, and get on to subjects of importance. Subjects of importance may only be the weather (very important up here), but you're sure who you're talking to.

Rich is often a deep thinker. His people are seafarers also, and his comment "They wait until their men come back from the sea," strikes a chord and sends a chill down my spine.

The distinctive Newfoundland accent also becomes stronger, and harder to understand. It appears to come in two variations, one Scots and one Irish. Luckily, I've a fair ear for dialects, and am enjoying the heck out of this.

A quick stop in Port Saunders allowed us to exchange more US currency for Canadian. Merchants were willing to accept US dollars in the south, but become increasingly reluctant to do so the further north we ride. The gal at the credit union in Port Saunders cheerfully exchanges our dead Presidents for dead Prime Ministers and live Queens, and charges no exchange fees. $100 USD converted to slightly more than $102 CAD.

We hit a very nice section of gravel through Port Au Choix, and then hunker down for more tarmac. Our goal that evening was an abandoned highway north of Eddie's Cove, a section that I'd wanted to explore since I first saw it on the map.

The peninsula begins to flatten out toward the northwestern tip, and the winds are scything down. There's very little to break their flow over Labrador and the Straits. We're riding canted at an angle, which works well enough unless a truck passes in the southbound lane. At that point, one feels as if the carpet is being pulled out from under the wheels.

Anton finds an ancient lava flow and rides out toward the waves:


Photo by Anton


Photo by Anton


Photo by Anton


Photo by Anton

This is a flat, hard land. I find it really interesting.


Photo by Anton

Fishing boats near Port Au Choix. The fleet is a ghost of what it was, I think.


Photo by Anton


Photo by Anton
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:01 PM   #49
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[QUOTE=Canuman;22213320]The weather is fickle on The Rock. ...

great fotos, did you swim in the Ocean?
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:14 PM   #50
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The Lost Village

I confess, I'm very reluctant to talk about the next section of our trip. It was the part I anticipated most, and it met my expectations completely. If you decide to come up this way, I'd say that it's a must, but bring a careful and respectful attitude. You're about to step onto sanctified ground. If you don't have a cautious and respectful attitude, stay well away. Your type isn't wanted here, and the sea will claim her own.

All of our clothes are wet through long before arriving in Saint Barbe. There's waterproof gear and rain gear, but most of it just cuts down on the circulation of water. You'll be wet. Adam may be the best off of our group. The rest of us are wearing so-called "waterproof/breathable" stuff, but he's got a set of fisherman's "oilers" that are meant to brave the spray off the bow of a dragger in the North Atlantic. They don't breathe, but they don't leak.

Adam has fished, and knows his stuff.

We stop off in St. Barbe, which is the point that the Labrador ferry comes to Newfoundland. It's blowing like hell, and I'm very glad I'm not on the Labrador ferry this day. There's a beam sea, which would make the ride a vomit comet. I have a delicate constitution.

We stop off in the only place to eat. I'm looking for fish and brewis or flipper pie, but the menu is strong on fried chicken and hamburgers. I take the chicken, which is pretty good. It tastes like chicken. I order a portion of squid rings, which are expensive and aren't rings at all, but little sticks of heavily breaded squid that taste like prepared stuffing. Give me some calamari, baby. The Italian and Portugee fisherman could offer something to this island in squid recipes.

Tea: The tea up here is fantastic. I'm a habitual coffee drinker, but once I'm on the island, my taste for coffee fades away. I've brought a packet of good Yorkshire tea from a generous friend in England, and find myself brewing about six cups in the morning. They serve British Tetley's in St. Barbe, which is a strong orange pekoe blend that will put the man back into you. It comes in a blue box.

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Old 08-29-2013, 07:20 PM   #51
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Are you insane, Andrei? The life expectancy in these waters is under three minutes, and you'll never breed again. There's a good reason that they raised huge drooling dogs to pull them out of the sea. Swimming simply isn't an option.

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The weather is fickle on The Rock. ...

great fotos, did you swim in the Ocean?
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:30 PM   #52
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Great report! Looks like you guys made it to some very cool spots.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:54 PM   #53
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The women here aren't stylish. They're designed for comfort rather than speed


You have a way with words... It reminds me of the quote from stand-up comedian Ron James, pulling into a Tim Horton's after a long day on the road:

You're greeted by the devilish charms of that Tim Hortons maven behind the counter, Bovine Betty, with her unpretentious country-wide ass. Sporting that sexy hair net, I'm always tempted to say, "Betty, you never fail to get me warm & fuzzy in my secret spot."
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:54 PM   #54
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I've been negligent in my duties as historian. This island was one of the richest fishing grounds on earth for centuries. Wars were fought for it. Newfoundland's banks supplied "fish," which meant cod to much of Europe, the Caribbean, and South America for centuries. Fishermen would go out in small boats and take the catch through hand-lining or long lining.

Life was hard and isolated, but the residents of the island kept their independence, despite a complex system of credit with the merchants that kept many of them in debt. With the coming of the 20th century, things began to change. Boats fitted internal combustion engines, which allowed much greater range than human or sail power. Some of the fishermen formed a cooperative that allowed them to buy goods at fairer prices.

The desire for fish led to increasingly sophisticated methods of capture, including trawls and drags. A hand line or long line is a fairly selective device. A trawl or drag takes everything in its path.

Beyond that, the world knew of the richness of Newfoundland's banks, and sent ships of all nations out to harvest it. Now, there's a 200 mile limit, but the offshore limit was once 3 and later 12 miles. The banks were scoured clean. In 1992, Canada declared a moratorium on cod fishing when the stocks dropped to 1% of their historic levels.

If you listen to classical music, thank Cod. Cod helped spark the late Renaissance. Cod fueled the enlightenment, along with rum and coffee, which were traditional trade goods for fish. There's good evidence that Basque fishermen were regularly visiting the island before Chris Columbus ever saw a row-boat. The form of salt fish produced here provided a source of protein to millions. It was not prone to spoiling and was reasonably inexpensive. To this day, the national dish of Jamaica is Salt Fish and Ackee, a combination of cod and a vegetable native to that climate. Elsewhere, fish was known as Baccala, klippfisk, and many other names. If you're interested in traditional cooking, cod has many possibilities.

We'll ride to Big Brook soon. Big Brook was built on fish. It's a ghost town now, but was once a place of great hope.
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:24 PM   #55
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Exactly. You bet. How'd you know about the hair nets? They're a feature.

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You have a way with words... It reminds me of the quote from stand-up comedian Ron James, pulling into a Tim Horton's after a long day on the road:

You're greeted by the devilish charms of that Tim Hortons maven behind the counter, Bovine Betty, with her unpretentious country-wide ass. Sporting that sexy hair net, I'm always tempted to say, "Betty, you never fail to get me warm & fuzzy in my secret spot."
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:44 PM   #56
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That's how they roll up here. Community is king, neighbors are necessary, and a friend in need is a friend indeed.
+1 on the kindness of the locals, at least in my experience way back when in the early 90's. The tougher the life, the better the people.
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:49 AM   #57
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[QUOTE=Canuman;22214181]Are you insane, Andrei? The life expectancy in these waters is under three minutes, and you'll never breed again. There's a good reason that they raised huge drooling dogs to pull them out of the sea. Swimming simply isn't an option.

you can actually swim, there is a place called Shallow Bay in Cow Head, that has very nice long sandy beach and when we were there in the beginning of August water were about 70 degrees, so we went for a swim. it is local version of Miami South Beach
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:48 AM   #58
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The west coast of the island is quite nice for swimming, actually. It's on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which has nice warm waters, and the narrow Strait of Belle Isle keeps most of the Labrador Current from entering the gulf. Black Bank, between Stephenville Crossing and St. George's is a long sandy beach with nice warm water that's very popular for swimming.
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:24 AM   #59
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Forgive my railing on Zanoza. He's a friend, so I can do that. Although we didn't swim, we did see some fine beaches. JT Cheesman Provincial Park has a nice, sandy beach and is easily reached from Port Aux Basques. There are certainly enough fresh water lakes and ponds, but I suspect many of them don't warm up enough for more than a quick dip.

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The west coast of the island is quite nice for swimming, actually. It's on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which has nice warm waters, and the narrow Strait of Belle Isle keeps most of the Labrador Current from entering the gulf. Black Bank, between Stephenville Crossing and St. George's is a long sandy beach with nice warm water that's very popular for swimming.
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:53 AM   #60
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Slabbing it on my way back to the ferry I saw a car pulled up along side a river. As I passed across the bridge I looked down expecting to see people fishing. Instead I saw some ladies swimming.

While that is a sight that I usually enjoy, I dared not gaze for more than a moment for fear of physchosematic permanent shrinkage.

The water looked pretty cold to me!
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